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Raglan & The Tires

Raglan & The Tires

There are a lot of jumps out on the cross country course that look too big for us, but there are just as many that are little enough that I could see us going over them in the semi-near future. Most of them are just piles of logs, but there are a couple of unique obstacles. Right now my favorite one is the tire jump.

My barn doesn’t have a lot of super unique stadium jumps—most of our standards/poles are unpainted wood—so Raglan hasn’t really been asked to jump anything strange.

Before I got on him on Friday, we lunged over a few of the obstacles again. We did the basics—up and down the mound and then over a few small logs—and then we walked farther out until we came up to the tires. He wasn’t impressed; all he wanted to do was eat the weeds growing in them.

When I tried to lunge him over them, though, he did not get it. He slammed on the breaks, leaped sideways, and was generally super upset that I kept making him run into the tires. He got frazzled and then checked out mentally, to the point where I wondered if I’d made a terrible decision and we should scrap the whole entire trip outside. It felt like things were getting worse and we weren’t making any progress.

I was determined to end on a good note, so we took a break from the tires and lunged over another easy log instead. As he trotted up to it, I could see the gears in his brain turning.

Raglan remembering that it’s his job to jump over things

That log seemed to jog his little brain back into work mode. We went back to the tires, but there wasn’t much improvement until I put him in a position where his choice was to jump over the tires or come into my personal space. He didn’t jump the tires, but he did kind of hop over the air next to it in his best attempt not to crash into me. I praised him and that was all it took for the puzzle pieces to fall together.

After that the tires were a non-issue. I was so proud of him! I gave him a couple of treats and then off we went for the riding portion of our time outside. Everyday we take a couple more steps in the right direction!

The Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors

Remember last month when I tried to take Raglan out on the track for a casual hack with the girls from the UW Equestrian team and his brains fell out? I’ve been thinking about it and I’m pretty sure that if I want to do some eventing with him, it’s probably important that I be able to ride him outside. 😅

Well, our first ride out back on the track was… not amazing LOL 😂 We went out with a wonderful group of girls from the @uwequestrian team and he was very good on the way out, but the moment we turned around to walk back his brain fell out! I swear we sidepassed halfway back 😅 Then he got a little too cray so I dismounted and walked the rest of the way while he racehorse jigged alongside me 🤣 Super glad I went out with such a level-headed group of ladies, we'll definitely have to work on being more chill before we join them again in the future ♥ . . . . . 📸 @nicolelg3 #ArmsWarOTTB #myhorse #ottb #ottbofinstagram #ottbsofinstagram #ottbsdoitbetter #thoroughbred #thoroughbredhorse #thoroughbredofinstagram #thoroughbredsofinstagram

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So yesterday I put on my walking boots, looped a stud chain around the noseband of his halter, clipped a lunge line to him, and dragged him out the back door of the barn.

Staring at a train passing by in the distance

We started down the gravel road that leads past the outdoor arenas and to the track/cross country course. I gave him a couple of tugs on the lunge line and then started doing showmanship—halt, walk, trot, halt, back, trot, halt, turn on the haunch, back, walk, halt, etc. Head down, head down, head DOWN.

About halfway to the track, he lost focus. I gave him a light thwack on the shoulder during a turn on the haunch and he LOST IT. Leaping, kicking, snorting, trotting in circles, waving his tail around, breathing fire, threatening to strike me—the whole shebang. I wrangled him into the nearest arena and sent him out on the line, where he quickly discovered that the footing is NOT READY and was VERY MAD ABOUT IT.

I let him throw a fit until he settled back into his skin, then did a little showmanship in the arena before I took him back onto the path. We showmanshipped our way to the edge of the track, then back to the barn, then back out to the track, and then to the barn again. The aggression evaporated and then he was just bored and compliant—exactly how I wanted him to behave in the first place.

Eventually I want to be able to make it all the way around the track without problems, especially since I want to lunge him over a couple of the cross country jumps out there!

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