Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ontario, Canada
• Horses: 0
I Have Problems!
I just got Tango out after a week lay-off (because of soreness) and she is worse than ever before. I know, I know she was in the field for a week and is probably just full of it, but...I don't know. We really didn't have a good ride. In the end, yes, I did get her to a relaxed walk, and we were able to follow a measured walk home, but...I mean, at the start, as soon as I was seated on her, she tried to walk off, which she just doesn't do, and then refused to back up, and then tried to trot without my cue. I really hope it was just spirits, and not my bad influence.
Having said all that, I know I have some pretty major problems. Well, for one, I need to be bolder and more dominant in the saddle. I've improved loads from even a few months ago, but I'm still very quiet in the saddle, because she seems to be very responsive to legs. I feel like I definitely am not being the leader in this situation, and she's not really listening or caring what I'm saying because I'm not being dominant enough. And also, probably the worst habit I could ever develop is whenever we're out just riding along, my brain gets so bored that it drifts inward and focuses entirely on the horse. So that means I ride based on her mood, trying to get her relaxed; every flick of her ears, her body language etc, and obviously I get nothing done, because it inflates her ego and makes her bored and a brat because she doesn't have anything productive to do. And obviously, being so focused on her and trying to get her relaxed at the same time is just not going to work. She's the kind of horse that you basically need to disregard and then she realizes she's got no choice but to settle down because acting up doesn't get her anywhere. We're one and the same in that we both need to have a mental challenge, or we both go bonkers. Every time I notice myself doing this, I give myself a kick and start looking up and out and planning patterns or something to do, and normally she'll settle down, but that's just the trouble: a lot of times I don't even notice myself doing it, so I can't stop.
Any tips or suggestions? Mostly for the focusing on Tango I just need to notice more, but how can I be more "in-command" while I'm on her back?