|Hoping for a nice xc school soon ...|
So ... I learned the feeling of watching my horse go for a nice little gallop ... down the driveway ... and out onto the main road:( I was TERRIFIED. I learned a valuable lesson though ... NO picture in the world is worth losing my horse permanently. I had let go of the reins to snap a quick pic like I've done literally hundreds of times over the last 4 years and he decided to just mosey away. When I walked after him to grab the rein, he decided to stick that tail up like an Arab and take off. He made it as far as Susan the dressage trainer's driveway, then turned around and started to trot back towards me. I am still thanking God that Tiki didn't continue on down the LONG rural highway lined with thousands of acres of land, AND that the normally busy road was quiet as a mouse for once. When he realized I was trying to catch him, the sh!+ head tried to spin and bolt, but slipped on the slippery asphalt and I was able to reach out and grab that rein.
I marched his little red butt up to the ring, and whacked him with the longe whip to get him running. Wanna run? OK, you do it when I TELL you to do it. I cracked the whip a few times to keep him going while I dragged out some poles to throw down for a quick pole course, and when he stopped to just stand like a statue, I ignored him while I walked some distances. By that time my racing heart had calmed and my anger had subsided, leaving me with that desire once again to have that "Black Stallion" bond with my horse. I've said it before; I wish Tiki and I had that fairy tale bond where he comes up and places his head on my shoulder and we communicate telepathically. Lol. At best, he is tolerant of attention lavished on him. At worst, he's a downright prickly horse that would prefer to do his job, then just be left alone. It hurt my feelings when I called him sweetly and walked up to him FULLY expecting him to stop and come to me and he DIDN'T. Not only did he NOT come to me, he took off and ran up the $^*%^&^** road! Oh well, at least we're pretty in sync most of the time when I ride him. Despite his misadventures, he was good to ride.
The trot was pretty forward considering he'd been running for awhile; it felt really good. I was using the Myler D with the plain cavesson (his old dressage bit) and he was perfectly lovely. I did a "hunter hack" type ride using minimal contact and collection. He was super soft, had an easy flexion at the poll, and I couldn't feel any of the usual tension across his topline. The canter was lovely and I hadn't even broken a sweat trying to keep him slow and easy ... he was doing that all by himself! Had 3 cavs on the tallest setting at 18' apart, 2 inside single poles, and a bounce to a 3 stride, poles on the ground. I cantered around the poles in my 2-pt, keeping that hunter metronome rhythm every where. I tried not to leave long anywhere, and I REALLY worked to keep the 18' one strides slow and rhythmic. When I cantered into the first, he took the one stride over the second, then bounced the third! I began to keep a feel on his mouth over the cavs and he finally took a SLOW one stride instead of getting tense and quick. Quit there.
Yesterday I moved the cavs to 21', set the bounce/3 stride as offset single poles 9' apart (a little spooky looking), 3 quiet strides (6' short) to a 2'9 vertical, and the 2 inside poles each got half the coop. I haven't done a "super skinny" in a while, figured it would be good for him! Flatted him just like on Thursday, little contact, low frame, slow and easy. Cantered all the jumps, and he looked hard at the first section of coop but jumped it fine, and jumped well through the spooky offset poles. His canter was a little slower through the 21' one strides, but it still got flat and quick. I attempted to go around with lead changes, but he either counter-cantered, or cross cantered, so I went back to walking every time I needed a change. I went around and around until I was satisfied it was a hunter-worthy course. The first few times he would get a little quick, a little long at some, deep at others ... found my consistency though, and he ended up quite well.
Only got in 2 days this week, and LR is home this weekend so NOT riding Muffin in other words;) Will get in his 3 days next week, definitely a dressage school, definitely HILLS, probably a no stirrup day. Doubtful I will jump next week, probably just do poles again when I do my no stirrup day.