Working on Halt

Was it fun to go back to the very basic of basics and spend 45 minutes fighting to get a true halt? Nope.

Did I have moments day dreaming of selling her and riding a better behaved horse? Yup.

Did I deserve a shit ride that night? Probably.

Wyatt caught his first fish!! A decent size bass too. He was so excited!! Of course now I will never swim in our pond ever. 

Friday night was the first time I rode Gem in two weeks. Not smart and I know that. Between the rain and the flu and then Wyatt stealing Wednesday night from me, it was the first shot I had.

Beyond the two weeks off, it was dark, the wind was gusting hard and it went from 50 and raining Thursday to 79 and sunny Friday. So many reasons to have a tense and unhappy Gem.

I rode anyway and should have had low expectations given all the above and nearly a decade of experience with her. Instead I planned to jump. I even added a third jump and jacked it all the way up to 2′ (I know I’m a wimp).

Followed 20 minutes later by a blue gill!

As soon as I got on I knew that plan was screwed. She was jigging instead of walking and the moment I asked for trot she tore off at a gallop. Sigh.

Now, the bright side? A year ago I would have slid off her in defeat. Not now. Instead I changed my plan. If she couldn’t be trusted to walk or trot we would work on halting.

She has been amazing at halting for several months now. Friday night? It all went out the window and it was like we went back in time 12 months. She would walk through my aides. When she did finally stop moving forward she would swing her big old butt around to face wherever she wanted, mostly the gate, and then back up.

It was annoying.

 He watched while Dusty filleted them

I hung in there though and kept persisting. Once she stopped moving and right before her butt swung around, I praised the ever living crap out of her. Then we walked quickly forward before she could do something stupid. Repeat.

For 45 minutes until she finally halted three times in a row and didn’t move a muscle until asked to. Then I called it quits, went inside to cook dinner and wished I liked alcohol. I could have used a hard beverage.

And then scarfed down not only his bass and blue gill fillet, but then Dusty’s blue gill fillet as well. He was so proud that he caught his own lunch. I tried them both and thought the blue gill was pretty tasty, but did not enjoy the bass. 

17 thoughts on “Working on Halt”

  1. ugh rides like that are so frustrating. sounds like a win tho that you were able to adapt and adjust your plan to Gem’s mood! and Wyatt is so freakin cute with his fishies!!


  2. I think there’s something in the air bc Chimi’s been full of beans too… so hopefully it’ll all fix itself and naughty ponies will go back to being perfect superstars!!!

    Also I see a future State Champion Bass Fisher ring in Wyatt’s future 😉 you might just have to move to Landrum so he can join the bass fishing team and win!!! (No joke, Landrum High has won the state championship of Bass Fishing 2 or 3 years in a row)


  3. Isnt it so NICE you have a ring for times like that!! At least you made her listen to you! Bad Gem 🙂 and so cute fishing out of your own pond for dinner. Did the previous occupants stock the pond?

    Very cool…..i am glad Gem was better the next day. She just wanted to make sure you were paying attention 🙂 HA


    1. Having a ring is a game changer for me. When Gem gets like this, she isn’t rideable in a big open space like the field I had access to before. Having a defined space with fencing makes it so much easier because there is only so far she can go before running into a wall. Not that we needed that on Sunday, but in years past I have literally run her into the fence or indoor arena wall to get her to stop.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. First, OH MY GOSH the pictures of Wyatt fishing are ADORABLE!! He looks so pleased eating his catches! That’s such a neat experience for him, and for all of you!

    Second, been there, done that in regards to a horse backsliding. It frustrates and annoys the tar out of me when it happens. My boy and I had to have a “discussion” about trailer loading yesterday. Then, since he was acting like a fool, we yo-yo’d in and out of the trailer when I asked.

    Why can’t they just act right the first time?

    But then, I remind myself, they have their own thoughts and feelings, which is why I enjoy this more than any other sport. It’s a different layer of complexity, which I enjoy.

    While I’m gritting my teeth as my horse spooks at some invisible boogeyman. 😐


  5. UGH. I hate rides like that! But SO awesome that you changed tact and plowed forward. Having flexibility for what you can work on in a ride and the option to change focus can really help make hard days great days.


    1. It was predictable though. I knew after two weeks off she’d come out pissy and trying to get out of work. Had it not been so windy I’d have cantered her around to blow off some steam but the windy was causing her to spook a lot and I don’t like falling to my death 🙂


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