Horses are silly
Who knew a completely empty corner could be so goddamn terrifying! I certainly didn’t until today. Seriously, there was nothing there. At all. The wind wasn’t even blowing. And we’d already worked through it several times. Including putting in a canter transition. Silly pony.
Star decided that when I asked for left lead canter in a certain corner he was going to race off and bronc across the school. Hurrah! We had lots of fun. At first I thought it was because he’d got his legs mixed up when I put on the aids, so I tried him again; with the same results. After throwing himself across the school twice with me sitting there wondering “what the hell, where did this come from?” we decided to try a different approach. Vicky, bless her, stuck to the middle of the school until I’d got him back on an even keel. “I think I’ll stay out of your way, looks like you’re having fun” she called to me. Fun? Hmm.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good old bucking bronco as much as the next person (???) but it really was too hot to be playing games like that and I just got a bit bored with it. So we walked through the scary scary corner a few times, leg yielding into it. Then we had a little trot through it, staying on a 15m circle at that end of the school, continuing to work through the corner, with a nice pat and scratch of the withers every time we came out of it. After Star had showed that he was actually a very brave horse and not scared of empty corners at all, I figured it would be good to canter through the corner, to let him know that cantering at that end of the school was as safe and easy as at the other end. We trotted round to the other end of the school, picked up canter and made our way through the corner, circled and came back through it again.
“No problem, I’m not scared” said Star. By this point we’d been working quite hard, as the heat was fierce. All this silliness also happened right towards the end of our ride, just as I was about to pull him up and let that be it. But he went and behaved like a prat, so we had to work harder, for longer. There was no way I was going to let him get away with broncking every time I asked for canter in that corner though.
Once we’d cantered through the corner a few times, with more withers scratching and ‘gooood boy’-ing, I decided it was time to ask for the canter transition in that corner again. The first time there was still a bit of silliness, a little kick and flick with the back legs; not quite a buck, but he certainly thought about it. “Nah uh” I told him, “We’re doing it until we do it properly Mr Star.” I guess my sheer bloody mindedness paid off, because we circled around and I asked again and this time we struck off beautifully.
While I didn’t actually have a proper lesson today, Vicky and I just rode in the school together working on things we wanted to, I felt like I learned something anyway. Initially I had wanted to work on a bit of lateral work in canter, shallow loops and leg yield etc. I got a couple of shallow loops going, but then he mucked about as I asked for what was meant to be the final canter to try some leg yield. So instead, we worked on transitions as well as his confidence. Not only was I able to sit to his naughtiness, I was also able to let him know that:
1. I was in charge and he was not getting away with it
2. It was okay, nothing was going to get him, I was there
What I was thrilled about, was that he responded when I took charge. It wasn’t a battle of wills at all, which I’d half been expecting. Instead it was a case of “but mum I don’t like it, will you hold my hand?” So I did hold his hand (metaphorically of course; horses don’t have hands) and we worked through it together. And it was successful.
He definitely had a fit of the sillies on him today though, as leading him up from the field he made a fuss the likes of which I’ve never heard before. And leading him back down he kept trying to bronc. Such a silly pony. He wasn’t very impressed with me when I wrapped the lead rope round his nose, dug my elbow into his shoulder and made him walk three strides, then stop, then walk three strides, then stop. There was no way he was dragging me down that hill to get to his friends, or broncking about like a baby. So we made slow and steady progress to the field. Much to his displeasure.
I love that horse very much, but he is a bit of a plonker.
In other news, I have found yet another hidden set of talents. Kelly turned to me today and said “Are you any good with computers, like altering documents and stuff?” She then proceeded to stare at me in horror when I asked her what programme the document was on. “Nevermind, I’ll take a look” I said quickly. Turns out it was in Microsoft Word (Thank god, I know that one) and she wanted to change a few things on her CV.
At first glance it looked easy peasy, but then strange things started happening when I tried to edit it. “Aaaah what have you done?” I squeaked at Kelly. She just looked at me and shrugged, “I don’t knooow, it keeps doing that.” I fiddled about for a bit before realising she’d got it set out in a table, with invisible borders. I sighed. I hate tables. I tutted, looked at her and sighed again. She quickly dashed off to teach a riding lesson, leaving me to play with it.
Eventually I managed to get past all the niggly bits that were annoying, like the bullet points going out of line, or the font changing size in the middle of a sentence, and got it looking neat. I even sorted out the spacing so that everything was lined up properly and looking all professional. Oh yes. CV fixer, that’s me. And fence master. And brownie baker. And pony hugger. Jeez. I should start charging for my services.
Some days, I impress myself.
OH, and I kept my toes in while cantering today.