Training through a ride that is not going well: yes or no? Last night, I went with “no.” Eli started well enough and I jumped him over a few low fences, he played a little, nothing out of the ordinary happening ….
But something about the changing light at dusk, dogs barking, and people walking up the farm’s drive set Eli’s brain to high alert, and he quickly descended into inconsolable spookiness. At first, I tried to ride through it. A spook or two, I can ride through (by ignoring the bad, praising the good, generally coaxing Eli into relaxing again) and reset Eli’s brain back to work mode from flight mode. Happens all the time. This particular evening, there was no riding through it. The spook-squeal-buck pattern repeated itself nine or ten times before I decided to quit. Yes, I did quit on a “bad” note. Yes, I am schooling or unschooling my horse with everything I do. Eh. So what? I have no desire to physically exhaust my horse into submission–I broke with that method of training a long time ago and I’m not going back. Horses are smarter than that. However, Eli has moments of brilliant stupidity, and when they coincide with my moments of impatient frustration, I would rather dismount and see what tomorrow brings. Neither of us had the right frame of mind, so I untacked him in the round pen and let him roam around, roll, spook freely, and snort while I cleaned tack.
In more fun news, Eli’s BoT hind quick wraps came and I got to try them out for a little bit.
I put them on him while slowly tacking up. I doubt I will ever leave them on him overnight, but I plan to use them before rides to get his wind puffs down. He did not take to wearing them right away, as with anything I put on his hinds …