On Wednesday, Z did okay but she started getting squirrely when asked to go into the trot. By squirrely, I mean humping her back, flinging her head about somewhat and thinking about putting in a buck or two. We did have pretty intense weather on Wednesday (another drop in temps and very gusty) but that simply can’t be an excuse for bad behavior.
I verified by lunging her under the saddle that it wasn’t the saddle bothering her. She simply didn’t want to do it. EEEEEeeehhhh! I don’t wanna! Maybe I can intimidate you!
The Rugby Guy eventually got a few nice transitions and we called a halt to the day. I asked him what he would do if it was his own horse, and he said, “run it.” I decided I would think over it until we met on Friday (we skipped Thursday as I had mom-duties to take care of).
When RG was faced with Z’s disagreeable behavior I did get a chance to see his seat in action and it was nice. Someone with a good seat has a natural movement with the horse – it’s like watching a ball play along the waves on top of an ocean wave, synchronized but not suckingly attached.
What I especially liked is that he stayed free in the reins, keeping some play, but not letting go at all, so I was very happy about that. When I talked to him on Friday, he told me he had to conciously choose to do that as I had requested him and his first response was to tighten them up. That reassured me that I have the right young man to help: someone who can keep my wishes in mind and try them out without getting defensive or just doing his own thing anyway.
Friday is nice, very little wind and warmer. At the barn there was some traffic with a horse coming home from the vet but overall Z was calm and didn’t care. However, as soon as my Rugby Guy started asking her to move into trot, we went back to being a Bad Girl. This time she decided to add in a few halfhearted bunny hops with her back legs, and one really good kick out, but she never took off.
Before we started I did tell him he could bring her head up a little higher as we didn’t want her so low that she could easily buck. I also told him that I gave him permission to run her if he felt that needed to be done once he got on – thankfully, I can report it didn’t come to that.
I watched outside and let him do his thing. All that Z threw out at him, I could have sat myself, but Rugby Guy kept himself comfortable and at ease. I would have tightened up, making the situation escaluate, and hence why we have him riding Z and not me.
He did some very nice work with her and in thirty minutes she was giving much better behavior, with some good walk-trot transitions so we ended on that.
I really think next week will be a big turning point with her. She will see she has to really continue working and will not be able to snow anyone with her ‘tude. Since she is quite lazy, I think she will find that giving ‘tude takes a lot more work then just doing what is asked, and we are asking for reasonable things….
Sidenote: when Z had come back from the trainer RH wasn’t really very confiding in what he thought of Z. I wish he had been but I think he thought if he told me she was stubborn or strong headed that I would be mad at him “hurting my feelings” about my “beautiful horsie.” Of course, he doesn’t know that I already know a lot about her, without illusions.
When Molly saw Z after the trainer, Z behaved very well, but she was still uncertain about where she was and probably still psychologically wary of really bringing her personality to the forefront.
I know this horse and I knew she had this naughty behavior in her. When faced with something she doesn’t want to do there is going to be a confrontation. However, I think, watching Rugby Guy ride we will work through that in the next week and make a lot of progress… taking her riding skills up a new level.