Deciding that the first month of 2018 would be my “take things off my plate” month was a brilliant idea, but it also means that I’ve been spending my days in an inescapable tutor-ride-drive-work-drive-write-sleep cycle while I try to finish up all of the articles that I’ve promised to write. Meanwhile, I had a whole bunch of drafts sitting in my WordPress that I haven’t been able to get around to, so instead of separate posts you get a quick catch up while I
sort my shit out figure out how to be a semi-adult!
Over the past couple of months I’ve learned a lot about Raglan. After I took a spill off of him I was sort of a nervous mess. To help with my anxiety I started lunging him before I rode. It turned riding into a sort of exhausting process, since I’d have to tack up and then spend fifteen minutes lunging before I even got on. But recently I’ve started to figure out what makes him tick and I’ve begun to feel confident riding him without lunging him again! It seems like a small thing, but it’s made time management a lot easier.
Riding wise, we’ve started making progress on finding his right lead under saddle. After lunging him over ground poles a few times and watching him use the ground pole to re-organize himself whenever he was crossfiring, I had a feeling that using a ground pole might help us figure out the back half of his right lead. The moment I added a ground pole to the mix he started nailing his right lead! Now we just have to work more on building up that lead so that he can find it without the pole to help him.
SundaeO was away last weekend, so I had a really fun time riding her pony! It made me think a lot about the nature of working with a green horse and how progress takes five steps forward and then two steps back and then another three forward, etc., etc. It’s amazing to think that any time I have a bad ride on Raglan, it used to be the sort of ride that we’d call a “good” ride. Sometimes its hard to look at the progress you’re making objectively and it feels like you’re not moving forward, when in reality you’re doing super well.
With the trailer back from the shop, I’ve started working with Raglan on the ground to prepare him for the next time I go to try to convince him to get into my Murder Box. There’s a few reasons he might not feel comfortable getting inside of the Miley, but I had a feeling the main one was that he was unsure about the ramp. With that in mind, I decided to see if he’d walk over a bridge obstacle. Low and behold, he had no idea what to do! We’ve been working with the bridge more, and we’ve gotten to the point that we’ll even walk up it when it’s on an incline, too.
Since the trailer is parked in the outdoor arena right now, we’ve also been doing more outside (at least, on days where it’s not pouring). Raglan gets very excited whenever we go to the outdoor and his excitement tends to manifest itself as general ferociousness. If you try to strong arm him too much (i.e. flick him with the lunge whip) he has a tendency to throw himself into the air and make vague threats of running you down. It’s a balancing act of not being a pushover, but also not needlessly antagonizing him. It’s good for him to work more out there, I’m hoping he’ll chill out and stop being a spazz eventually.
So yeah, all’s good on the home front. I’m dying for show season to start back up so that I can go take some pretty pictures. I’m also ready for Raglan to get his butt in the Murder Box, but I’ve got a couple of things to sort out before I’m ready to attempt that again. All in due time!