|A natural windbreak. I've been avoiding blanketing as much as possible but the Quarter's are uncomfortable when there's negative windchill. Bonus shot of the barn next door.|
I mentioned before that he's decided he doesn't need to have the halter put on just to go back into the pasture, this created an issue last Monday when I wanted to ride. I brought him out and put the saddle on no problem, when I went to put his bridle on he spun and headed for the gate. Okay, he thought it was time to go back out, no biggie. Instead of opening the gate I went to put his bridle on again; this time he ran away from me down the fence line. Hmmm. I waited by the gate until he came back and then tried to put the bridle on again; he ran off again. Now I was getting grumpy. This time I followed him, threw the reins around his neck and put that darn bridle on (for heaven's sake horse, it doesn't even have a bit).
After that misadventure I was figuring we'd have a crummy ride, especially since I was taking him next door to ride in the indoor. When we got there and found 5 other horses already inside I had definite feelings of trepidation. He proved that I need to think better of him. It was definitely a mental training ride instead of a physical one, but aside from some balking, some bending away from scary stuff, and one head toss he was quite good.
At one point in time everyone else in the indoor decided to take their horses over some little crossrails. Coriander's eyes pretty much bugged out of his head when he saw that. It occurred to me that he's never seen horses jumping before, so we stood around for a bit and just watched.
The most interesting part of the ride happened when I decided it was time to go home. We were in the back of the arena and I decided to walk him towards the door to dismount. I left him on a loose rein and let him decide which route to take, his route was straight towards a crossrail. I started feeling a little smug at this point, figuring he'd get up to the crossrail and then be at a loss figuring out how to go around it. What actually happened was that he walked up to the crossrail and then stepped over it without even a stutter step. I wonder if he saw the other horses going over them and wanted to prove that he could do it too? Maybe he just wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Smartie pants.
Later in the week I decided we needed to have a leading tune up and work on his ducking away from the halter trick. The main issue we're having is that he is rushing off ahead of me and I need to show him that running off like that isn't in his best interests. I took him for a short walk up the driveway and then stopped, he kept going. When he stopped I clicked and put the treat where I wanted him to be- a few feet behind where he ended up. I then waited for him to figure out that he needed to back up to get his reward. We did this a few more times until the point came when I stopped and he backed up to be next to me before I clicked. That was the turning point. The very next time I stopped he was right there with me. Rushing problem solved... for now.