Holy crap, the horses went insane today!
I scooted on up to the barn after work and pulled Raina out of the field. She didn't run (she kind of never does anymore) and I hooked her up to the hitching post. I swing by Tractor Supply for some fly scray since the flies were bothering her the last time I was up. I sprayed down her body without a problem and she wouldn't stand still for her head. I usually cover the eyes when I spray the head so I don't get any in their vision...and when I did Raina's she flipped out. Flung herself backwards, lunged forward...I don't know how many times. All I could think of it "Crap, this is going to HURT" because I was between her and the hitching post, and she was bouncing around like a stray 1200lb ping pong ball.
It was finally over and I was untouched, but I was seeing red. I unhooked her and we had a smack down. After that, she stood still to be sprayed in the face.
I admit I kind of lost my temper, but holy crap, that scared the life out of me and it was unecessary.
I started saddling her up and was chatting with Iseul when someone exclaimed "Did you know there are loose horses over there?" ...no, we didn't. We walked over to the side of the barn and there were 3 horses loose. Each person grabbed a horse and we went to go see what happened. The outside arena is still being used for a turn-out for the inside horses and theres a spot in the arena (2 spots, actually) that have been fenced off with hot wire. One was in the corner, where there arena fence no longer exists, and another is up to baracade the horses away from entering the other barn (which is connected to the outside arena). The hotwire where there is no wooden fence had been broken through, so I jerry-rigged it with a bandana (People keep making fun of me for wearing them, but they come in darn handy!). The BO came up to see what was going on, and that's when I saw this dun horse (one of the ones that was originally out) shimmy under the hotwire again...which apparently wasn't on.
I went and caught her again and took her into the back barn, and then an appaloosa mare just barged through the hotwire and into the barn after her. The BO looked at me and I looked at her and exclaimed "Good go, we've lost all control!" She laughed and went to fix the fence, and she'll be making sure its hot from now on.
Anyways, back to Raina!
I tacked her up without a hitch. She stood still, which was good. She likes to swing sometimes...but after that beating, I expected her to stand still. We went out into the arena and worked on our up and down transitions. Every time we stopped, I backed her up. I started doing this last summer to sit her more on her butt when we stop and I just stopped it through winter since we were doing nothing but trails for the most part, and there was that time where she was lame.
She did well, and we stepped up into a pleasant trot. I had to control it a little and before long, I was asking her to reach down and soften. She's been doing this thing where she'll soften for one step and the next step, her head pops up. It makes her look like she's limping and it's getting on my nerves. Technically, it means my positioning rein is coming through, but my halfhalting rein isn't. So its my fault. But I was getting steamed.
We started to canter, since that gait is the most forward gait and she was beginning to back up and get fiesty at the trot, and she did it without bucking. It was time to work on standing up in the corners, and slowing down on the long side. I feel she did alright for her first "real" canter session where I expected her to balance. I'm sure it looked ugly as sin, but I got a couple good steps. I asked her to stand up in the corners, and she'd rock back. She started bracing on the inside rein and turning her head to the outside, so I pulled her head back inside and...surprise! She balanced!
It felt ugly, and I'm sure it looked uglier. But you gotta start somewhere! I brought her back down to the trot and she was trotting more evenly and softened at the jaw and poll a lot better for me. Leave it to the canter to bring back that forward.
We did a couple circles of canter, which I was thrilled with. It was sloppy, but she moved out when I put my leg on when I felt her want to break gait and she did it without a buck. I didn't even have to tap the whip for enouragement.
We finally ended out ride and I untacked and groomed her down. We went over to the trailer to practice our loading and she went right on without a fuss. We also practiced some side-stepping while I was still riding, and she got a couple good steps that I was pleased with. She'd move her front over first and then move her back feet separately and it made me giggle, but at least she's starting to grasp the idea.
I rubbed her girth area down with linament since that's the area that seems to get sore and we hung out for a while before I put her back.
Today was a little crazy but it was a lot of fun!
(this pic is flipped)
I will be switching her bit out on my next paycheck. We are training at the canter and my training bit has always been a snaffle. I have misplaced my original snaffle so I gave to go get another one.