So I went riding today. I didn't intend to ride, but I am really glad that I did. I worked with Shadow for a while on getting her to pick up her feet because she is VERY stubborn about that. I would pick it up, praise her and give her a tiny treat, repeat repeat repeat until she would do it consistently. Then we worked on getting her to take the bit. I put her bridle on, and took it off about 3 times (each time took a good 5-10 minutes), again praising her and rubbing her and what not when she took it. Sooo we made some good progress there. :) THEN since her bride was on I decided to ride and took her out. We did a little lounging first, which the BO came out and helped me with as I don't have a ton of experience lounging (when I rode before the horses were always lounged for me, unfortunately). Then I got on. Well, she did ok for a few minutes, but it was dinner time. She decides that she is done when I ride at dinner time (that is the only time I can come out and ride bc of my class schedule). When SHE is done, she will run me into the gate, stop at the gate, bolt to the other gate, refuse to turn around....and well, be a total turd. Well today I set out to take None of it and be much more assertive. Not that I sat around and let her get away with it before, but when she decided what she wanted to do I was unsuccessful at really getting her to behave WELL after - it was a fight the rest of the ride each time. Well today I made a breakthrough - finally!
She tried pulling her usual stuff and I would make her gogogo. She ran me into the gate, and then would try backing up, so we would then walk Back to the gate, turn around, and trot by it/away from it. The she tried to ram me into the other gate (this all happened multiple times) and I would try to get her to keep going, and she would refuse. I tapped her but (like not even a good smack, just a little
tap) and she bucked. It was a measly 2 bucks, more like a kick, but I am still proud of myself for staying on. :) Anyways, got her going again. Finally she was going, but then she decided that halfway acrss the ring, each time, she was going to cut across diagonally and run to the other gate. It didn't matter how sideways I pulled her head, she would keep going in the direction of the gate. Once there, she would stop. I would try to turn her left and she would refuse. But she would
SO, I decided we were going to do it her-way-MY-way...and we turned right and turned right and went in circles going right until she was sick of going right. And back around the ring and she'd do it again. Well, I kept on making her circle around and circle around and do it again and again and again. And FINALLY.....she got it!!!!
She got the idea that I was NOT putting up with her crap and started listening! After several circles and trouble, she finally gave in. we went around the ring a few times at a trot and she did BEAUTIFULLY
, ears flicking back to listen to me, going where I asked her, the whole gambit. I was soooo excited! I praised her and praised her and praised her! WE slowed down and went around at a walk and she still listened so I ended on a good note. :)
I hopped off at the end of the arena AWAY from the gate and she stayed with me. I got her to follow me across the arena to random points. She even followed me Away from the gate (even though it was dinner time). She was not on a lead. So I brushed her down and she sucessfully
picked up her feet a few times (yaaay!), and back to her stall for dinner it was. :)
I feel like we made a seriously MAJOR breakthrough for both
of us. I am super duper excited. :) I did it on my own
too, which I feel like I really
needed to do, for her sake and mine. She is FINALLY accepting ME as the boss. :) :) :) :) I just hope that she remembers next time! haha At least now I feel more like I know what to do to get her attention and respect. It took us almost 3 hours from start to finish (about 1.5 hours before working on feet and bit, 1 hour in the ring, and 30 min or so cleaning up after) but I think we made some major progress. Just had to share and celebrate a little. :)