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The Horse They Call Jayne

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    08-17-2012, 12:28 AM
I was feeling under the weather last week, so the pony-boy got 5 days off. In the past he's had two weeks off with zero problem, so I am not sure if the absolutely craptastic ride we had on Monday was him or me, or simply the combination of the two. He was stiff, wouldn't bend, rushing, gaping, throwing a shoulder out, the whole bit. I was overly ambition and type A. I wanted to do MY PLAN rather than listen to what he was giving me, and that turned out about like that sort of thing usually does. It sucked, like going backwards of months of training.

Tuesday we had a little trail ride, Wednesday he had off while I took a lesson on another horse.

Today I had a crappy day. I went out to the barn with the idea that, Hell, let's just canter around the arena for a while and call it cardio and a day. Decided I wasn't going to give a rats rear if he was on the right lead, or ask him to really *do* anything at all other than go forward. We had a FANTASTIC ride. He was soft and responsive, transitioning off of seat only (up and down), and while we were on the wrong lead, we actually were able to make a couple circles (as opposed to pears, eggs, or octopus). He was better than he has ever been. We only rode for maybe 15 minutes because other than the leads (which he doesn't know because I have failed to teach him) he was PERFECT. I had to get off before something bad happened and broke the moment.

Horses. You never know what's going to happen.
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    08-26-2012, 11:43 PM
Took the poneh boy out alone for the first time. We went out on a trail we're both very accustomed to, in hopes that it would be less scary that way. I wonder if I should have worried about it though, he was perfect. He never even hesitated on the way out, though he did do his little 'drunk walk' on the way out, but no worse than he normally does even with other horses around. Once we got down past the corner, I pushed him into a trot and he never looked back. W/t/c/g on the trail and not one stupid step even through the mud and in the wide open. I couldn't be more proud.
    09-15-2012, 11:15 PM
Didn't really ride out today. It was supposed to rain hard overnight so everything was supposed to be muddy and disgusting and the horses had to stay in last night. It didn't and it wasn't, but I had already counted the day out and wasn't feeling up to arranging anything on short notice.

Instead I tidied up the tack and feed area, groomed the poneh boy up and then took him out to the arena on a halter and lead. Once we got in there, I unclipped the lead and chased him off so he could get his ya-yas out. I chase him off regularly- he thinks he's a dog and wants to be nearby constantly, so it's part of our normal routine for me to push him off, not something scary. He knows the game and cantered off and stopped a ways off looking over the fence. I walked up towards him and did the little charge/stop/jump playful thing and I could just see the lightbulb come on. He took off galloping around the arena with his tail up in his best arab imitation.

Repeat a couple more times before he stopped and looked at me. I relented, relaxed my body language by leaning back a little and he walked politely within about 6 feet and stood for me to scratch him for a bit. Then I chased him off again and we repeated it all again. This time after scratching him, I just turned around and walked off towards the gate, going over the trot poles, and around in a half circle. He followed me quietly step for step. I clipped his lead back on and put him away. Took maybe 10 minutes.

I forgot how fun it is to watch him run around and marvel at how gorgeous he is, and how closely he watches my body language and responds even across the entire length of the arena. I forgot how well he reads and understands my intent. Sometimes he's so perceptive, it's like he can read my thoughts. Good day. Very good day.
    09-16-2012, 08:11 PM
As I said, no rain yesterday, figured I would ride today though. But today, lots of rain, off and on again. Not monsoon, just steady for a while, then eases off, then comes back. I was out at the barn and it eased off for a while so I rode a little. The arena is mostly sand and it's been so dry that it has sucked up all the water so far and is still in good condition, no mud or sogginess at all really. No dust either, which is a nice change!

Did some barrel pattern in a bareback pad. We're starting to get the idea of bending to the right while loping to the right, so that way was good. To the left was still more of a "nonodonwanna! Okay, fine! I'll turn left" which means rather than a nice curve, we're going at an odd squarish corners thing. But, he's finally giving and cantering properly rather than speed-trotting while doing it, so that's a win. All in all, we're getting much better. At least he didn't counter-canter me today. He may have fought taking up the canter and bending, but when he did, he was always on the correct lead. I did let him lope 'home' in the pattern after finally taking the left lead, and I think that helped him mentally a lot because I could just feel him relax into it nicely and the tension leave as he generally prefers to take the left lead on a straight anyway.
    10-13-2012, 02:57 PM
Getting a 'real' lesson on my boy today! Hopefully we'll get an idea of where our nearlygreen/nearlygreen pairing has gotten ourselves to and what we should work on next!
    11-23-2012, 06:20 PM
I think my long term mission to turn my then 6yo spooky gelding into a safe and sound mount for anyone to ride is well on its way! Today we went for a 5 mile trail ride. I originally had intended to test out MyTracks on my phone and make it a conditioning run, but it turned into a training ride instead. Our successes were many.

1. It started when we went out alone, which he is fantastic about with no fussing or ighting beyond the usual 'drunk walk' that he does whenever we first leave the barn.

2. We were riding on the road and a big trash collector truck pulled up by us and started lifting up and dumping the bins! A little jump from both of us at the first BANG! But nothing more.

3. Then there was a teenager on a dirt bike that he just kept a close eye on.

4. Then there was a family of bicyclists- I said hello and warned them Jayne was scared of bikes. They got off, we walked up and everyone said hello and patted the pretty pony. Then they rode off and we followed and trotted right behind them keeping pace for about a half mile before splitting up and going our respective ways. He never so much as twitched an ear sideways!

5. Then the usual trail obstacles: mud, deep sand, hearing the local outdoor shooting range in full swing, critters in the grass, etc

6. A giant pile of trash (papers, tubs, old appliances, etc) someone had dumped on the trail back. :( How hard is it to go to the city dump!? But Jayne just snorted and walked around the edge.

7. A family setting off rockets in the park.

8. Off leash German Shepherd running about and playing as we went by (the owner had full control of the dog, no concerns there, but I don't know how many dogs Jayne has seen)

He handled all of them very well, no spooking or startling at all! I am SO proud of him. It wasn't much of a training run as it took us over an hour to do the 5 miles with all the distractions I wasn't willing to trot or canter past, but it was well worth it! He was thoroughly sweaty though as he's in full coat and it was 78*F here... I have got to shave him or something, though his pulse was only 60bpm when we came in. He was such a good boy- willing, just the right amount of forward, nice and soft and listening well the whole ride.

I've got to balance myself a whole lot better though, for both our sakes- I find I always put too much weight to the left when I am posting and wind up unbalanced. Not sure how to fix it yet, but open to suggestions.
    11-23-2012, 06:23 PM
Originally Posted by horseluver2435    
Firefly fan? I approve.
Sounds like Jayne keeps you mighty busy! I know how the unbalanced circles feel- I'm working on balancing canter circles! Lots and lots of work will get you there. Good luck with Jayne!
I hate it when those good shows are taken off the aire well before their time.

Also, I second the affirmation of feeling a bit unbalanced from time to time. It doesn't get better with age.
    12-04-2012, 02:01 AM
Yesterday was a fantastic ride. 6 miles in 55 minutes, which is something near 6.5mph. Came home and horse was sweaty and still breathing a little hard, but the pulse was 60. To quote my friend, now I just have to do that three times in a row, and then I'll be ready for my first limited distance ride. I'm not too surprised by the sweaty soaked horse bit though- it's been in the upper 70's, with high humidity and my guy has a thick winter coat on. Miserable at best, but he'll be getting 9 weeks off and turned out on pasture in the new year, so I hate to clip him too much.

Another thread had me interested in the who horsonality gobblygook. Turns out my guy is a "Right Brained Extrovert." The description matches pretty dead on, though he no longer fits the 'spooky' part of the bill so well as he used to. I don't know that he's better or he simply trusts me more, but the behaviors are better. It would sure be interesting to see what happened if someone else rode him.
    04-29-2013, 02:08 PM
Okay, I spent most of last week in Tennessee. My horse is going to think he died and went to heaven! They have GRASS! As in, that green stuff that supposedly grows from the ground that horses supposedly eat! He is going to be SO HAPPY. Well, once we get past the gradual introduction so he doesn't colic on the diet change!
    05-04-2013, 09:27 PM
Rode out today, about 10 miles with friends- urban trailriding. :) Wound up lost and had to ask some random people who were dumbfounded about seeing three horses and riders in their neighborhood. Then out and about, by some new construction, and back home again.

The only thing that worried the horses the whole ride was the curb outside a brand new building- they had painted it bright red, and for the love of all that was safe, they DID NOT want to step over the red curb to cross the driveway. All three would walk up to it, drop their head, and then snort at it and back up. Unfortunately this was a curb by a busy road, so not the place to have horses acting all worried and backing up without regard for cars. Luckily we could go around it, though it meant going over the landscaped verge (SORRY!). Later on we passed by a church with red fire-lane curbs in their parking lot, so we were able to take them over there and let them stand and look and snort at the curbs for a few minutes in a safe place. Jayne doesn't like standing still. At all. So, I gave him the choice of standing still next to the red curb, or moving forward over it. After about thirty seconds of not wanting to stand still and a quick sniff towards the curb, he decided that his desire to not have to stand still was WAY more important than the curb was scary and walked forward over it like it was nothing. No tension, fear, or anything. He just needed a quiet minute to think about the curb to get over the idea it might be scary. Once he walked over it and didn't die, the other two were willing to follow.

But yeah. Red painted fire lane curbs. Scary.
Tractors, cars, backhoes, big CAT machinery, dogs, trailers, Bank drive thu, volleyball nets, playgrounds, black construction fencing flapping in the wind, sprinklers, suburban neighborhoods, kid on a bike, and motorcycles are all fine. The CURB is scary. XD

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