This past weekend, P was extremely challenging. I had no idea what was up his rear end, but both days I ended up getting off to lunge him to see if anything was wrong. Saturday I quit after about 20 minutes on my ticking time bomb, but Sunday when he was the same way…he just had to deal for an hour so I could get some practice in. Was it fun? No. We jumped (i.e. flung ourselves over) some little stuff, and did spiral in/out and leg yields at the trot because he was so tense in the walk and he’d give half a circle of canter before side bolting into the oblivion. I was so disappointed because I’d sent BO a fun exercise that she had set up and I was excited to try it out.
Both days when I went out to the pasture to get him, he stayed where he was and just didn’t look thrilled to see me. He’s never run away or been hard to catch, but usually he comes to the gate or at least meets me halfway. Both Saturday and Sunday, he just stood there and watched me approach with judgy eyes.
So yesterday came rolling along and I headed out to the barn after work. Pulled up the driveway, next to his pasture, and look who came up to say hi:
When I continued on to the barn, I saw movement in my rearview mirror:
And then I went in the barn to change and all that, then headed to his pasture:
And even though he looked like this…
Wouldn’t ya know? We had a great ride. Walk? Sure. Trot? Stretchy and working: check. Canter? Here’s some super calm transitions. Jump the course? K. Put the jumps up to 2’6″and go around again? Thumbs up. Get off again, raise two to 2’9″ and canter around it again? No worries.
I was definitely stewing on the way to the barn yesterday. At the old H/J barn, he was ALWAYS spooky/tense/obnoxious/frustrating, so I was afraid that maybe the magic was wearing off the new place and he would just forever be a nightmare at home. But after talking to BO, turns out people were shooting ALL WEEKEND in the land adjacent to the farm.
I think I just need to do a better job of listening.