|And no, its not just a "cute" picture of the ponies running in the pasture.|
Yeah, ten minutes of this crap two days in a row was not ok by me. He already worked himself up into a sweat and huff, but his little booty got a serious session right there in the pasture as well. And too bad for him that he was tired, because he still got a regular riding session. Not my fault he decided to work himself twice.
I was so frustrated that morning, I was literally in tears. Why has my horse decided that now, after four years of my ownership and always meeting me in the pasture, he has decided he should just blow me off and run amuck with Chica? I'm sure he has learned the behavior from seeing Chica do it to her owner, and I'm pretty positive that the bond they have now created makes him want to just spend his time with her. Either way, I am not at all happy about the situation and am truly at a loss for how I can correct it.
On Wednesday, instead of running away, they trotted away. And on Thursday they walked away but I was able to grab ahold of Chica before she looked like she would escape again (thereby coaxing Milo to go along with her). But even with Chica in my holds, Milo walked away. He eventually got closer to Chica as I led her away, then I was able to snatch him by his fly mask and halter him up.
What is the best way to correct this? I refuse to use food as a motivation to catch a horse, who, knows better. It is ridiculous and only a band-aid in my opinion. Do I work him after catching him as a disciplinary action,since normally if he would meet me there would be no extra working? Or might he associate then my catching him with additional work? I have no idea how he might interpret it. I guess the good news is that the antics were decreasing in magnitude as the week progressed. But I must say, I am nervous for Saturday when I need to catch him and load up for my early morning lesson. Will he make Boyfriend and I wait for god knows how long before I can catch him? Planning for ample time will have to be done, but I am so frustrated by this whole situation. It is wrong to have to plan around a stubborn and disrespectful horse.
With that out of my system now (and please, if you have advice, give it), I have to say that our other work together has been going great. I have been working much more on the off side (but have been forgetting to lead from the off side when catching and putting him away...just off side work on the longe. But I will work on it more!), and have seen improvement on his way of going since then - much less diving to the right (even under saddle now, interesting how addressing something on the ground can help under saddle), and he is much more comfortable taking line and expanding the radius of the circle.
With the ground work going well, the under saddle work has too. Great trot work, loping is coming back along one handed, and he felt so well on Thursday (and the arena was clear) I was tempted to work on lead changes. So I did. An interesting thing happened: instead of difficulty changing from left to right (finding the the left seat bone), this time that was the easy change (and easy it really was, much more smooth than we have ever had a lead change before) and changing from right to left (finding the right seat bone) was an extreme challenge and both times I only got a change on the front. What is going on there? I wasnt able to figure it out but I'm hoping Sarah can address it at the lesson this weekend. I even pushed the envelope a little and from one lead change I asked for another without counter canter work in between after only the length of one side of the arena. And Milo changed (this was from left to right, btw)! Maybe we will try lead changes at the horse show next weekend? Maybe it would be a good challenge for us....