It was not the caliber of fuckery that my winter rides morphed into...its just that when it was bad it was REALLY bad.....
|This is mild|
|The worst of it was not on film|
|Defensive riding makes bad photos|
But the consistency of good was greatly equaled by the consistency of the bad and I'm continued to be perplexed with the root cause of the explosive, ridiculous, unwarranted spooking thats occuring in an alarming pattern and frequency in the field.
1. I treated him for ulcers
2. He's on maintenance meds for ulcers
3. He's on a very strong calming supp
4. Nutrition is on point
5. Tack fits
6. We now have brakes
7. I took his tail down
Today he literally spooked at the exact same spot every single time and it made no sense. I know he is not kosher with barrels but he would be nowhere near them during the time of the spook and they were not in his line of sight. And I mean they were HARD bolting spooks. Every. damn. time. in the same spot. He was worse to the left, surprisingly. And cantering was out of the question (ask me how I know).
I did my best to remain calm with all body parts, because apparently moving an inch of any limb was highly offensive, and would engage one-rein stops at each spook, in which he would respectfully stop, breathe and move on. And take about half a lap and do it all over again.
Essentially we would regroup for about 30 seconds, gets 2 good steps, and then fall apart again.
I was really at a loss with what to move forward with regarding training. Do I work his ass off until hes tired? Do I try and ignore the bad behavior and work through it without regrouping? Or do I regroup so far as to bring back to a free walk at every spook?
I really had no idea where to go and I wished at that moment that I had a coach or a friend or SOMEONE to help me.
I ended up having a 3 way with solutions.
Every spook would warrant an emergency halt, pat, regroup, breathe and pick right back up at the trot. If there immediate shenanigans (likely), repeat and begin back at the WALK. Arrive at a nice walk---> permitted to trot. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat until rider is completely spent (like, entire body shaking with exhaustion). Dont worry, horse will be, and was, fine. Because thoroughbred.
Eventually, I got 2 laps of relaxed trot to the right and called it a day. To the left was just not possible today. Walked on a loose rein and tried to end it there.
|Personal fav and good effort from the babe|
I say try, because the second I turn to go home the neighbor lets his dogs out and Bacardi goes absolutely BESERK. I mean, it was a full fledged dip out bolt. I almost fell off until I remembered I had a neck strap. Which literally saved me from what most likely would've been broken body parts.
Not his fault, but still HIGHLY annoying that a spook is that violent. Its literally like his brain falls out of his skull. I've never met a horse with such a high flight instinct & such violent reactions.
So I'm beginning to wonder if the field is just out of the question. Permanently. Theres just something about it that he cannot tolerate anymore.
Either that or he's just not chill with being ridden in open spaces this fresh.
Highly aggravating considering its my ONLY space TO ride.
I walked him out on the road and he was absolutely, 100% perfection. Not even a twitch of a spook and we walked about half a mile on the buckle.
So that leaves me very disgruntled. For one, I know my horse behaves well on the road now (yay). BUT roadwork is not exactly conducive on a repetitive, daily basis and for sure not useful for jumping or dressage work. So yeah, I have ONE outlet, but utilizing the larger space in the field for dressage test movements and jumping seems very very out of the question right meow.
Which leads me to...uhhhh, where do I ride?
I know I'm a broken record & this is forst world problems, but srsly, riding...need it.