You remember how I was all “his first ten minute temper tantrum has all but disappeared?”
So yeah about that…
H’Appy got Sunday and Monday off, but Tuesday was 72F and there was no way I was going to miss that ride. My plan going in was to work on canter transitions and force my butt to sit in the darn saddle.
The issue? We had moved the horses to the pasture on the other side of the drive for the month of February and possibly into March depending on when the guy can come to spray for weeds/fertilize. The move meant that even with the Dynamic Duo left outside, Butthead wouldn’t be able to see them.
The whole evening started out on a bad note. Tuesdays Dusty is supposed to get Wyatt from school which gives me the chance to finish everything up at work and head straight home, shaving off a half an hour plus. He was running late though and I ended up needing to get Wyatt. So I was already kinda peeved off that I wouldn’t be getting home until closer to 6 instead of 5. There went my shot at riding in the light.
Then Gem was being a complete witch about coming in for dinner. I was going to bring them all in before riding to limit the amount of chores needing done later, but the darn mare wouldn’t come near me and when she finally did she wouldn’t let me get the halter on her stupid bay head. I was pretty dumbfounded on what got up her butt. Ever since being retired she meets me at the gate, walks up to me when working in the pasture and is a general love bug. Then it dawned on me.
I was dressed to ride. I even had my helmet on and there was no way in Hades that mare was going to be led in with me dressed like that. She is retired and plans to stay that way.
By the time I caught H’Appy it was getting dark, Dusty still wasn’t home and the Dynamic Duo were still outside. This wasn’t going well. I took a deep breath though and shook my mind free of stress while I groomed my orange beast.
He was really well behaved in the cross ties and for tacking up which is generally a sign that he will be malleable for work. Nope. Not Tuesday night. As soon as he realized he couldn’t see his friends his brain melted out of his head and he was checked out.
Back on the lunge line and back to galloping circles around me. I wasn’t amused. I don’t have time to lunge my horse for 40 minutes at 630pm in fading light watching him get sweaty knowing I still had to feed afterward. This is ridiculous and completely unnecessary behavior and it needs to stop. He knew where his friends were as he had just left them yet he acted like he was all alone in the great wide world.
The only silver lining was that the lunging took about half the time as it did the week prior when the horses were left inside when I rode, so progress?
Once he lowered his head and began chewing and licking his lips, I forced one last circle and mounted. We were not going to have another walk/halt ride. Big Boy was going to work.
As I walked him around he felt ok-ish under me. Super tense and wanting to look around and scream for two horses who could care less if he was dead or alive, but he was quiet about it and his halt was firmly installed. At least that lesson from the previous brainless ride had stuck, so I felt a little better about the work I’m doing with him. Maybe some of it is sticking.
He also had nice flexibility, giving me bend in both directions when asked even when he desperately wanted to stare off into the darkness looking for his friends. Eventually I felt like his attention was on me enough to ask for the trot. It was ugly and swung from short and choppy to near cantering, but he stayed in the trot the entire time and went where I asked without arguing. He still felt like a coiled spring under me but all four feet did as I asked and well it was a huge improvement from prior.
I ended the ride after he gave me three nice trot transitions in a row and took him up to the barn to cool down before eating his dinner. Then I finally got to bring the other two inside at which point he settled down. Of all his quirks and nonsense this is the one that annoys the snot out of me the most. His friends are always around. He always gets to go back to them at the end of a ride. He acts like it is such a shock every time that he gets to see them again and other than more time and more miles I have no clue how to fix it.
The horses will be out in that pasture for all of February and part of March when the big one gets sprayed for weeds so he is going to have to learn to deal with not being able to see them when we ride. Hopefully by the end of the month he will have chilled out about it. Either that or one of us won’t make it to March alive and I have a strong suspicion who it would be.