A Year of Hibernation

So, another Oats update for ya?

  • Thursday- I had my riding lesson with Nicole. I saw her out in the field with her other students, and decided to pick up my big girl panties and have a lesson out there too. And I did! And immediately felt concerned…When did I get to be such a chicken? My heart was in my throat cantering up the hill in the field (Oats immediately spooked and I lost my stirrup) and cantering down the hill? Yikes!! NEver!

We did it though, and it went fine. We even trotted and then cantered over a small ditch! And then worked on a mini-course consisting of gallop up the hill, canter down, canter over the ditch, loop right, canter over a line of cavaletti, turn left, circle over the last cavaletti in the line and then halt in a straight line. It was not without challenges- I turned him too soon over the last circle cavaletti and he stopped and I almost fell off! He just didn’t see it and was like oh no thanks! I cantered -HARDER- and we figured it out by not cutting the circle off.

Fun times!

  • I rode Monday and was still kind of hungover, so it was slightly horrible. We worked pretty hard but very short, as I couldn’t seem to catch my breath. He wanted to be spooky ‘oh this is hard, what’s over there that I can act dramatically at?!’ But I nipped it in the bud by working him more and getting ‘busy’ with my hands. More on that from my lesson yesterday…

Busy with hands? Isn’t that a bad thing? Isn’t quiet like, the best?

Sort of!

Normally it is, but when the horse is like, lah-dee-dah, oh what’s that?!!!! Oh look! My attention is SO elsewhere!>!?! It’s time to GET THEIR ATTENTION ON YOU.

However possible. Busy hands, bend left, bend right, get A REACTION from what you are doing. That came as a surprise to me, because in my lesson with Karen Brain yesterday, she was like, you have to get TOUGHER about his attention span. Busier with your hands, start being more and doing more.

We worked on a really interesting exercise: lazer-like intensity for me, haha.

Walk a line, pick up canter from the walk, and halt at the end of the line. Canter STRAIGHT to the halt. No wibble-wobble, no trot steps, etc.

Mannnnnn it was hard.

We had trouble with the following: Walk- canter. Halt from canter. Halting straight?? Picking up the correct lead on the right.

Oats had some hissy fits- it was difficult- but we manned up and dealt with it. 

We then worked on a variation of this exercise from a circle, then to a halt in a straight line. Oats got RUDE. He tried dragging me out of the circle, throwing his head up at the transition to canter. Rude rude rude! 

Funny enough, I said Oats could be a bully. Karen agreed-she said it’s like in a relationship, when in the winter you go to a ’empowering’ workshop and suddenly come home with a renewed perspective- and suddenly, your partner’s subtle or not-so-subtle behaviours are BAD! They treat you poorly! And you’re like, I’m NOT taking this BS anymore, forget it.

That is like me and Oats. I’m NOT putting up with his crap. And he’s like whaa?? But the lucky thing about rude ponies that are bullies is that he is inherently lazy. So, he’ll fight for a few laps…And ultimately give up. Because he is lazy, he will quickly realize that fighting makes him work that much harder and it’s easier to do what I want.

But I still have to fight/ask for it. And not give up!

(Photo courtesy of the talented Elle)

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