Brainwashing Step 1

Feel free to laugh.  I’m calling this the month of the brainwashing!! It may turn into the summer of brainwashing, (sigh) that is yet to be determined.

Win: My horse carried my gloves around for me yesterday.

Win: My horse carried my gloves around for me yesterday.

Before and after each ride I’m forcing my horse to reacquaint herself with jumps in a positive way.  Not by actually jumping them, but but walking in, around, thru, by, on top of whatever obstacles are out in the ring that particular day.  Last Sunday was our first date with the jumps, and she wanted to stop, sniff, huff at and generally stare down half the jumps in the ring.  But for once I swallowed my internal “Oh my God horse you’ve seen these a million times—WHY ARE YOU NOW SCARED OF THEM ALL?” scream and quietly made her work back and forth over the poles, over the fill, by the gates.  Whatever she stared at, she had to stand in it, by it, until she didn’t give a rats ass anymore.

Every time you could see the second she gave up, she would drop her neck, and usually rub her nose on the formerly offensive object.  I would then praise her brilliance and rub her neck/mane where she loves it.  By the time we got around the whole arena she was all about it and started poking stuff with her nose as we got up to it, looking for attention when she did.  She licked and chewed her way around the last few so I considered this exercise a success.  I’m hoping to do this each ride, pending busy factor in the arena.

It wasn’t until I got in my car that I admit I cried out of sheer frustration.  In what world would I ever guess my horse would regress this far back.  It IS stupid, but I feel like she’s betraying me.  While I know she’s not the deep emotionally, I just have a feeling this spring is going to be more rough on me, than her.

All she wants is grass.

All she wants is grass.

I’m willing to work with her, because she deserves it and I want to.  But no one said I won’t go a little crazy in the process.

She already thinks I'm crazy.

She already thinks I’m crazy.

TOABH: What would O and I Change?

Two in one blog hop today!
First up:

We’ve talked about what your horse doesn’t like to do, and I don’t want to confuse this with that.  I’m not talking about personality quirks or training foibles.  Tell me:  if you could change something (or things) about your horse, what would you?

This was a hard one for me, as right now we are trying to keep up with her constantly changing personality quirks, but physically I’d change at least two things.
1. Those feet.  They’ve come light-years from where they were when I got her, thanks to my amazing farrier.  However, I will always need to keep a watch on her flat front feet.
2. I wish she was about 2-3 inches taller.  She takes up my leg very well,, as she’s built like a tank, but I’m 5’10” and have a ridiculously long leg.  Sometimes, just occasionally, I feel a bit big on her.  I feel like those extra inches would eliminate that.  That said, she is 16hh on the dot, so it’s not like she’s short by any means.
Built like tank.

Built like tank.

My legs are like 36" give you an idea of how much leg her 16hh takes up.

My inseam is 36″ long….to give you an idea of how much leg her 16hh takes up.

In retrospect-if those inches were to give her an even longer stride?  No thanks, I’ll keep the 16hh, I can barely deal with her stride as it is now.
What would your horse change about you?
I think that if O could change anything about me it’d be a tie between being a more low-key rider and being more adventurous.  I can get pretty wrapped up and goals and ambitions and sometimes forget to do things that are mentally beneficial for both of us.  Those things include trail rides, bareback rides, or trying new things.  O is really pretty great to work with, and I feel like sometimes I take advantage and push her.  That’s why a big part of my Q2 goals include trying to mix it up a bit.  With the increase and complexity being put on us in lessons, it’s only fair that she gets a day or so a week to have fun.  I need it too, I’m sure.
Like more western rides.  Because why not?

Like more western rides. Because why not?