I’ve been MIA because we made a trip to Florida last week! While it was nice, I’m happy to be home with my creatures.
I rode Red on the Thursday and Friday before I left, and wow. Yeah. I left home thinking my horse was broken, which made me a nervous wreck when I was gone. Here’s the deal – he was perfectly sound and hyper and happy in the pasture. I mean, galloping, playing with the herd, kicking up his hooves. He ate normal. Had normal poop. Nice noisy tummy. Wasn’t cinchy, I checked everywhere for bug bites, pain. Nothin’. But when I’d go to mount and then ask him to go forward, he’d grunt and shake his head and act like he was going to freak at any moment. I dismounted, thought it could be my new pad, so the next day I tried all my usual stuff and it was even worse. I suspected he was back sore, maybe from a kick when playing in the pasture. I consulted with my vet via phone and our chiro and everyone said he was probably playing too hard and got kicked or something, to give him the week off, and when I got home, if he wasn’t okay, have the chiro out. So, I did. And I pestered people for updates every day I was in FL. I got home on Saturday and rode. Very short ride, but he seemed fine. Annoyed with bugs, but that’s normal for him this time of year. He shook his head a lot over the bugs and just sassy but no pain at all, and he trotted off totally sound and okay. So yay, my horse isn’t broken after all! Even though I was sure he was broken and I’d never ride him again.
He got Sunday off because I was crazy busy, but I rode him again yesterday and tried out my new bosal(!!!) that I found in Ocala. I’d been casually searching for one for awhile but all of them were either way too small, the noseband was too stiff and harsh, or way too expensive. I scored one that was the perfect size (I hardly had to do anything to the noseband or stretch it out at all!) and on sale for $120. Regular price $220. Happy person! It came with beautiful mecate reins and the bosal hanger. This is his first ride ever in a bosal to my knowledge, so I took him to the arena and worked on some things. We had some hairy moments, but he was pretty good all things considered. I did realize something yesterday when my TimeHop came up…literally every time I rode in May, whether it was last year or the year before, I posted about how bratty he was. Last year, he was a JERK during a photoshoot and I could hardly even trot him without him bolting or shaking his head and being sassy. Same for the year before. The grass really springs up in May and I think he’s on a sugar high. But this month, I have more time to ride him so he’s gonna get some wet saddle pads.
My mom rode Stormie in the arena as well, which made Red a bit worse because he’s super buddy sour. When she left, we got some decent work in. Lots of getting used to for both of us with the bosal. I went home and did some research on how to use the reins better and to learn the cues and etc, and I’m way more prepared for our ride tonight. It was messy, but I managed to keep his sass under control.
I have to do some tweaking with the hanger so it doesn’t sit so close to his eyes, but that’s an easy fix. I kept having to lean over and make sure it wasn’t poking him. It never bothered him but I’m paranoid.
At the beginning of the ride, he was very confused on stopping and wanted to walk through it until he realized that…oh, I can’t. I’m actually pretty happy with the breaks. He responds really well to a one rein stop, and he got way better at neck reining and turning on a lighter rein throughout our ride. My main thing I need to work on is getting him to figure out how to lower his head in it – I think he’ll do great, and I was mostly holding him back since I didn’t quite know how to ask for it. We’ll work on that tonight and get some practice in with the bumping.
I did grab the get-up rein and untie it from my horn for one lap because he did NOT want to trot in the beginning, so excuse the incorrectness of it in this photo, LOL. He thought it was an over and under whip and was super prepared to go after that. 😉
Overall, he seemed to be a happy pony in it. He was really relaxed in the trot and seemed very comfortable. I’m excited to see how he does tonight.
I’ve had to work on myself and confidence this month already – when he is having his sassy moments and wants to shake his head and turn too quickly, I’ve learned to just stick to my guns, add leg and make him go. He’s got to learn to respect me a bit more and I’ve let him walk over me a bit. Time to get that respect going!