Hey guys! I haven't been able to post pictures recently because my mom didn't feel like bringing the camera two weeks ago, and yesterday it rained so we were indoors, and it's impossible to get good pictures inside. Anyways I thought I'd just give you guys a quick update and tell you about my last lesson, since it was a pretty eventful one.
We went out to the outdoor ring but right when we all mounted, it started to rain. There was thunder and hail in the forecast so we decided to move inside. Trotting and cantering went fine, but then right before we jumped, Dakota caught sight of three collies on leashes across the field, and it all went downhill from there.
Our indoor is open all around the sides so it's just like a roof, so Dakota could see right out. He stood there stock still with his head as high as it could possibly go, every single muscle tensed up, trembling. From what I've heard, Dakota has had a history of hating these dogs. They didn't really come near the ring, they just walked by, but he refused to move until they were out of sight.
Then, he wouldn't canter, because he kept trying to crane his head around to look at the dogs again, so I hit him with the crop and I nearly got thrown off when he bucked. When I finally got him settled enough to jump, he decided it would be great fun to tear around the course like a madman.
I decided to abandon my previous goal of trying to keep my heels down because I had more important things to worry about. Like getting over the jumps in one piece. Basically he ran around while I pulled on his face. I felt really bad for pulling so much but he kept taking off after every jump so I had a death grip, and then when he jumped I just threw myself into 2-point (exactly what I SHOULDN'T be doing!)
By the time I got off, I was just relieved to have made it through the lesson without falling. In addition to the bolting and the collies, he spooked at 2 birds.
As we were cooling out, my instructor started to turn the sprinklers on at one end of the ring to water down the ground or something. The sprinklers are like pipes that hang from the roof and spray down, so we just stayed at one end to cool out. But then, after we got off, I had just taken the reins over Dakota's head to lead him back to the barn when the second row of sprinklers went on.
You know the sort of hissing sound a sprinkler makes as it turns on? Dakota heard it and BOLTED for the open gate. We're talking like a flat out bolt. I thought that if I held onto the reins, he would trample me or drag me, but if I let go, he might sprint back to the barn or worse, get confused in his panic and run out to god knows where.
So I let him get to the end of the reins and then I just held on and he stopped and skittered around to face me. I walked towards him slowly to grab the rest of the reins but then he started freaking out again. He danced in circles around me all the way back to the barn, but we were both okay.
Needless to say, he seemed to be really spooky that day... >.>
Pictures next wednesday if the weather looks good!
Every ride, good or bad, teaches you something new.