Sunday 15 January 2012

Frosty Mornings - Frisky Mare

Today's planned early morning hack in the woods went far from smoothly. I spent more time on my feet leading the muppet then i actually spent on her back *sigh*

We started off alright, I was going out with a friend who i hadn't been in the woods with before and her young horse (6yr old) who hadn't been ridden in two days due to osteo visit last week - so basically my girl was supposed to be a calming influence being older and having been ridden on friday and loose schooled yesterday. But no one gave Kika this information ;-)
The first hiccup we averted smoothly, my friend's horse B was unsure about passing frozen poop so Kika bravely strode out - Yipee i thought to myself, previously if the horse hacking with us found something scary Kika would also without fail see the horse-eating-monster-within and also refuse to proceed - not so this morning, so i thought "Wahey! Today will be good" - WRONG!
No sooner had the thought cross my mind than something terrified Kika and she couldn't possibly go a step further - cue front leg bouncing threatening to rear, then an acute spin for home with more rearing threats at my attempts to turn her back to way i wanted to go. Heck, even the slightest pressure on teh reins to get her to stand still so that i could get off and lead her took a few attempts and coaxing around stroppy-rear-threats. I managed to get off after her walking/prancing/bouncing half the way back along the sand path we'd just come up - we were still within the yard boundaries at this stage!
Hopped off and lef her forwards with a slap or two of the stick as we walked to remind her who was in charge and that this carry on was un-acceptable IMO - although message would appear to have gotten lost in translation! Led her passed whatever was scaring her and down to the tarmac wich is the route we always take to the woods and indeed to her field every day - nothing scary there right?
Walked away down the road, passing sunday walkers and parents with push-chairs no problems we even got passed her field, just about! Then another strop insued...spinning and threatened rearing, so down i came again another two slaps and i walked into the woods with her, down the initial hill and under the motorway bridge. I got up from a bench without any issues and we walked on fine, even went for a sprightly trot to distract her ladyship. Friend's horse fell in behind as he was bullied by previous hacking partner and was not happy to walk alongside us - which to be fair i couldn't blame him!
Came back to walk as we were going up a slight hill where the ground isn't great IMO and often has loose stones and sticks so didn't want to be stumbling due to companion's horse not suppsed to be jumping/jarring after osteo treatment.
We were doing great till a tree was blocking our path with no way around it, and as previously mentioned companions horse wasn't supposed to jar his back so we turned around and walked back the way we came happy out, until we met a small water feature from the "wrong" side for Kika (aka the other direction to which we usually meet it in). Cue more messing on her part, so off i hopped again and lef her passed it and 3/4 way up another rise/hill to get away from the turn for home incase she got a notion and passed two other yard friends who were coming back from their hack incase my missus decided one horse wasn't enough company for her and she'd have to go back with the other two...
Anyways hopped back up and we were walking along fine, no problems at all till we came to a turn (away from home I'll admit) that again Kika just couldn't/wouldn't do! Grrr! Spinning and rearing threats again, even though i had no tension in the reins she still found a means to take offence, so off i slid once more and led her on a bit.
Hopped back up and decided to cut our route short as at this stage i was beyond annoyed/ashamed and downright fed up with her carry on, but i was not going to give her the satisfaction of turning her around and re-tracing our steps. So we turned down another route which would loop back to the turn where we'd just had our last issue and back down the hill for home...all was going well, not an iota of fuss out of madam, walking along happy out...Just as we get to the turn downhill for home, three horses get there just before us.
Do you think Kika was happy to follow them at a respectable distance behind them with her companion (who let's not forget has been angellic despite being younger and not exercised for two days!) - NO!
She kept trying to speed up in her walk, any attempts i made to ease her back, close my fingers on the reins resulted in head tossing and front leg throwing...So i threw in the towel (shame-faced), slowed her just about enough to slide off - as she wasn't stopping without throwing a wobbly! Rolled up my stirrups and marched for home - she was meek as a little lamb walking along beside me!
Such a frustrating creature!!!

I'm sure many would have handled the situation differently and i do feel like a chicken and a quitter for giving up and leading her, but it would not have ended well for me to stick at it. As it was i was very glad that she stuck to threatening to rear with her front feet only barely leaving the ground once - she didn't upright rear at any stage. Which take my word for it she is well capable of doing! She stands up tall for a few minutes, can come down and go straight back up if the mood is upon her. Thankfully that has not been done since this time last year as it happens! Must be something in the air at this time of year! :(
Friend who rode with us reckoned she may be coming into season - but to be honest i don't care, she should not be carryin on like that and to say i was bitterly disappointed and ashamed is an understatement!
Just as i allow myself to think we might be making headway something like this comes along and reminds me that we still have a long way to go!
I had a bit of a whine at L when i got back to the yard and she has said we'll go again next weekend and Kika is going to lead the whole hack! Bless the friend who came with me today, she was so proud of her horse who was good as gold despite all Kika's carry on and she was so proud of him, as anyone would be. I only wished mine could've been half as well behaved!

Turns out my mother wasn't one bit suprised when i got home and had a bit of a whine - apparently she'd warned me going out the door that she'd be feeling fresh with the frost but i hadn't heard her - woops! Mothers always know best, eh?

Despite the poor start to the week horse-riding wise (see my previous post Frustrated Fool - admittedly that was all on me) the rest of the week went well. Lunged her in the pessoa on thursday where she behaved impeccably, rode in the largest of the indoor arenas on friday evening - one i usually avoid as typically it is the busiest, although was the quietest on friday. She started off not really listening and a bit bouncy in her trot, but after almost snotting herself by tripping over her own feet she decided to settle and that perhaps i knew best and she'd better listen to me...we got some very nice work after that, including some canter work - which still needs a lot of work!

It seems for every step forward we must take several back...but God love's a tryer apparently, so we shall percevere & hope for the best. Pass this off as a bad day, put it behind us, look forward to the week ahead and try to do better. :-)

1 comment:

  1. You craitur! How frustrating that she was acting the maggot. Hopefully it was a one-off due to the frost ((hugs))


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