So this is kind of a vent, kind of training, a little bit of everything.
I know when you and your poneh are having a bad day, you are supposed to go back to something they know and end of a good note, but seriously... Has anyone else ever found that almost impossible??
Monday was like that for me. Due to Oscar taking down a fence in the paddock where I board and poor weather, We haven't done much work since Thursday and he's been locked in a smaller area. On Monday, I went to go work him and I swear everything we did fell apart. True he isn't quite 3 yet, but I've been working with him 5-6 days a week since December and he full well knows what to expect and generally does VERY well.
Because he has been getting a tad sour on the saddling process, my plan was to get him saddled, lunge for 10 minutes lightly and then do some hand grazing with the saddle on for positive reinforcement. That part went ok until I opened the gate to go graze... He charged the gate, so I made him stop, and back up several times to try and regain his attention and cooperation. No such luck. Neighbor next door saw and offered me use of her round pen.
We went over there and he settled in nicely free lunging. Figuring that was a good time to stop, I gathered him up and went to leave. He didn't just charge the gate of the round pen but bucked through the opening. He went in and out, in and out of the gate until he walked calmly. Ok good, Now we can go back and un-tack. WRONG!!
On the way back to our paddock (less than 100 yds away) he was pulling and spazzing out, running over me, you name it. Then we walked back and forth, back and forth, until he was calm. I do have to admit that I did get a little frustrated and punched him in the neck when he neglected the elbow in the shoulder while walking on top of me. Goodness gracious.
What should have been a 30 minute positive visit turned into 2 1/2 hours. The funny part is that I am pretty sure he was seriously mad at me, not just being two. Once we got all untacked, I let him go in his paddock while I put everything away. I accidentally left me grooming tote on the other side of the paddock but by the time I went to go get it, he had picked it up and flung everything out of it!! I guess that was his way of saying "Take that!!"
Well, that's my vent. Yesterday went great though. The last time he got 3 days off due to weather he was very similar - thank god summer is on the way!!