Sunday, August 18, 2013
Sometimes You Just Gotta Change the Game Plan
On Thursday, the loaner/demo saddle arrived from County. I now know why it's been on the demo list for a while, it's Oak bark which means it's a little orange, but beggars can't be choosers and I'm sure grateful to have a saddle while mine is fixed. Now that Alex and I can get back on track, he's back to boot-camp, which means he gets lunged and ridden every day, regardless of whether he's been worked the day before, until I can tell he's back in a routine. I've also decided that there will be no more babying for Alex. He's going to have to work in whatever circumstances arise.
So with that in mind, I walked into the arena to lunge him on Thursday with other horses (gaited horses at that) in the arena. He was quiet enough until the other horses started doing more than walking. This brought on the exaggerated trot complete with tail in the air and then grunting and bucking. I just kept lunging him and waiting for the excitement to abate and eventually it did. When I finally climbed into the saddle, he was still a little up, but not wild, so we just did some trot work and called it a day. It was much more lunging and less riding than I would have liked on such a nice day, but sometimes, you just gotta change the game plan. He's got to be exposed to things if he's ever going to get over them and if that means I don't get to do what I had planned, that's just going to have to be ok.
Saturday I rode late, since the hubs was at a Diaper Party (read man baby shower) and then that way I could do my barn chores after Alex went out to his paddock for the night. We were alone in the arena which I have to admit was nice (I said I wouldn't run from distractions, I didn't say I loved them!). Alex went well on the lunge, so I climbed into the saddle ready to work. Basically the only bad thing I can say is that he still wanted to buck during the right canter transition. I'm about 90% sure this is just left over anxiety from his previous back/saddle problems but since we haven't been able to work consistently, it will take some time for me to be absolutely sure.
The loaner saddle feels just fine, I have to admit that my saddle felt a lot wider, which was probably a symptom of the broken tree. I feel pretty darn stupid for not knowing about the tree, but live and learn I suppose.
Usually I give Alex Sunday off, but since we've been out of work for a while, I'm going to ride him today. Taking the Madré with me today so she can give a few pointers. We'll see how that goes :-)
Happy riding everyone!