An Unfortunate Series of Events with Pepper - Page 5 - The Horse Forum
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post #41 of 107 Old 08-08-2018, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Had a lesson (by myself!!) yesterday. I forgot Comet's owner was on vacation so it was a private lesson. I got my butt kicked in the best way possible

Pepper kept me humble yesterday, that's for sure. The beginning of the lesson was fine. Did some trotting and simple stuff.

We got to jumping little jumps to work on not rushing, and while it wasn't perfect, it got better.

See, one thing that I never learned was that if I feel like she's going to rush the jump, don't jump it yet. My trainer was telling me to do circles until I felt she was ready to not take off at the jump. At the old barn with my old trainer, that wasn't really an option. I had to run at the jump even though I knew neither of us were ready. This caused much anxiety and general lack of control, which led to us not getting over the jumps and eventually just running around the arena like lunatics.

So we did lots and lots of circles. Circles until I felt ready, then we would head at the jump with much minimal rushing. It started to get better, until it got worse.


Pepper and I aren't really used to super hard work. I think I end too early when I ride, because by the end of the lesson I thought I was going to puke from the amount of work . I've become so used to my old trainer not really making us do work - no sitting trot, stirrupless, we cantered for two laps around the arena (it was a big arena but still), ect. But I am not complaining. We need this. It's good exercise for both of us and it's just good learning. No pain no gain!! We're both out of shape...

After a few minutes of working on the jumps we decided to work on our cantering (well, we didn't decide, my trainer did, but you know what I mean) because Pepper canters like she's in a race. So a few laps of cantering while working on half-halting and doing an efficient half-halt so that she doesn't break. We then work on backing up, because Pepper doesn't know how to back up, and also so that we could catch our breathe because, like I said, we're out of shape lol. Then we go back to cantering, and this time Pepper decides to stop listening.

The trainer tells us to canter at E, so we pick up a canter. She did a walk-canter transition, except it was more of a walk-crowhop (I'll take a video soon and see if she does it because I still don't actually know what she's doing) transition. So I bring her back down and we try again, except this time she explodes before I even ask her too. I may have made the ever-so-slightest leg movement and she took off with her thing again. So, after doing this twice we realize we have to fix it. It wasn't just a one-time thing, for whatever reason she is continuously doing this. I attempt to just walk her past E instead of cantering, but she does it again without me doing anything.

Back to our circles! We did more circles yesterday than I think I've done ever haha. But it worked. We walked circles going that direction until we got to E, and after making her circle at E a few times we were able to go back around and pick up the cantering without it being an explosion.

Progress is being made! The trainer told me that once it gets cooler we'll start doing some serious work so that I can show next year. (I didn't realize this lesson wasn't serious work... send help) But in all seriousness, I'm so grateful to have a trainer as patient as this one is and who actually cares about our progress - and knows what she's doing.


I have a dentist appointment at four today, and I think I'm going to go ride after that. We're going to work on bending and circles. And canter transitions. We're working on getting some walk-canter that aren't explosive. Generally it's either a crazy walk-canter or it's walk-trot-canter.

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post #42 of 107 Old 08-12-2018, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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I went to the barn with my little brother on Wednesday. He's allergic to horses but I really wanted some company and he didn't mind... he just couldn't brush Pepper. We went to the round pen to do some light work and I was going to try and teach my brother the basics of free lunging... buuuuut we were outside for about two minutes before the bottom dropped and it poured rain! So that didn't last very long.

Then I went on Friday to ride. I worked on my 'homework' from my trainer - bending around circles and half halts at the canter. I was pretty uncomfortable because both the trainer and the chiropractor who was supposed to be chiropractoring (I don't know what the word is ) Comet were staring at me almost everytime I looked over at them. I have no idea what they were doing, but I didn't appreciate it.

But, as the chiropractor left, she complimented me on the amount of progress we've made in a month. She said we looked so much more relaxed and comfortable.

Once I remembered that when she saw us ride the first time, it was like our second ride at the barn and there were a bunch of strangers in the arena, I realized that, while we certainly looked different today than we did then, the first time she saw us was really just a bad ride. But, I thanked her anyways because I mean, she complimented me! And she did say we looked good and relaxed, which was great. I'm hoping that she'll look at Pepper next time she comes.

I went for a trail ride after that and Pepper had a nice spook at some unknown object. It was the biggest spook she's done in awhile. But even that wasn't too bad. She just planted her feet and started to spin around before realizing it's not going to eat her. Used to be her spooks always were followed by a bolt across the arena or down the trail. I think that all this moving around has been good for desensitizing her.

Then we rode today. At 3 in the afternoon. Worst decision ever.

It was miserably hot. I went on a trail ride at first because there was a lesson in the arena. Then when I got back, the trainer asked me to take the lessoner on the trail. She's done this before and I don't appreciate it, but I'm not complaining. I can handle a somewhat bossy trainer compared to all the other things. I really don't mind all that much. Then I rode Pepper in the arena for like twenty minutes because it was just too hot.

I think Pepper's in season/heat because she was just kinda all over the place. She was super looky and tried to spook a couple of times. She used to be super spooky all the time, but she's much better now. She kept pinning her ears at me too... silly mare.

Anyways, I'm going tomorrow morning... when it's not nine thousand degrees. Hopefully when I'm not dying of heat exhaustion I'll be able to do some actual work.
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post #43 of 107 Old 08-15-2018, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Had a lesson yesterday that went fairly well. Pepper got excited at the end when we were doing poles and kept wanting to run off on me, but I never let her. If I don't overreact she doesn't actually run off. But she anticipates us cantering a lot so we kept having to do circles. Comet's owner was back so the lesson wasn't nearly as grueling... but to be honest I think I prefer the grueling lesson. Although I was physically in pain afterwards, I mentally felt great, like I had really accomplished something.

But when school starts again I'll have to switch lesson times anyways so I think I'll end up back with the grueling lessons.

My first semester schedule is awesome. I'm taking two college level classes and then I have a free period first period. But the college class only meets twice a week, so MWF I have to go to school for only 90 minutes of the day... I still have online work to do for my other college class but I don't have to physically be at school.

Unfortunately, I don't get that liberty second semester! I have an online class first period and then I have normal classes for the rest of the day.

Anyways, that just means more horse time for me!

I applied for the college I want to go to today. I'm going to apply for others too, but I got the main one done ASAP!


I did some liberty/desensitization work on Monday. I brought out a colorful beach ball and tried to get her used to it. We got to where I could throw it up and catch it and she wouldn't care. As long as I wasn't too close to her. Eventually I want to be able to throw/catch it while riding her, but right now that would spook her to next week lol.

I also tried some more bareback... she tried to walk off while I was still not all the way on, so I had one leg just on her back. I guess that spooked her because she took off trotting and I just fell right off haha. Into the wet sand of course... I was gross after that! But I got on again without falling and we just chilled for a little bit.
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post #44 of 107 Old 08-17-2018, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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I fell off Pepper yesterday... :P

We were trying to work on lead changes and I think she's been losing weight... so when I put weight in one stirrup the saddle slowly slipped and scared the daylights out of her! Since the saddle was on her side it was a short fall and honestly didn't hurt at all. But lesson learned - triple check your girth! Haha. Usually the girth goes on four each side so I don't worry about it but I will now!

But besides that my ride went pretty great.

Then today the poor mare had to be sedated to have her teeth floated :( Although, it's kind of hilarious watching a drunk horse try to walk. Hilarious, but also scary because I was terrified she was going to fall over.

Anyways, just a short little entry today!
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post #45 of 107 Old 08-18-2018, 02:33 PM
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I've had horses that had to be sedated for dental, it looks bad, but I've never had a complication from it.
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post #46 of 107 Old 08-18-2018, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whisperbaby22 View Post
I've had horses that had to be sedated for dental, it looks bad, but I've never had a complication from it.
I appeared to be the only one worried, so I'm sure it was all normal. I guess they have better control of their feet than I think they do haha.
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post #47 of 107 Old 08-22-2018, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Back with a small update and then a small rant too.

It's been super wet this week so I haven't been able to do much. We worked on our cantering in our lesson yesterday. I'm learning to trust Pepper without having my reins super short. My old trainer always told me to have them short and put my hands forward so that I can easily just pull back, but then when I tense up I get in her mouth and Pepper hates that. So, my new trainer is working on getting me to have my reins too long until I trust her and then we can put them at a good length once I stop pulling. It was a lot harder than I anticipated to not shorten my reins and have (what feels like) complete control over our cantering - especially the upwards transition. But once I got there and we were cantering around with the reins long and Pepper's head low and relaxed, I couldn't take the smile off of my face. It was so much fun!

I'm honestly having to relearn how to canter. I've only ever ridden in a light seat/half seat canter, so when my new trainer asks me to sit down I tend to flop a little and lose my stirrups. I'm having a really difficult time keeping my heels down I guess because it seems like every other time I'm trying to canter I just lose my stirrups. It almost seems easier to sit the canter without stirrups though, but we're getting there.

Today we worked on walk-canter transitions (which we never actually got one of) by ourselves. I realized that my old trainer was complacent with walk-trot a few steps- canter, so walk-canter was a struggle. Pepper didn't understand what I was asking, and we both got frustrated. So instead, I got a trot-canter transition, but an instant canter instead of trotting faster and then cantering. Basically, our transitions are awful haha. But, we're getting there. Slowly but surely

I'm also going to rant about my mom for just a second - I'm getting senior pictures done with Pepper...

Oh, also I gave Pepper a bath today! She got super impatient but once she realized I was not taking her off the crossties until I was done, she stood fine. It was a struggle for most of the time, but it's such a big improvement.

Anyways, sorry. So, I'm getting pictures done with Pepper tomorrow, but my mom insists that I wear sandals. I'm not comfortable wearing sandals around my horse... she's still a half-arab, and can still spook. Or just not be paying attention and step on me. She's not huge, but she's still chubby, and I feel like even a mini could break your foot if it stepped on you right.

The BO also asked me to let a horse out last week because she was wearing sandals and didn't want to lead him without closed-toe shoes on. So, if she doesn't want to lead a horse (a pretty broke horse btw) with sandals, then I definitely don't want to. She's been working with horses for A LOT longer than me.

I tried to explain this all to my mom, but she just got irritated and just said "so you're going to wear steel-toed boots instead?" Like, no, there's a middle ground somewhere. But I just do not like the idea of having my bare toes near a prey animal that weighs half a ton! Plus, I might get in trouble with the BO, and I don't want that.

The lady who's taking my pictures is the mom of one of my close friends from the old barn. And she did her pictures in sandals, and her horse is like 17 hands, so my mom thinks it's okay. She just refuses to listen to me explain. Anytime I tried to say something she just shut me down.

Hopefully, I still have an intact foot tomorrow. Because I'm not getting out of this without my mom going ballistic. She's usually pretty chill and usually when things like this happen, it's not a dangerous situation so I just go with it and it all turns out okay.

Anyways, sorry about that rant. I just needed to get that out lol.
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post #48 of 107 Old 08-23-2018, 12:07 PM
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Senior pictures with your horse will be fun! Wear what you are comfortable with, it's pretty unlikely your feet will very visible in many pictures so if your mom is worried about how it looks it really might not be an issue. That said, as long as you are careful you would probably be fine wearing sandals. I've actually heard that steel toe boots are dangerous around horses too, because if the horse stepped on the toe it could potentially bend the metal and trap or cut your toes! FWIW, I wore ballet flat style shoes in my senior pictures. The key is to know your horse, be aware of surroundings/things that could spook her and just be careful around her feet. Hope to see some of the pictures after you get them back. :)
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post #49 of 107 Old 08-26-2018, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NavigatorsMom View Post
Senior pictures with your horse will be fun! Wear what you are comfortable with, it's pretty unlikely your feet will very visible in many pictures so if your mom is worried about how it looks it really might not be an issue. That said, as long as you are careful you would probably be fine wearing sandals. I've actually heard that steel toe boots are dangerous around horses too, because if the horse stepped on the toe it could potentially bend the metal and trap or cut your toes! FWIW, I wore ballet flat style shoes in my senior pictures. The key is to know your horse, be aware of surroundings/things that could spook her and just be careful around her feet. Hope to see some of the pictures after you get them back. :)
Thank you!! I did end up wearing sandals and besides getting all sorts of dirt in between my toes, it was all okay.

I'll post some pictures soon!


---------------


Thursday I rode with Comet's owner, and it went pretty well. Nothing bad happened, but Pepper was seriously mad about cantering for some reason. No bucking thankfully, but there was some serious ear pinning going on! I was worried that she was in pain because I started using a new half pad, but I took that off and she was still pinning her ears at me. She's probably in season and just being mareish, but if she keeps doing it, I'll get the chiro out or something.

After our ride, I gave her a touch-up bath, which almost was a disaster because the BO was getting water work done and they turned the water off - but luckily I had got all the soap off of the spot I was washing when they did that. I wasn't done, but the soap was all off so it was okay. Pepper walked around the whole time again, but I didn't stop until I was done (well, until the water people decided I was done).

My pictures were after that, and some of them turned out great! I was amazed that we got any good ones considering Pepper would not stand still and apparently half of the pictures either Pepper or I had our eye closed I wore a dress, which was a bad idea because I completely forgot I really wanted bareback pictures (I got some anyway). My favorite picture bareback was, unfortunately, me basically flashing my underwear to everyone but whatever haha.

Then on Saturday, I went to a horse show (to help out, I didn't ride) with the girl that rides Comet and another little girl. They entered five classes each, and the little girl got first place in all except one class (she got second in that one!) I was extremely impressed!

WE also learned that Comet likes to run around a bit at shows. He flew around the jumping course like he was a jumper (this was a hunter show), so his rider didn't place in her jumping. She got third in the flat class though.

Also, there was a bazillion people there. One class was split into three because of the people, and all but two flat classes had to be split into two. It was crazy, and took forever.

One class however, this poor girl was thrown over the rail into the grass. Apparently pony 1 was trying to pass pony 2, and pony 1 kicked out at pony 2. This caused pony 2 to flip out, throwing the poor little girl to go flying over the rail. This spooked pony 1, who did a huge buck and left his poor girl stranded in the middle of the arena. Pony 2 then was galloping around the ring, bucking and scaring the other horses and riders, who immediatley all got off their horses. It was insane. The little girl on pony 1 got right back on in the middle of the arena and did the rest of the class. Pony 2 was taken out and the girl on him was okay, but very, very shaken up.

Other than that, the show went well. one horse got loose and ran around the cross country field, but that was it.

School starts to tomorrow, and I am not excited! But it's my last year
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post #50 of 107 Old 08-30-2018, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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I wrote a long entry yesterday, which was just me rambling on forever, but forgot to post it lol. So here's maybe the tl;dr version? Probably not because I'll start rambling again. Maybe if I had horse friends I wouldn't ramble so much on here... nah I don't think that would change anything

Anyways, I rode on Tuesday after school for like fifteen minutes because the heat was awful. We were both sweating like pigs before we even finished tacking up.

She was still pinning her ears at the canter... I'm probably going to go lunge her tomorrow after school (I get out at 11:35 on MWF)
because it's only supposed to be 80... and it's supposed to rain at like 12:30. So hopefully I'll beat both the rain and the heat.

I want to lunge her to work out why this ear pinning is happening. If it happens when I ask on the lunge, I know there's an issue. She never really misbehaves on the lunge, except sometimes getting a little too excited.

I also want to start jumping her on the ground to build up more jumping muscles because I haven't really jumped her in a long while. We've 'jumped' super tiny jumps, but the arena's small enough I can free lunge her over some jumps without her running around... plus there's enough stuff to make a little chute if I have to.

Completely off topic, but Pepper really is a pretty great horse. She certainly has her quirks, but she never misbehaves for the sake of misbehaving. And, I know most people say "It's always the rider's fault" or whatever, but she never pushes my buttons (in the bad sense) to make me even have to correct her.

She used to be a wild child. I don't think I would say she's a push-button horse, but I think we've just learned each other (for the most part). I mean, she's far from perfect, but I see videos of horses rearing and bucking and throwing fits, and she doesn't do stuff like that. Some days I have might have to tell her instead of asking her to do things, but she doesn't rear or buck (well she occasionally bucks once or twice, but nothing like some horses). The only real issue we have is refusing jumps. And I have no doubts that that is all my fault. And she does rush jumps some and anticipate things... but nothing too bad.

I wish my mom would understand this... she thinks Pepper is stupid. She's told me before that buying me that horse was the worst decision she's ever made... most of the time, the context of that statement was that she costs too much... but it really, really hurts my feelings. That horse has made me so happy.. anyways I'm wayyy off topic. (What did I tell you, I'm rambling about something completely different than what was originally in this post).

Yeah, so I'm lunging Pepper tomorrow. Fun times
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