October 22, 2013

Bad Behavior

First, a big !!!CONGRATS!!! to my hubby who ran a great marathon over the weekend. He beat his PR (personal record) by an amazing 20 minutes :) Without running more than 13 miles at one time in over a year!! He had fun and I had a great time hanging with W. We played and ate and played some more. I love that little guy :)

Now on to Gemmie. I swear someone snuck in and replaced my mare with a she devil. Seriously. I don't know what has gotten into her lately, but last night I had had enough. Actually, I do know what has gotten into her. Colder weather. Rides after dark. Too few rides (meaning once a week and not pushing her hard even then). Boredom. Big, open arena. Sigh.

Thankfully she has gotten over whatever monsters she thought were lurking in the barn and now stands mostly quietly in the cross ties to be loved on, brushed, inspected and tacked up. She is no longer splattering poo everywhere which makes my life way nicer. She was in an oddly "love on me" mood last night. Probably because it had been a week (ick!! Bad owner!) since I was there last. The BO was there and we chatted for almost an hour while Gem slowly lost patience and started making hilarious bored faces: sticking out her tongue, showing her teeth, big yawns. Silly girl.

Eventually we headed into the dark to the big arena to get some work done. I had found a quarter sized rub mark on her left side from the hunter pace. Ugh. Not happy about that and kicked myself for not noticing it earlier. It is healed and dry, but I still felt guilty. The new girth I ordered is on back order and wont be available until next Thursday which is a bummer, but I really ma hoping it makes a difference.

Anyway...she was actually quite well behaved and walked quietly around the arena even getting super close to the fence. I was thrilled. Then we trotted and even that was going ok. Then a few things happened. 1.) She got bored and cranky 2.) Pete came tearing through the pastures until he was right out of site in the dark next to the arena 3.) He started screaming his head off for her. Sigh. She decided that this wasn't so fun anymore and began to canter. I asked for the trot again. She cantered. I circled her and she settled. Then took off and threw in a buck. Tiny and not impressive but bad behavior nonetheless. The saddle slid forward. I got off, readjusted, got back on. We made it a little ways around again until she tried it again. I got mad. I have no interest in fighting her all the time. It is no fun. So, I got off, trudges over to the gate, untacked her and sent her away.

I had planned to get her cantering some to 1) blow off steam, 2) explore the arena without me on her to realize it isn't going to kill her and 3) watch her go in the footing to make sure she wasn't limping or anything.

She took off flying like a rocket. I have never, in 4 years, seen her fly like that! She was a picture perfect Arabian: tail up high and laying on her back, neck arched, nostrils flaring. She was gorgeous :) Being bad, but gorgeous while doing it. She flew around that arena like something was after her. Well, strike #3 off the list: she was moving just fine. She came charging over to me, but I made her keep going. Around and around she went. When she slowed down, I clucked her back up. After 15 minutes, I allowed her to come over and we walked back to the gate together. She was breathing hard, dripping with sweat and had steam coming off her back.

I tacked her back up, got back on and headed back out. All I wanted was for a nice, calm walk. She bolted. I should have planned on that. I mean, I just made her run around like that. She came back though and within a few minutes she was walking nicely. I called it a night.

Phew! I really wish I had put the Garmin on her to see that read out! She was flying!!! I doubt it did any real good, but at least I saw that she wasn't lame and obviously the footing isn't that horrible. Part of the issue is that the area is so large and open with nothing in her way. She just wants to go. There were days in the arctic north where all she wanted was to spend an hour cantering around the indoor and I let her. It was fun and good exercise. But it was enclosed, small and safe. She couldn't really go anywhere. This area is soooo big that she can really pick up steam. If I could trust her to stay calm, I wouldn't mind cantering her a few times around the arena to wear her out a bit, but I don't like this bucking issue she has begun. I don't want to run her into the ground every time I ride, so a happy medium will need to be reached here. I will make sure I get out to the barn way more often. 2 week nights and a weekend shouldn't be that hard to do. I plan to head out again Wednesday night.

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