Well, Yesterday was certainly a challenge! It was a lovely day, I was expecting to have a fairly relaxed hack with Jo and Colin...
How wrong I was!
He is fine to walk out the drive, I met Jo at the top of the road and we rode on together from there. He used to be very very nappy to go out of any drive, especially when it involved going down hill (as you can imagine, this wasn't very comfortable for him) but ever since his op, he has happily walked/trotted out the drive without any arguments. He is definitely more comfortable there! BUT...
We have to walk down a fairly steep hill to the first ford. He has napped a few times going down there with me before, but i have always won. In company he is a total turd and wants to walk behind Colin. he knows whats at the bottom of the hill, and uses Colin as an excuse to be a twit!
He plants himself to the floor and refuses to move forward. If i put my leg on at the wrong moment, he will back up and back up and back up. At one point I actually waved goodbye to Jo!
He napped badly walking down the hill yesterday, then got his knickers in such a twist that he started to bunny hop which then resulted in him rearing. Finally managed to get him going forward again....then we have the ford to contend with.
He quite frankly was not keen on giving up. Our aims at the moment are getting Adam to walk in front out hacking, which includes leading through the ford. Yesterday was a 'Im not going to play your game day' and he really really pushed me. He reared, backup up, pranced about like a total turd. Colin was stood on the side of the ford, he just had to move forward on his own without having Colin to follow. I eventually won, but boy he really did push me and tried to scare me. At one moment i felt myself getting very frustrated...took a deep breath and cracked on again. I think he thought i was going to give in. Sorry mate, I'm stubborn.
Lisa and I went to watch Colin have a show jumping lesson with Richard Waygood at Barguse riding centre. Really good lesson, and Colin jumped brilliantly.
She then boxed back to my yard and I tacked up and hopped on. I left the yard before her, and trotted his little bleddy heart out until we got to the downward nappy hill. He walked down sensibly, i picked up a little trot just as i approached the bottom of the hill and wrapped my short ol legs around him. flapped like a pony club kid and he went through! So i then turned him around, and made him go in and out of the ford a few times. He then proceeded to walk to the top of the hill and through the scary farm to wait for Colin to catch up with us. We hacked through the village, and then came back through the ford on the way home....which he also went through first time in front with no arguments.
So although he was a total turd yesterday and I quite frankly felt a bit pants about it all. He really did redeem himself today. Trotting to things that i know he's going to be a monkey about seems to really work....Massive pats for pony and i think he deserves a carrot in his tea tonight :)
It really does make a difference to your riding when you don't need to worry about the other rider. Colin is terrified of Adam, he's a right softy for a stallion! Jo is a qualified equine behaviourist, and has helped my confidence boom through the roof in the past month or so. Its not the kissing spines you have to deal with, its the pain memory and attitude it leaves you with thats the biggest hurdle to cross.
Especially after Adam being so unrideable just before his op. Even bending right was a mission.
If i hadn't asked for help a few months back, i'd still be shaking in my boots.
Cross country schooling has been briefly mentioned in passing. So watch this space. He's never been before, so should be interesting!