Thursday, September 24, 2015

Tuesday's Ride

I had a better ride on Penn Tuesday night, however one thing is clear:

Penn HATES my dressage saddle. I set it on his back and he pinned his ears. I did up the girth, and he pinned his ears and shook his head. He wasn't girthy when I test rode him, so all I can think is that he doesn't like my saddle or he doesn't like the synthetic Ovation girth I got him (Ovation Airform Chafeless Dressage Girth). Maybe he's a leather only kind of boy, maybe not.

He's not sore- I ran my fingers down his spine like I used to do to Mikey and he doesn't flinch away or flick an ear. By the way, he does enjoy Vetrolin. Which is good, because Mikey loved it and I have a lot left.

I'm going to try riding him all the time in my jump saddle... which was not made to flat in because it's a cross country jump saddle. If I'm going to actively use it, I'll probably order the TSF long brown girth in a 46". That's only because I find myself pulling the saddle way up his shoulders to make the girth sit in the proper groove, and I don't want this little guy to have any excuses to be girthy.

Anyway, Penn's antics Tuesday night were mostly of the "I feel good" variety. He had a couple moments where he ducked his chin into his chest when he thought we were going to do the spiral in and out exercise, and he spent more time than I would have liked going around like an unbendable giraffe, however he was sort of on task and listening. I trotted him over some single poles, and he thought that was neato.

His canters both directions were good for an out of shape baby horse. To the right he was looking for the bit without being heavy and willing to give me some bend. To the left, he picked up the correct lead for the most part and let me dictate a circle size without leaning.

We had another schooling moment in the cross ties when we were done. I reached down to get him a mint, and as soon as he heard the paper crinkle, he was pulling backwards in the crossties and in general being a spoiled brat. I put the mint back, picked up his boots, and smacked him on the butt again like Monday night to make him move up in the cross ties. He had a hurt look on his face but quieted down. About two minutes later he was still quiet, so I reached down and got him a mint, and he didn't move a muscle, and he took it very daintily out of my hand. He was still sulking.

I'm glad I have a good answer now to his backing up in the crossties BS. His boots won't hurt him and I bet they make a louder noise than any hurt they inflict. Mikey would back in the cross ties too, but he wouldn't hit the end of the cross tie and freak out and break them. He used them as a constraint of where his body was allowed to be. I'm only hard on Penn about it because he does have a habit of backing up and breaking the crossties, and the habit carries over under saddle too. His first answer to not wanting to do something is back up/threaten to rear. I also want to be able to trust him in the crossties- I could leave Mikey for hours (not that I should!), and he'd still be there when I came back. Penn... I'm not sure he would still be there 15 min later. He's a smart cookie, he'll figure it out.

Tuesday made 3 days in a row that he walked up to the mounting block and stood properly! Hopefully the 'walk up to the block, swing my butt away from it or back up' days are over. I make sure to praise him and give him love, then get on and away from the block in a super timely fashion so I don't spoil the moment.

I'm still impressed that this young horse hasn't bucked or crow hopped under saddle. I know it's coming though, what with the cool weather and based on what I felt Monday. I also know that there isn't going to be much power behind it unless he manages to stop dead and then do it.

"Who me? I would never be naughty!" :)


  1. omg that face! how could that face ever be naughty?!? lol

    1. I know right?! Even when he does something naughty (like rear) he still has that super kind eye while he does it. There's zero maliciousness in him.