Ok, I know it sounds ridiculous but I went for a ride on Phoenix this weekend that was just awful. This is the first real ride oppurtunity I have had in over a month due to weather. Phoenix had gotten rather overwieght so I have cut her food down and this was the first ride I have had since I have done so.
She was absolutely totally obsessed with eating! I was riding with two other friends but that made no difference. We started walking down the road. My horse kept walking into the bank on the side of the road so she could snatch mouthfuls of food, literally rubbing me into the scrub. We got out onto paddocks and every 3rd or 4th step her head would go down to eat. She is so strong and it would be a wrestle to get her head back up, ofcourse in the time it took me to get her head back up she was able to snatch a mouthful of food which ofcourse encouraged her to do it again, and again, and again.
Then when I tried to open gates on her she was just a bitch. As soon as she felt me lean to unlatch a gate down the head would go and she just wouldn't move. She completely ignored every leg aid I tried to apply and by about half way into the ride I'm just hauling on her mouth to get her to move. Which ofcourse is the last thing I want to be doing. At this stage it is REALLY frustrating but then it hits a whole new level.
We are going down a very steep track cut into the side of a hill. There is a pretty steep drop on one side of us and a grassy bank on the inside. Like I said we have had a lot of rain and the track was pretty slippery. Suddenly, and this is because I had a loose rein to let Phoenix negotiate her way down, her head lunges out to snatch a mouthful of food. I think she tried to side step over to get closer to the food, one foot slipped, she tripped over her own foot and nearly sent us head long down the track. I shat myself! I have never had this problem before - on any horse! I know horses like to snatch mouthfuls of food occassionaly but this was ridiculous and ended up being dangerous.