All of that being said, in response to her horrible behaviour under saddle earlier in the week, I lunged the crap out of her yesterday. She was an unholy DEMON. She had all this pent-up energy and it exploded in the form of Lucifer like I have never seen her before. Let's just say I quickly had to go get a lunge line with a chain on it because my nice little cotton one without a chain got us nowhere. Actually, it got me dragged (on my feet) across the ring. She was so far ahead of me that she decided to circle back and leap over a stack of poles that were in the middle of the ring from when it was last dragged. The standards for the jumps that the poles used to be a part of were arranged neatly on either side of this stack of poles. When she jumped the poles, the lunge line got caught on the top of the standards and knocked them all over like dominoes. I was horrified. It was like a train wreck.
The chain brought her brain back down from orbit and we ended on a good note, but it took me forever to cool her out and then I went home thinking "why the heck do I even bother?". There are many things I could easily spend $500+ a month on that were looking a heck of a lot more enticing than this nut job horse. I was so frustrated.
Today I went back and decided to give it another shot. It was 65 degrees and it felt like Springtime, and you can't ask for more than that in November in New England! I borrowed my barn owner's Vienna reins and lunged her in those. They worked very well for her because she was not able to fling her head around and get stupid, but they did not hold her down. As long as she carried her head fairly level, she had no pressure on her face. If she stretched down, she got even more of a release. She figured the system out quickly and went *beautifully* in them with a soft look in her eye the whole time.
I hopped on and found myself riding a completely different horse from the last time I rode her. I don't know if she was tired from yesterday's all-out brawl, or limber from warming up in the Vienna reins, or if some magical being came down and trained her for me overnight, but damn that horse went like a million bucks today. There was no hint of psycho to be found. She tried leaning on my inside leg right at the beginning of the ride and when I asked her to get off of it, she was offended and had a tiny (TINY) protest but I booted her with my inside leg and that was the end of that!
We walked, trotted, and cantered consistently on the bit in a dignified and civilized manner, without attitude, with happy ears and soft eyes, and I am so bummed no one was there to capture this on camera!! At least my barn owner was there riding with me, so I have a witness.
I spent a total of four hours at the barn today between riding and doing all my chores. I was so motivated by the warm weather that I cleaned the barn from top to bottom, blew all the leaves out of her paddock with my little electric leaf blower, cleaned her paddock, emptied and scrubbed her water tank, installed the drain-mounted tank heater I ordered last week (harder to install than one might think!), did her stall, and groomed her to perfection.
I'm hoping to get our annual holiday photo tomorrow since the weather is going to be just as beautiful as it was today!!
Here are some photos of Cairo being adorable today:
|sock monkey love|