Friday, September 9, 2016

Where O Where...

Has my left bend gone?  I have stumbled on an old problem recently.  When I first started riding Stinker he had a love for bracing through the left shoulder and letting his haunches trail to the right.  I spent several months at the beginning of this year working on straightening him.  You know when we had panic moments like this....because LEGS CAN NOT TOUCH!!!!

My mamma said that legs are the devil

Then something started to click in his brain and he realized he could do that and we started progressing nicely.  It started small with just a bit more resistance, but then the vet did chiro and I assumed that the resistance was going to be fixed.  Then a certain idiot (*ahem* Stinker) stuck his leg in the fence and was lame/sore for awhile.  And I attributed the resistance to that.  Last week I finally had to face the fact that I had a problem.

He can move like this...he just doesn't

Unfortunately, S was at the AECs all of last week (S and her student totally kicked butt) so I didn't have a lesson.  I readily admit that I am very dependent on lessons.  When I get left to my own devices for too long I start thinking to much which leads to a lot of self doubt.  I think it had been almost three weeks since I had a lesson, but I finally got a lesson on Thursday.

I love his mismatched white on his lips

At the beginning Stinker felt great, he was bending both ways and warmed up quickly.  He was adjustable at the walk and felt really soft.  The trot felt really good too, especially to the right.  The left wasn't quite as good, but it wasn't bad.  Then we came back to the walk and the wheels fell off.  All of a sudden my horse that was ok with moving off my leg didn't want to be touched with it.  He actually spooked when I moved one of my legs...

Giraffe mode engaged...

WTF horse what am I supposed to do with you?  In warm up we had done leg yields and shoulder fore in both directions.  Ten minutes later it was OMG CAN'T HORSE!!!!  I tried walking him on a long rein to settle him (failed), I tried figure eights to settle him (failed), I tried every suppling trick S and I know (failed).  He just kept getting more and more worked up.

Not the crazy eyes I was getting

Finally, I said fuck it and took him across the diagonal(ish).  Every couple of steps I changed the direction (aka the drunken sailor exercise).  Then I made him do some really shity (like really really really shity turn on the haunches) and we did the drunken sailor act again.  I didn't ask for anything except he had to move off my seat and legs.  I didn't care if he shoved his head up like a giraffe and jigged, as long as he was moving forward and turned I was ok with it.

Someday we will get this under saddle

He finally started sneezing and actually giving as we turned.  I asked for some walk and he was back to being loose.  I am sure that there is a better way to break up the tension and get things flowing, but for now we will be drunken sailors.
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19 comments:

  1. I hear you- sometimes you just have to put your legs on and say 'deal with it'. I'm drunk for a part (or all my rides) all the time.

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    1. Haha! Yeah, he has been getting told to deal with it quite a bit lately. It cracks me up when he spooks at my leg because it has been there the whole time...at least he is cute ;)

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  2. Aww Stinker! Get with the program! :)
    That first gig, tho - so awesome!

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    1. It makes me laugh too. Especially the tail flip.

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  3. Aww Stinker! Get with the program! :)
    That first gig, tho - so awesome!

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  4. Aww Stinker! Get with the program! :)
    That first gig, tho - so awesome!

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  5. hahah looks like you are starting to get moments of piaffe eh?! Horses have a wonderful skill of taking a few steps forward and one step back...almost like they forgot what something meant even though youve worked on it hundreds of times.

    and girl i hear you about the lessons!

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  6. Glad you were able to find something to unlock him in the end.

    I do that zigzag every ride as part of my warm-up to get Kachina moving her shoulders - I will call it the drunken sailor from now on! great name haha

    I had the same issue with Kachina not accepting any leg pressure, except her answer was to shoot forward every time. We introduced a warm-up that involves moving her haunches over (like a turn on forehand but with forward motion), moving her ribcage (like spiraling out on a very small circle), and moving her shoulders (drunken sailor) and that helped a lot. However when Stinker has it figured out at the start of the ride and then forgets: I'm not sure how to best deal with that. Good luck

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    1. It is the forgetting things mid ride and then spiraling into the frantic that is bothering me. I use similar exercises (but I am stealing some of yours too now) in the beginning to get him soft and loose and work on slowing him down because he power walks everywhere. I think it is just going to take some consistency on my part and not buying into the bull shit (at least that is my hope) that will get us back on track.

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  7. poor Stinker. life is so hard. stimulus overload!!! glad you got his brain back by the end tho!

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  8. Royale is like this too (although not as dramatic). He will be fine one moment, and the next he does not accept leg. His head shoots up and he just goes faster and faster. It has helped me to squeeze with my thighs to help him slow down. Or just do a transition. It's still behind the leg even though they speed up/skitter/etc. So you have my sympathies!

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    1. Royale is such a cutie! Stinker doesn't go forward he just gets quick in place which throws me for a loop. Part of it is me not being able to set a rhythm with my hips and part is me not really knowing what I'm doing when it comes to dressage. But I still love the skedaddlebreds!

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  9. Oh Mr. Stinker! Horsing is hard sometimes haha :P Glad it ended on a good note anyway!

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    1. So so very hard to be a horse. Almost as hard as being an adult ;)

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  10. That first gif is like my life. Lol. Saddlebreds are so special.

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    1. It does get better. He isn't nearly as bad now. Despite our issues I am quite attached :)

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  11. That first gif is like my life. Lol. Saddlebreds are so special.

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