Monday, September 17, 2012
Like a nice owner I am, decided Ben deserved a 2 day break from the action. He's only 4, and his body is still growing and developing, so 2 days of rest sounds like a good thing, right?
Sure, until the day comes for you to get him back to work.
This is a known thing- Ben is typically a crank-pot to bring back into work after some time off. Not always, but I'd say about 75% of the time.
I went to the barn looking to have a fun little ride. What I got was a lazy horse who really didn't think much of my desire to go. If he wasn't just completely sucking back he was flinging his head and body around, surging forward, being pacy. Any real request was completely shot down by him. I tried to get a long canter hoping it would help - it kinda did...but not really. Going over poles kinda helped...for the 1 second he was over the poles- everything else was pure crap and pure resistance.
At one point, and I'm not proud of it, I got really pissed off at him. I was not asking for anything hard- just go at a normal tempo trot. He would not do it. So I admit, I spanked him with the whip, once. He of course kicked out at my single spank, and then was nervous and grinding on the bit, and STILL resistant. I resolved nothing. I know that getting angry never solves an issue on horseback...and yet...I still allow myself to get angry. Gah.
So, seeing the error of my ways, I just decided to do something else. A gal came into the arena to mount up and promptly left to go ride outside, so we practiced going to the gate and closing it- which has a snap latch so its a bit harder than just a normal gate. That was a good little exercise to get our minds off the bad ride. And it was nice to be able to praise him for something he was trying to do well.
From there, I walked him out and just quit. There was no point in trying to get anything out of us. We'll try again today.