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Ever have one of *those* lessons?

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  • Ever have one of *those* lessons?

    Yesterday was one of those days. Horsey, from the start, was on tilt, because, OMG the place where we haul to lesson had extra-spunky horses who happened to be running in the field. Couple that with with OMG my rider's new boots are squeaking against the saddle. Fat-boy-morgan apparently forgets All-That-Has-Been-Learned when outside forces attract his seemingly very small, allotted share of brainpower.

    Horsey:
    Rider:

    My trainer has the patience of a saint. I LOFF her. She got us through it. It took 35 minutes, but we did it, and we moved on. And I think we're better for it....but that 35 minutes felt like eons, and I wasn't sure I was going to live thru it, or at least stay on. Hell, I wasn't sure she was going to live thru it being in the arena with us.

    So now, dismounted and safely positioned on my bomb-proof couch, I am reflecting on yesterday's event, and thanking my lucky stars I have such an awesome trainer, and also sorta patting myself on the back for surviving. And Mr. Fatboy? Well, I guess I am proud of him too for learning to cope...and for not killing me in the process, LOL.

    So to all of you who have been through at least one of those days (which I suspect is 99.9% of you), I applaud you Happy Riding, all!
    My blog: Change of Pace - Retraining a standardbred via dressage

  • #2
    I wonder if Mr. Fat boy is out there chomping down food regretting his over-exuberance yesterday...oh wait...he is a Morgan, they never get tired do they?

    Good for you for pushing through a tough day and seeing the upside of it!
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

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    • #3
      Yes

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      • #4
        More often than I would like...turned up the pressure on my mare and she is less than appreciative about it, don't know why. Even when I school her at home, she has days with the Boogy man in the corner, you know, the one over there...WRONG-been riding in the same ring for 9 years...REALLY?!?!?

        I have to say, most days I wonder what my neighbors think because they hear all KINDS of things coming out of my mouth (I do try to be aware of what comes out since I used to be surrounded by 100 acres of nothing and they have a 7 year old daughter-hard to teach this old dog to shut up and not say something 4 letter in nature!).

        I have one mare that all I keep asking is "could you get a work ethic...PLLLLLEASE!" I am sure they laugh whenever they hear me.

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        • #5
          I read a blog discussing horse misbehavior in lessons shortly before my horse demonstrated how naughty he could be, and it made me think before convincing me it was accurate. I feel as if it was someone on this board who posted it, and I hope if so she/he will post a link, since I don't remember what blog it was.

          The main point was that if your horse is an angel in lessons, it means your trouble times are when alone, and it's better to have instruction to help with the hard times. It sounds like in your case it was a great chance to learn and grow with your Morgan, so when you encounter the same type of problems without your instructor you'll be prepared to handle them on your own.

          A few weeks ago we had a clinician in, and it was the day my horse decided to be horrible. He kept bucking, running through my leg, zero concentration, one bolt with bucks to the other end of the arena. It was good affirmation for me that my riding and responses to this behavior are correct, as the trainer kept telling me I was doing exactly what I needed. He'd been great another time she was here, so it is nice having the chance to work with her both on how to handle misbehavior AND how to improve on our performance on a normal day. My horse is almost always on his best behavior with my trainer in the ring, because she worked with him for a year before I got him, so he knows her well.
          Originally posted by Silverbridge
          If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

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          • #6
            I don't ride dressage (yet) but I saw this post and had to add!

            My horse is the greatest.... if it's only him and me in the arena or indoor.

            The other day I had a lesson with a girl and the mare my gelding loves, and we were working on ponying by using one of the horses in for training. Suffice to say, it apparently was an overload to his brain because he started trying to running the other gelding off, when I wouldn't allow that, he started trying to get out himself, and rushing and twisting into the gate.

            I got off, but my trainer made me get back on. Whenever he seemed like he was giving up, he'd start right up again. So after maybe a half an hour of nearly falling off (and wondering where the hell you grab on to this darn English saddle because there is definitely no Western saddle horn anywhere) my trainer had me get off and try to lunge him. Which was another battle or pulling and just generally acting like a child throwing a temper tantrum. Until my trainer took him and managed to rattle him enough so that he was more focused on him than he was of the mare and the gelding, neither who batted an eye (and the other gelding is in for training for misbehaving, so him being so calm about it was good).

            It took 3 hours, from the start of the lesson till the finish for him to finally give up and calm down, literally dripping in sweat.

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            • #7
              Ugh. I JUST got home from one of *those* rides, so thanks for this thread.

              When he's with the program my gelding is a superstar, but today his concentration was anywhere but with me. It felt like I was just white noise on his back. He was throwing real nice "f--- you" bucks too when I would ask him to come through and bend at the trot and canter. I HATE getting strong with him, it makes me feel like a horrible abusive rider, but there was nothing else to do with that kind of 'tude.

              We finally reached an understanding and ended on a good note but I hate those la-la-land days.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ArabDiva View Post
                Ugh. I JUST got home from one of *those* rides, so thanks for this thread.

                When he's with the program my gelding is a superstar, but today his concentration was anywhere but with me. It felt like I was just white noise on his back. He was throwing real nice "f--- you" bucks too when I would ask him to come through and bend at the trot and canter. I HATE getting strong with him, it makes me feel like a horrible abusive rider, but there was nothing else to do with that kind of 'tude.

                We finally reached an understanding and ended on a good note but I hate those la-la-land days.
                There is something in the air... My mare tries SO hard to be good, but sometimes she just. can't. She is on light work right now so I took her out to the orchards for a walk, basically the same walk we had yesterday where she was a little silly at times, but basically obedient.

                Today, we got a little ways into the orchards and she got really, really scared by something and had a meltdown. Discretion is the greater part of valor, so I bailed and decided to lead her back to the barn, she was very anxious and rude about it. I thought she was just being bad, but when we got to a safe place to start, it was obvious she was really, really scared. So we stood there until she calmed down. And walked a few steps, stopped, and stood there until she calmed down. Lather-rinse-repeat. I then gave her a short workout in the arena just to remind her that going back to the barn does not always mean she's done.

                And other horses were going nuts, too. Something in the air, I am telling you...
                You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by quietann View Post
                  And other horses were going nuts, too. Something in the air, I am telling you...
                  I think you're right. Mine had two weeks off, and has been coming back into light work, just doing some basic flatwork. Usually she's really good after a vacation, relaxed if not quite fully fit. I expected her to be a little stiff, but good googly moogly, our ride Christmas Eve she was spooking at everything and nothing, and all I was asking for was a quiet, stretchy walk around in the indoor.
                  A Year In the Saddle

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ArabDiva View Post
                    Ugh. I JUST got home from one of *those* rides, so thanks for this thread.

                    When he's with the program my gelding is a superstar, but today his concentration was anywhere but with me. It felt like I was just white noise on his back. He was throwing real nice "f--- you" bucks too when I would ask him to come through and bend at the trot and canter. I HATE getting strong with him, it makes me feel like a horrible abusive rider, but there was nothing else to do with that kind of 'tude.

                    We finally reached an understanding and ended on a good note but I hate those la-la-land days.
                    Whatever is in the air has made it all the way to Germany too. I had a ride like that yesterday, and I'm with ya. I HATE having to get strong, but when he is just blowing off my legs AND hands, well, sometimes he gets what he deserves. It was a lonnnng ride until we finally got a respectable canter and trot out of him.

                    I rode today and he was quite tired, but really nice short ride, so guess whatever attitude he had yesterday was worked out of him.

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                    • #11
                      Yes. I refer to it as the day the aliens landed. Nobody except my horse could see them, and he was determined to get us both to safety.

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                      • #12
                        Yes, I had those rides for several years, trying to convince my Evil Mare that dressage was good for her. We were just not a good fit together, but I could. not. admit. it. I almost quit riding. She destroyed my confidence.

                        I think God every day for my gelding. What a difference! As good a boy as he is, though, sometimes (after months stuck in the indoor due to footing and weather), he'll try to liven things up by imagining things in the corners.

                        Big lovable dope!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by KLCarp View Post
                          Whatever is in the air has made it all the way to Germany too. I had a ride like that yesterday, and I'm with ya. I HATE having to get strong, but when he is just blowing off my legs AND hands, well, sometimes he gets what he deserves. It was a lonnnng ride until we finally got a respectable canter and trot out of him.

                          I rode today and he was quite tired, but really nice short ride, so guess whatever attitude he had yesterday was worked out of him.
                          Thanks for this. It so helps to know I'm not the only one! I was thinking about skipping my ride today, just didn't want to deal with it, but this has given me the boost I need to GO BACK AND TRY AGAIN.

                          Thank you.

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                          • #14
                            my horse has been very spooky for a few days, not his usual MO. Weird.

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                            • #15
                              I call this "seeing dead people"

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                              • #16
                                It's winter, folks. Is my horse the only one that gets more than a little goosey this time of year?

                                As far as "those" lessons, yes, I've had several. The one I remember best was in a completely enclosed arena with no windows. He could hear what was going on outside, but not see a thing. And he has a very active imagination.

                                He was on the edge of losing his marbles through the whole damned lesson, but my instructor thought the energy level was just awesome. Kept telling me to "put him on the outside rein ... CONTROL that shoulder and he can't get away from you!" So I learned how to ride both sides of the horse and we survived.

                                When the lesson was over, we headed for the gate and he shot out of that arena like his tail was on fire. He HATED the place.

                                About six months later, that arena collapsed under the weight of a very wet snow. I guess he sensed something that no one else did.
                                __________________________
                                "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
                                the best day in ten years,
                                you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."

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                                • #17
                                  Yes! Agggghh.

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                                  • #18
                                    I hear you... My gelding has been unenjoyable to just take out for a short hack on some occasion. Something that was supposed to take twenty minutes turns into a full blown forty minute ride in which I have to break bad on him for being an idiot. Soooooo spooky! Once he regulates, then we are done, but sometimes it takes a while get there.
                                    ALP
                                    "The Prince" aka Front Row
                                    Cavalier Manor

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                                    • #19
                                      I just had one of those on my young, green mare and I got more than my money's worth for that lesson.

                                      Mare's panties got in a wad because we rode her while dinner was being served. I believe it was a first for her.

                                      Trainer, who has the mare full time and I am currently riding her for a couple lessons every other week, kept reassuring me that the mare wasn't that bad and that I should just keep asking her for what I wanted.

                                      Fortunately, I knew all that going in. The two of us just had to wait for the mare to get her head back in the game. I kept telling the pro that I was glad to see what "bad" looks like in this mare and how she'd have me fix it since, when the mare comes home to my place, it will all be my problem.

                                      The mare was much better the next day. Riding through bad times is very, very valuable for those of us who want a "turn key" horse who *will* (by God) be just as rideable at a show as they are at home.

                                      I had a hunter who was a reliable, honest machine-- just about the same horse at shows as he was at home. Man, he was fun and useful and competitive for an ammy. But I did have him started Western and I treated him like a ranch horse. He was required to do as I asked, no matter what.
                                      The armchair saddler
                                      Politically Pro-Cat

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                                      • #20
                                        Dear OP,

                                        Don't you know that *those* rides have a 99% probability of happening either a) during a lesson/clinic or b) at a show? Don't you know they have only a 1% chance of happening when no one is around to see?

                                        Conversely, your best rides have a 99% chance of happening when no one is around to witness?
                                        Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

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