Saturday, January 7, 2012

Make or Break – Part 1: Training Tantrums



Well that’ll learn me!   Sparrow has had a three week holiday and today he behaved like tantrum-y toddler on a sugar high.  Which he just about is – a toddler, I mean.  And yes, for three weeks he sat in the paddock eating grass seeds the entire time…  *sigh

Of course I didn’t mean for him to have that long of a break, but I got sick for a week, then it was Christmas, and then the family all went to Khancoban for a week.  It all adds up so fast! The long and the short of it is that things did not go well today. 

Of course I expected the usual shenanigans, he is a horse after all, but I didn’t realize that as a green four and a half year, three weeks without any handling does not work in my favour to say the least!  It’s more like oh, half a year off?!

We started off well enough – half an hour or so on the lounge, walk, trot, canter alright with a bit of slowness responding to “walk on” and “whoa now” – but like I said before, grass seeds = excess energy.  I was happy with the work out.  We mounted ok, but when I bent over to check the girth, he started scooting backwards, tossing his head side to side, nose in the air and I could feel his hind quarters dipping like crazy.  I spun him in a circle to keep his head {and feet!} down and then sat and wait until he relaxed.  {I won’t lie, I needed to get my heart rate down as well… I hate feeling like a horse is going to rear ever since I had an OTTB rear up and fall over backwards while I was riding her.  She landed next to me thankfully, but it was a close one and I really, really, really don’t like rearing now!}

Check and tightened girth, then moved off.  He needed a little refreshing on turning corners properly, {bend, not straight} but other then that we were ok.  I didn’t want to do too much schooling with him as it was our first day back, so I went to take him on a small trail ride. 

Him:  *looks longingly over shoulder*  We go back to the paddock now yeh?

Me:  No, we aren’t finished for the day, but look!  Trail ride!  Yay! 

Him:  *drags feet*  But I dunnnwaannnnaaa mmmmmuuuummmm……

Me:  Seriously, it won’t be long and you’ll get to see some fun stuff.

Him:  NO!  I WON’T  *plants feet and does best imitation of turning into a rock*

Me:  Uhhuh, no you don’t, come on now…

Him: *whirl-spin-go-home*

And yeah…  Granted, it was his first time out on the trails at his new paddocks without another horse, but really, his jibbing was a simple, “No, I won’t and you can’t make me.” 

So we spun around, pointed back out down the trail, spun again, and walked a few more steps.  Got cranky, did the rock impression, tossed head around, spun, spun, saw the hind quarters and the head at the same time{!!}, spun, walked a few more steps – well, you get the picture.  Lather, rinse, repeat.   I think I got him 80ish meters down the track before I thought that I could safely turn back without him “winning”. 

The reason I did so was that the trail where we were battling it out wasn’t the best for that kind of thing.  For starters the grass is up to his knees, so you can’t see the ground beneath; how slippery it is, rabbit holes, rain degradation, that sort of thing, and then there was the proximity of the barbed wire fence because this was a rather narrow lane way.

Of course even though we were walking home the silly horse had to pull another rock, toss, whirl move…. And I am like “What the?” and he was all “Oops, I don’t want to got that way! Okay, we turn around now”.
> O < Horses!!

*deep breath* Anywho, I must confess I am rather shaky with all of these goings on; as previously mentioned I hate rearing horses and Sparrow certainly does a marvellous job of feeling like he’s about to blow sky high as well as feeling like if he just got one chance he’d buck me off in a heartbeat {which, if it was mine, would be faster then you could blink…  : / }.

I was thinking in my head what an idiot he was being and whether or not I wanted to push it and try to work it out of him.  The chicken in me was all “Well, you got those last few steps up the trail from him, you could call it a day”  then the stubborn part of me was like “No, you shouldn’t give into him”.  The clincher was when my horse-sense chipped into the conversation with a “Well, if you were my horse I’d certainly get into you” and then I thought “Lol, lol, he IS my horse.”  And that was that.  I would love to say the heartbeat went down, but it didn’t.  However, steely resolve entered my breast {or something like it anyway} and I knew it was time to go into the arena and battle the beast…  But that tale can wait for part two! 

See ya! 


No comments:

Post a Comment

Post share buttons