They were waiting at the gate of the barn, so we got them inside and groomed for awhile. Red is officially shedding like crazy and was sweaty from running around and playing, so I was nasty before I even got on. I noticed some balding spots on his ears and a little bite mark, probably from one of the babies, that I needed to put MTG on later, but so far he looks good. The bugs are officially out. :/ Ugh, hoping he does good this year!!
Tacked up, led them to the 4 acres and hopped on. Red was being silly and barn sour but I got on easily enough and we went on the trail around the 4 acres, I could feel him start to want to bolt again the second I rolled my spurs on him and I told mom that as soon as we were in the 4 acres, I was taking them off. I wanted to give them a minute since this was our first real ride with them as opposed to the slightly pokier ones, maybe he just thought they were the evil pointy spurs. ;) He ended up not getting better so we went ahead to the pasture and I took them off. He kept looking back at me as I was taking them off, and I could just see him ease up and get more comfortable. Definitely the main issue in the bolting problem. He's still barn sour but riding in the pasture was SO much easier and even mom said she saw a huge difference in his body language in the pasture. He was so much happier. He used to do fine with the slip on bumpers, but they were also just little balls on the end while these were thin and had a bit of a wide rowel. No poke to them, but they definitely had a bit more of a bump. He started being spookier and bolty as soon as I starting using the second pair. They looked almost the same and were bigger and shinier, I'm thinking he either thought the newer bumpers were just as scary as the pointy ones, he's just NOT a fan of spurs in general, or he's remembering the pointy ones and is scared to even ride, which would actually kind of explain him giving me trouble when I mount. I have a fairly quiet leg and I made sure I didn't jab him, I had mom watch me for awhile in the round pen with them walk/trot/canter and she said I wasn't hitting him at all, but I'm sure I've probably poked him on accident a time or two and just one time is enough. Red is a sensitive horse when it comes to metal and etc (spurs, bits) so it doesn't surprise me that he had issues.
Once I took them off, we had an awesome ride in the pasture. Spirit does better every single time mom gets on him and he's just getting better on the ground after that farrier visit with the noveal headstall. He respects us more, and even the old farrier commented on how good he was acting compared to a few weeks ago when he was out. Spirit still has an occasional "Ugh I'm a brat!" moment but he is only 8 years old and he's an Appaloosa and he's an ex barrel horse who has come a long way since last May. (Which reminds me, we've almost had him for a year!)
We made a few slow laps around the pasture, zig-zagged around then followed the fence-line. Red got his low headset back within minutes of the spurs being off and he was fine with walking, finally. We let them race back to the end of the pasture, away from the barn, and then trotted down the sides of the pasture. I love how competitive Red gets when we let them race, haha!!
|True love right there.|
I managed to get mom to take some videos of Red and I trotting around the pasture, they aren't the best but I can see how he looks and how I look, so I know what to improve on. I probably need to fix my stirrups a little because my legs are weird and uneven and it's messing with my heels, and I need to stop grabbing the back of my saddle when he trots. He's bumpy, but it's gotten a lot better (either that or I've gotten a better seat, lol) and I need to stop doing that, haha! I also need to keep my reins looser when he gets into a faster gait, it's hard but what I need to do again is start using the cantle to hold onto like I did before so I maintain a looser rein.
|Stills from a video so not the best pictures, but....I'm actually proud of how I look here other than my heels.|
I do think his trot is starting to look a little more fluid and he's collecting himself more now. He's still a little on the chubby side but I can definitely see his muscles start to come out more when he actually uses himself. ;)
|My reins are too high but at least they are a bit looser... UGH my heels.|
I do need tips on how to keep my heels down and planted in my stirrups on a rough gaited horse, so any ideas are totally appreciated. I don't want to look like a bafoon, haha!
|Urgh I look stupid but......Red looks pretty awesome.|
All in all, the horses did amazing yesterday. Red wanted to trot back home once we turned back, so I went back in the pasture, trotted him in circles, dismounted, loosened the cinch and made him walk slow. He always wants to trot down that hill, no matter if I'm riding or if I'm walking him, so he needs some lessons in manners. I've let him do it, so it's mostly my fault, just like the majority of his flaws, haha! Yesterday I kind of noticed a lot of my own flaws and how they are affecting him. I know I've done pretty good for the past year and a half with him, but I have made him get into some bad habits and I need to fix it.
It wasn't the longest ride ever but we ended on a good note. Since he tried running home, I took him in the round pen and walked with him, worked on his "woah" cue and free-lunged him for a few minutes. We didn't do much but he got a little workout in there too and was exhausted and ready to be good by the time we were done. He joined up as soon as I let him and followed me around everywhere, he walked back the barn next to me without me leading him, didn't try to speed up, just walked at my pace next to me. I love this horse.
|Redman says he is very red right now.|
|Our new tack set ;) All I need now is green splints!|
Went into the barn, untacked, got him cooled off and took some selfies.
|How can you be mad at that face, come on!|
And one more for kicks...
|Is there anything cuter than a huge horse yawning?|
Video will be up later!