Sunday, December 12, 2010

The MakeGoStick brings guilt

So it's been raining off and on since I posted last- I was soooo bummed that we didn't get to squeeze in one more trail ride before the rains came- and the worst part? We cancelled the ride, let everyone know, and the day came, and the sun came out, and it was a great day after all. GRRRRRR.

I'm plotting when I'll be able to get back out on to the trail again...I know Altivo is bored with the arena work, and I know I'm getting there...

He had some more body work done, and his hock was sore, so he's been on a "no tight circles" regimen.

He seems to be testing me more lately, and I have read/heard it said that when your horse is being "naughty", it's usually because you're not doing something right. I wonder about that...sometimes he seems to test me just to test me. Like today, he decided that he was going to dance around the mounting block as opposed to holding still like usual. Not like a spooky dance, but more of a, "I'm going to wait till you get to the top of that thing and then sidestep all over the place, haha!"
I did something I've never personally done to him....and I felt SO guilty! After resetting him a couple times, then moving the mounting block a couple times, I got frustrated. I had his reins in my hand, so I hopped off the block and made him lunge around me a few times while waving the riding crop at him. I then put him back next to the mounting block and he stood perfectly still.
I still felt bad, since I knew that part of me had reacted in anger, and first off, it wasn't something that should have sparked my temper, and second, training isn't the right setting to be negatively emotional. He seemed put off that I actually punished him and that made me feel worse. I made sure to give him lots of praised and encouragement during our ride, and he was super good for the most part. He tried jumping head first into a tree to grab some leaves, so I made him walk by it several more times, and I only had to swing the riding crop between him and the tree once to give him the idea that the tree wasn't worth the effort.

I've decided next time I head out to see him, I need to just sit for a moment and clear my head and calm my nerves, because I'm not usually like this with him. Maybe I'm the one having an off day?

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