Well first ride in over a week. I really hate not having an indoor arena
But all that nonsense aside, the ride was pretty ok. We worked in large circles in the outdoor arena and went around the jumps to make it less boring. I don't think he is quite understanding what I want him to do. Part of it might be that, but part of it is he doesn't like to work by himself apparently because he gets pretty insistent about turning around so he can see the other horses, or trying to sneak out the open spot in the fence. I HATE getting up in his "grill" and don't like to use my reins as much as possible, but I had to crank him around a few times to prevent him from running into the fence or going out the opening in the fence. I ask with my leg, then ask a little stronger with my seat and leg, then would try asking with leg and seat and opening my inside rein to sort of guide him in the direction I wanted, but all those things he just pushed against and was hell bent on going the way he wanted to. SO, I used my legs and seat and pulled his head the direction I wanted him to go and made him circle that direction without pulling once I got his feet moving the direction I wanted. Ugh. Horses can be so stubborn.
I give him the benefit of the doubt most of the time, but I am getting to the point where I know he knows what I'm wanting, he just gets it in his head that he's making decisions for our ride. So we kept fighting back and forth, making a few good rounds and a few not so good.
Now, that all being well and good, I decided to be brave and just see how he did in an open field. (all fenced in, but still enough open space to test his ability to walk when asked to and not try to run off, if you've read any of my previous posts you know the guy that broke him out said never to go outside the round pen because he just wants to go fast all the time) We did our best trail competition impression and opened the gate on horseback, walked across the gravel driveway and into the front turnout pasture (empty of horses except Achylles of course)....he was a freaking DREAM. We walked three laps around the whole field with no problems or disagreements. The only thing I had to be mindful of was keeping my inside leg on him gently to keep him from drifting to the middle of the field. I also had to keep gentle contact on the outside rein to make sure his head stayed straight. Nothing severe or forceful, just enough contact with my leg and hands to let him know that I was there and we were still working. I couldn't believe it. He was a turd in the arena and an absolute angel in the field.
I'm actually impressed, for a horse that supposedly only wants to run off in open spaces, he was super responsive and relaxed. If the weather cooperates this winter I am most likely going to start riding him in an empty turnout lot and just doing our drills on the flat part instead of in the arena. I don't know if the sand makes him uncomfortable with a rider on his back, or what is going on but he was great in the field. Which makes me smile because my 2014 goal is to be able to trail ride him around the entire loop of the county part down the road. I think its an 8 hr ride total. (yes I know we need to build up to it) But I think by next fall he should be in good enough shape, and listening much better to be able to pull it off. He is an arabian you know
And with all that being said, I will bore you no longer. Just wanted to update everyone on the only ride I've been able to get in lately.
Anyone out there listening that has advice or ideas for me and "Killers" feel free to post. (yes crude and sounds horrible, but what would you call a horse named Achylles for short?) With the cold it gives me something to do and stuff to study so any thoughts or comments are welcome!
He is SUPER fuzzy right now, so all you picture hounds will be sad, but I have no new pics yet. I really need to post some....I know desertHorseWoman I'll get on it asap!
Hope everyone in my neck of the woods stays warm and safe with this cruddy weather rolling in over the next week. Make sure your animals have safe warm places to get out of the elements if they are 24/7 outside babies!