Tonight I rode Bo out onto the trails near our agistment. I took Ruby (my Border Collie) along for a run too. It started off well, Bo was a little bit of a tourist on the way out however there was a method to my madness…
I am working on getting Bo into a frame when there is distractions around. He is starting to work nicely at home, good frame, forward-ish… and all that but as soon as we go out somewhere, up pops the head and he looks like a giraffe.
So back to the trails, we rode past D’s (one of my instructors) place, his 2* eventer came up to say hi… and so did Bo’s head. 🙂 Over the little bridge, he decided he didn’t like it so I pushed him forward (when Bo has no forward and gets scared, it quickly turns to UP and I don’t want rearing to become a habit out of the arena) We went for a bit of a trot and canter, before I bought him back to a walk and started asking for a frame. He was working really nicely through his back and had a nice contact in my hands… and then on the way home he saw the alpacas. There were three of them and they came running up to the fence to chase Ruby away (she was happily running along ahead of Bo) and I didn’t react fast enough to get Bo forward. He stopped dead. Then spun around. And then took off. Yay! Just what I needed, it was getting dark and I was riding by myself – not really super keen on falling off under those circumstances… So I turned him around (facing the alpacas) asked for forward and he started doing his rocking horse… I used my spurs and the rocking horse got bigger – I should point out, Bo’s rocking horse is what he does when he wants to do what you ask, but is too scared or excited to actually do it.
I hopped off and walked him up to the fence and let him see the alpacas. There was a few times that he tried to take off, there was A LOT of snorting and even more jig jogging as we walked near the scary demon alpacas. Once he would walk past them reasonably quietly (not barge past me and try and head for the hills) I patted him, walked him away from them and then re-mounted. Note to self…. Do some alpaca desensitizing before taking Bo out by himself again.
Bo was good after that though, even though his brain was almost fried, he managed to concentrate on rounding up most of the way home, except when there was other people on the trails, but we will work on that.
GK was pretty good yesterday, there was the occasional warp speed trot and one or two pigroots going into canter, but once he got over himself he worked quite nicely. I have booked a lesson with my other instructor C (not the one who lives near Bo and GK) to polish up our dressage before our EvA80 debut in a month. I put my entry for Harvey in yesterday. Now all I need to do is not die. I popped a 44 gallon drum on its end and chucked a few poles on it and got GK to jump it at the end of our flatwork session yesterday. Wow, the first few times he ran out – I quickly figured out he didn’t have enough canter to clear it. The third time he almost had enough canter and had to throw in a big leap (which I totally wasn’t expecting) and got over it, it wasn’t pretty… but it worked. The next time, there was too much canter and he jumped flat, knocking it and the last time was a lot better than the third time and considering we were losing daylight pretty quick (and I was jumping in my dressage saddle), we managed to clear it pretty well. I will need to organise a jump lesson with D before Harvey… or at least ask if I can borrow his arena and show jumps… I need to make sure we have the canter right, otherwise show jumping will be interesting.
No pictures this time, as I was by myself…