Saturday, August 6, 2011

Setting Boundaries and Another Bolt

I managed to ride Dawn and Drift today - it was too buggy to ride Pie on the trail.  Dawn was fairly up after her bolt and buck experience two days ago, despite how hot it was today.  She settled down to work fairly well, although she did a lot of looking at another one of those lawn waste bags (the same type that had scared her) that had been abandoned by the goat house.  We did more transition work and some shortening/lengthening work, and it was all very good.

Drift and I had to do some boundary-setting today.  He's a very friendly and lovable horse, but will cross lines and even do some pushing back if I'm not careful to set boundaries and abide by them consistently.  He was extremely dominant with other horses in the pasture, and now that he's in solo turnout I have to be careful not to let him try to dominate me. I clearly haven't been quite as consistent as I should be with his keeping his distance from me when leading and also his immediately moving out of my space when I move towards him.  I had to get fairly big with him a few times to get him to move backwards out of my space, but we got there and then he was rewarded with lots of rubs and praise.  I've also been working with him in the stall on his moving out of my space both with hand gestures and also in response to hand pressure - he came to me as a horse that moved into rather than away from pressure and it took some work to get this reversed.  I also got a cow kick when girthing - there's no physical reason for this, he was just being petulant, so he got a smart slap and a verbal reprimand.  I also undid the girth and redid it to be sure I'd make my point, and he was fine.

His ridden work was very good - the softening at the walk and trot was good, and there was not a single attempt to balk.  We did have some excitement - we were trotting down the long side away from the adjacent pasture when Scout came pounding up from the back of the pasture - Drift spooked and bolted but went right back to work when I got him stopped after five or so leaps.  There was no bucking, which was a good thing - I can usually ride a straight-ahead bolt, although Drift is very fast, but bucking (a la Dawn) is pretty chancy.  I was pleased with how well he came back after that, and he also got the chance to ride in the ring with Charisma when she came back from a trail ride and he was very good for that.

I've ordered some Cashel's bug armor and a long nose with ears ride mask (at Jean's recommendation) for Pie's trail rides and can't wait until it comes - for less than $100 including shipping that seems like a good deal to me.  Cashel also makes a nose net for riding that can help horses with head-shaking syndrome.

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