It all started out as a normal day. Except for the fact that I woke up at 5am and couldn't get back to sleep so decided to head down to the yard early. I did my usual routine, poo picking, filling up the water, watching the boys for a bit because I had time to kill.
Sarah brought Rio up for the farrier for me to save me dashing down to the field. He was a bit naughty and tried to refuse coming through the metal gate, which he doesn't usually fuss about. We learned a nifty trick from Wendy, and when he does this, the trick is to lean away from him, thereby putting a bit of poll pressure on - nothing nasty, just enough to make him want to move forward to release the pressure. He seems to be giving in much easier doing this now, so fingers crossed we may be able to make a breakthrough of some description.
My poor farrier eventually got to the yard at 5.30 (still with one other visit to make!) and did my friend's pony first as he was just having a trim. Rio was a bit of a sod... He tried snatching his feet, and went to rear up twice. Luckily my farrier is very good with situations like this and took control - he has free rein with him as far as I'm concerned; he needs to be as safe as possible doing his job, and I know he's not going to beat him, just hopefully instil some manners. He did eventually settle, and we've stuck with just fronts for now although we will be monitoring how his back feet fare with the increased workload as there wasn't anything to be taken off the bottoms of them this time.
As we've had a couple of days off after our big adventure on Sunday, today was the day for getting back in the saddle again. Sarah and Franks had already been out around the village so I dutifully tacked Rio up, hopped on and headed straight out down the drive out onto the field. We haven't done much work on our own, but I was in the right frame of mind, and just got on with it. He was jittery down the long side that runs along the road, and we had a little fight so I let him trot it out for a bit as that's his favourite gait, and it can help him chill out some. We made it just fine past the scary corner where he reared up the last time we were alone, and where he bolted in hand. Just as he had started to relax his neck and drop his head, and steady to a nice walking pace, I was suddenly up in the air with him.
I've no idea what happened to make him jump with all four feet off the ground, but I knew straight away there was no saving this one. I tried to hold onto the reins so he wouldn't bolt, but he was gone, so all I could do was roll so I landed as evenly as possible. That field is HARD. After a brief moment of panicking about where he was and whether I was about to be trampled, I saw him bronc a couple more times up the field before he turned and cantered down to the bottom corner where he took refuge after he spooked in hand.
I went and collected him, walked back to the track, and got back on. Rio stood nicely, let me get settled, and walked back to the driveway steadily. He had a little look at something in the hedge, but walked on when I asked him forward. We went into the outdoor school, had a moment of jittering which passed quickly, and then I set him to work in trot. I only worked him for around ten minutes but I knew I had to show myself that I wasn't afraid of riding him after I just got over my last confidence crisis!
So now I just feel guilty because I got mad at him, but he was being a bit of a bugger this evening in general. To make it up to me, he was super well behaved when I took him back to the field, and yielded sideways and back when asked, and even took an extra step back to give me my space too.
Fingers crossed my back isn't too sore tomorrow to hack out with Sarah and Franks - I am hoping to carry on as normal and forget about this incident! However - unplanned dismount count HAS been updated, we are now at 2!
Ride / play safe! x