So after spending the weekend in Del Mar working my booty off at one of my trainer's rental house with my trainer and my Pony Club DC/friend. We went to Mary's Tack and Feed (which, by the way, was FREAKING awesome! And was also the whole reason for me being volunteer slave labor xD) and I got fitted for a helmet (woot, woot!) and bought a Tailored Sportsman show shirt that was 50% off – my first show shirt ever. Yes, I know, it is awesome.
Okay, that's completely off topic.
(Yes, I've always wanted to use that smily)
Anyways, both Laurie and Penny said that I should start slowly staring Mudpie back to work. They both constantly told me that he was no longer injured and was ready to start easy work. I questioned this fervently, but finally I was convinced... and so I decided to cautiously start Mudpie back to work. I came up with a strict walk-only plan, starting at only 10 minutes per session. Yesterday was our first ride.
I tacked him up and led him down to the arena. I mounted carefully. We took a few steps. Then BAM, he sucks back behind my leg and rears straight up
in the air. I fall on my butt. He stayed up there, and I was actually concerned that he would flip –*but he didn't and I was quite grateful as I scrambled backwards out of the way. He broncked off and was bucking in the corner of the arena. I walked over to him and led him back, fixed the leather that had slid out of the bar, and ran them up. I was aware at this point that if I were to get back on right then, he would do the same thing, which wouldn't be beneficial to either of us. So I took the reins off of his bridle, attached the lounge line, and picked up the whip. I started to the left because it's his better side. He didn't want walk at first and was just moving his hindquarters around and keeping his head pointed at me. I finally got him going and asked him to walk. He started running about bucking and jumping through the air. Then he'd stop, buck, and walk towards me. I'd send him back out on the circle, and he'd start cantering madly about, buck, canter some more, and then face me. I'd send him back out... repeat a few times. At one point when he stopped he reared, and I started yelling at him about how I was doing the best I could and that I did understand and he had to work for it to, and that he had to be good because there was a lot at stake here and how he was too important and that he needed to look out for me, etc. I imagine it was all quite ridiculous, but no one was home and I needed him to stop being suck a d****wad. Finally
, I got him to a steady trot, and he started stretching down and chewing and listening. I got him to a walk, and he walked for about seven minutes, just chilling. I finally let him stop and I switched the lounge line... so we started to the right. At first he just did the turning hindquarters thing and I finally got behind him (sort of... you know what I mean, right?) and got him walking. Then, he bolted. He was absolutely bolting on a forty meter circle. He kept tripping, but just kept running. I started cooing and asking him to take it easy... he just ran for a while, but finally he slowed his blind gallop and had a pretty steady canter, then we went back to the trot. He tried to turn in, but I wouldn't let him. He was really crooked even though I didn't have any contact with him through the lounge line (I was working on it), but finally he started stretching down and chewing. I got him back to a walk and finally he was walking well. I was about to let him stop, but then he turned in. I made him do three more good laps, and then let him stop. I put the reins back on, adjusted the saddle, and got on. He curled up immediately, and was walking choppily around, chewing. I got him walking and we cooled out for about five minutes before I got off and led him up.
So that was our little come-to-Jesus meeting...
I definitely saw a difference in his attitude afterwards. He's really sweet, but sometimes he can be a punk. There was just more respect there, finally.
I think that that saddle is a real problem... it concerns me greatly. I know it hurts him, but there's nothing I can do right now... I need to focus on getting my C-1, and then I get a new saddle. So close... :P
Yep. End rant, I suppose.