I arrived at the barn after work, saddled him up and put him in the Hackamore for some light walking and jogging in the outdoor arena while it was still light outside. I was so excited because this was going to be the first time in the saddle in over a week, due to his teeth.
What a BRAT. Well, what a sweet, gentle, and kind BRAT.
Never once did I feel as if he would buck or rear, and he did not behave in an unsafe manner via speed, but he was completely tuning me out. I literally cued him right and he moved left with his head turned right. I didn't think it was possible but he did it.
I decided to take the hackamore off and put a #2 smooth snaffle on him. Same business. Walked on a diagonal rather than go around the ring. And, then his crazy tongue started flopping around.
At this point, I chose to end the ride, because I could feel my disappointment and frustration mounting and I knew THAT would accomplish nothing. Riding him was a very bittersweet experience.
I walked Sam back into the barn where my trainer was working with an unbroke horse. He asked how my ride went and I replied, "Sam is being a dope and I'm getting frustrated." He then told me to leave him tied up.
Well, it didn't work out so well for da boy. At the end of a half hour of going from a stop to a slow trot to an immediate stop and backward motion of SEVERAL steps, that was one sweaty horse. I watched every moment of the training session and could see Sam's anger as he fought for control dissipate.
My trainer ended the lesson and felt that Sam needed to be tuned back up. I didn't ride him for a week, but we had teeth issues for several before that and he wasn't ridden overly hard or with accountability.
So, we need to tune him back up over the next week and then go back to advancing his training. I've been working him on his ground manners so it is catching me off guard that he would behave with perfect manners on halter but be stubborn under saddle.
Poor Sam. Everyone at the barn was feeling sorrry for him as the trainer led him into the riding ring. Except me. I had a big grin on my face.
Am I a sick person that I found comfort and enjoyment in watching my horse be held accountable for his actions? Does anyone else get a small piece of satisfaction when your horse has a just-do-it experience and you can see the change in his body language?