Tuesday, May 27, 2014

"Catch ME!!!"

That is what Comrade said to me when I went to ride  him Saturday. Lucky for him, I was in a good mood since my car did not get totaled when the damage was inspected. So after catching him and him running off again, I shut him out in the bigger field away from his buddies. Then I said "GO." He wanted to move, so now he gets to move. I picked up a tree branch to use as my "whip" and kept him going around the field.
Ideally it would have been nice to get him to change directions, but the area was too large. I made do. I tried to get pictures, but most did not come out well. He was really looking flashy, attitude coming through. After a bit of time, I would turn my back and see if he was ready to come to me. Sometimes he would stop and wait, but other times he would try to graze. Nope, not ready. And on I pushed him.
Attitude!!! Had to use an effect since this was a shadow shot

The day was slightly warm and he was huffing, but the exercise was necessary. He is a bit spoiled and thinks he should get his way. While his self confidence is great, he has to remember I rank higher than him. It is the quiet ones like Comrade that are the hardest. Roscoe actually bows down pretty quick in comparison. I gave Comrade another chance by turning my back and was surprised to hear him trotting up to me.
On the Move :)

I patted him and loved on him. But he still was not quite done. He reacted to the stick I still had, so I pushed him out again. This process reminds me of the Cheese It commercials where they "test" the maturity of the cheese to see if it is ready. Well Comrade was still being marked "immature." I don't know  how much longer I moved him around. Sometimes I would add pressure and move him into a canter. While other times I let him trot comfortably around. Doing this teaches you to read their body language and know when to add that pressure. Comrade is subtle in his rebellious actions, but they happen. That is when I pressure him. When he relaxes, that's when I let him breathe. Finally I turned my back again and he walked right up to me.

Sweaty boy, fully charged, before the ride

This time he was ready. He was thinking, not reacting. Now we could go for a ride. I think this was the first time a horse started out sweaty before I even put the tack on. Since I considered the process his work for the day, the ride was our cool out. We just walked down the trail and back.
I'm okay with my horses testing the boundaries. Most of the time a quick reminder is all they need. Times like this though require time and patience to let it work out. They learn what goes easier and will eventually go that way. Groundwork in any form always helps ridden work and the overall handling. I definitely did not see this as a missed riding opportunity, but as a way to work a different part of Comrade's brain.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, a sight I am familiar with. They are too beautiful to watch move when they are all haughty like that, I get distracted.