Friday, January 8, 2016

At least my horse knows when to behave

My last two posts documenting the worst day ever has certainly marked quite the welcome wagon to 2016. I really hope this doesnt set the tone for the rest of the year.

I decided to hope and pray that I could go to the barn yesterday and get some relief from the mess and have a nice relaxing ride.

The night after the shitstorm...Gunner and I taking shelter in my study with reinforcements. 
I got on and forced myself to not touch my reins at all in all three gaits. I let Tillie walk, trot and canter both directions for two laps - yes even the canter! Amazing how well shell canter on a loose rein, but as soon as I ask for more, she braces and speeds up.

Note to self: try this warm up more often. Not only did Tillie seem to enjoy it, I enjoyed it. There is just something soothing about getting up into a half seat or two point and jogging around.

I slowly put her to work and she was quite light in the bridle. Maybe a hair lighter then I would like so I started off asking for longer contact and stretch. She was slightly rude about it...she would carry herself high and then quickly dive down. I wouldnt call it rooting since she wasnt leaning, but was just lacking patience of the pace I was allowing her to take the contact since I wanted to be sure she was taking it without losing it.

So not appreciating my need to destress involving her 
I trotted her over this little grid to an easy/generous bending line a few times. First jump was a tiny X she could likely trot like a caveletti with 4-5 canter poles to a tiny 18" vertical with a two stride bend to a 2 ft vertical.

She was a bit sucked back, BUT I didnt use a ton of leg to push...I merely wanted to stay out of her way to see what she would do. Shockingly she meandered through and landed not really sure what the big deal was about. She was a bit fish-taily to the bending line so I went through a few more times and mixed in more flatting between to keep her relaxed.

All while riding amoung a group of small children where steering is questionable...and she did great!

I was about to move on to canter work when she started acting spooky towards the fields...with it being dinner time I didnt think too much of it and just used it as an opportunity to school her. She did quite well despite being a bit unfocused. Come to find out a horse had gotten loose and was enjoying quite the jaunt around the property. It caused all the other horses to get riled up which is what Tillie was reacting to. Dont you love when a horse gets loose and its like JAILBREAK!

After things calmed down I did A LOT of canter work, really focusing on her responsiveness to the cue. I wasnt so worried about her inverting since that cant be fixed until she clearly understands the canter aid first.

She was pretty darn quiet and was more willing to break to the trot BUT I started asking for a more balanced trot rather then the running, bracing on the forehand trot. She definitely got it by the end BUT started anticipating the canter aid and would be soft a few steps then would "OH GOD LETS CANTER" with any little movement of my balance and scoot her butt under herself and offer to canter. 

So we worked on getting the trot back again to which the contact was much nicer even if she was trying to lean...I just did the whole "well i wont carry you" and relaxed my contact until she figured out where she needed to be on her own. 

I ended the ride with cantering through the grid a few more times and let her cool out on a nice long rein. 

eating dinner....or what she felt like eating anyway...

She was cooled out and dinner was dumped, but she only ate a few bites before moving on to her hay. :( Looks like her tummy is still bothering her. I really am hoping its ulcers at this point and was a bit worried while brushing her and blanketing her and trying to coax her to eat more. 

Her weight still looks ok and she did pick at it a little more while I was hanging around chatting and cleaning up...

Luckily I got home to find a present! 

She will begin her treatment tonight! 


  1. glad you had such a nice ride despite all the other shitty (ughhhh) circumstances. wish i had known you were out there, really struggled with motivation to go and ultimately opted not to... maybe fingers crossed it will stay dry enough tonight?

    1. yea i wasnt going to last night and was swamped at work and needing to go deal with clean up crew but told Henry to handle it so I could have a bit of me time lol. I am def trying to go tonight regardless of riding to dose Tillie with the abler :) see you there?

  2. I love it when they give you the ride you need. Hopefully you get the house sanitized and back to normal.

  3. Wow, what a rough start to 2016! I just caught up on your other two posts :( Here's hoping things turn around soon, I bet the ulcer treatment will do wonders for Tillie. :)

  4. Great ride. I hope that the ulcer treatment gets her all sorted out.