Lucy has been an unholy terror over the past few days. I tried to have a nice hack around on her bareback and we got around the ring once and then she leaped straight up and down in place four times for no apparent reason! I was SO mad at her that I did my best to get at least some semblance of a "normal" walk out of her and went home and spent an hour looking at horses for sale on equine.com.
I talked to some horsey friends about my frustrations and we came to two conclusions:
-I was stupid to try to ride bareback in this weather so I kind of set myself up for failure on that one...I also found out (after the ride, of course) that the horses had been in ALL day. It was like trying to ride a rocket.
-I needed to change tactics when she's naughty and push her through her antics and keep her feet moving, rather than halt her and start from scratch. Pushing her through it will teach her that being bad is NOT an evasion tactic that's going to work, and halting her tends to piss her off more than anything else.
So tonight I went to the barn with a fire lit under my rear end. Yes, we've entered that stage of the cycle where I get sick of her nonsense and put her in her place. I first let her have her time in the indoor to get the kinks out, as is our routine. She has been putting on a real show lately after she rolls. Here are two videos:
A couple of days ago
As you can see, she's been pretty full of herself...
When she was done being silly, I brushed her, tacked her up without any issues, and we went into the indoor. I let her warm up at the walk for a long time and we did lots of circles and serpentine's. A few times she tried to break into the trot and I did a one-rein stop. I know I said I was going to push her through when she was naughty, but I think breaking into the trot from the walk when I am allowing her to walk on a loose rein is different than when she broncs around at the trot or canter. In my last lesson w/ my trainer he said I needed to put a stop to that breaking into a trot from a walk business asap, and I didn't have to be nice about it. So that is what I did.
After she was warmed up I took a deep breath and we got to work. Honestly I thought I was going to get tossed tonight, I really did. I wore my XC vest and carried a long whip just in case I had to battle it out. She tried to be silly a few times and with every fibre in me screaming "HALT!" I urged her forward. I think she was like holy cow, I am still being made to work even though I'm acting like a HUGE jerk! Funny that all along, my trainer has also been in the school of thought to keep the horse going when it acts out, and once again, he has proven to be SPOT ON. It worked and like magic, we had a great ride. I also had both of my legs firmly against her sides the entire ride and actively asked her to give me her inside shoulder. To the left she was ok...she tended to lean on my inside leg but didn't try much silly stuff. This was a huge breakthrough...I don't think we've been able to canter to the left in a month or so. To the right she was stiff to start. She wanted to be silly and you'll see in the video that I just pushed her forward. But at the end I was rewarded with some genuinely light 3-beat canter where she was stretching into the contact, not fighting, not hauling me around, and my heart literally fluttered...it was magical.
Here's the video.