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Thursday, 31 July 2014

From bronco to nanny

The boys' mothers meeting this morning
So after our little incident on Monday evening, tonight was the night for getting back in the saddle. Tuesday night I was waylaid by a table top tack sale which was a little disappointing, but I did come away with a faux sheepskin white numnah for a tenner. Last night I was shattered and hungry and had a bit of a headache, so I just poo picked, watered, fly sprayed and ointmented up. I've started doing the 5/2 diet so for two days a week you stick to 500 calories or less. It's my first week, and Monday and Wednesday were a bit hard!

Tonight I went and got Rio straight out of the field instead of poo picking first (no time to talk myself out of it because of the heat/wind/headache/insert any other lame excuse here). I have now started riding with a schooling whip as he's been getting a little big for his boots recently, and so far its working pretty well. A little tap behind the leg if he's being a bit silly and he gets on with it. 

We were walking around the school chilling out and working on not looking at the scary thistles that have cropped up along one side, minding our own business. All of a sudden we were half way across the school with me growling and yelling expletives at him whilst I sat out a spack attack. What I thought happened was that we jumped sideways a bit and tried to bronc, and that I'd stood up a little out of the saddle in my stirrups before he calmed and we carried on walking around. What actually happened (as we almost ploughed through Stacey and her horse!) was that he literally jumped with all four feet off the floor and turned mid-air and had a little attempt at broncing. It also turns out that I probably didn't actually get up out of the saddle, that's just what the view looks like when I sit up and pull the reins up to keep his head from going down. Go figure. We moved onto a nice trot after that. 

Stacey is an instructor, so I was pleased for feedback afterwards, and especially pleased when she said I didn't move a muscle sideways and just went with him, and handled it well (perhaps other than the swearing...) Let's hope this is the start of sitting this kind of nonsense out - or better yet, the start of me winning a battle of wills against him doing it at all. 

We went on to do some nice trot work on both reins, and even managed a few strides of trot on the bit, and then I bit the bullet and sat in for a canter transition before I had time to think about it too much. It went very smoothly, we did a half dozen strides, and I brought him back. On the opposite corner, I asked again, and we did a few more strides down the long side, brought him back. Lots of encouraging words and strokes to the neck, and some more trot work before we changed the rein and repeated the exercise on the other rein. It was equally successful, and made me feel much better. There was no hint of a bronc, which leads me to further believe that Monday was a rebellion. 

After that we walked off a moment and then escorted Millie and Miss B on a walk around the village. Miss B is Millie's TB rescue project, and had her first set of shoes on today. We made it around the village with Rio as a nanny horse (yes... we actually trusted him with this responsibility... hmm) and Sarah on her bicycle. Miss B has a tendency to go backwards. A lot. When she stops and doesn't like something, back she goes. She was especially trying this on the way out, but it's got to be a behavioural issue as she was absolutely fine out front on the way back. 

I'm pleased to say that Rio didn't bat an eyelid whether he was in front, behind, beside, or being backed into - aside from one mystery "rush" where he did a few little steps of trot/canter on the way back for no apparent reason (cue another growl - I've finally found my voice, which is good as he is quite responsive to vocal cues). Luckily we were a few steps behind Miss B and had the room to do it, but who knows what that was all about? All in all, I'm pretty pleased, and fingers crossed we can take on the stubble field soon... Perhaps with Sarah and Franks'supervision!

Ride / play safe x