Two days ago, I told Ty that I'm about done with this horse (as a rachorse anyway). It's not worth Ty getting hurt over.
Today, after Hell-horse threw another (though slightly milder) fit, I asked Ty if I should get on him and ride him around. Yep, I seriously lost my damn mind! I'm pretty sure Ty was thinking the same. He reluctantly agreed though and I quickly grabbed my helmet and vest before I could change my mind. I was really wishing I had my One K or GPA, but all I had at the barn was my chincy-ass exercise helmet, which I think is pretty much worthless. Great. At which point this morning did I decide to become suicidal? I hopped on anyway. For some crazy reason I felt like I needed to get on Hell-horse.
|I asked our groom to take a picture as I had sworn I would never get on this horse.|
Ty legged me up and I told him to lead me off a ways. Hell-horse was already pissed off from being ridden and felt like a bomb ready to explode. I reached up and just started petting and talking to him. He took a breathe and his muscles start to relax. I did the same. Woohoo! I might not die today....
My point of getting on wasn't to teach him anything, that's the fiancé's job. I really felt like he needed someone to get on him and not ask him for much, to realize that life isn't always hard. It's not that Ty just beats him all of the time, but when a horse is willing to fly backwards until he hits something and falls over, a person doesn't have much choice other than to get after them. The simplest thing, like asking him to change directions, can sometimes bring on one of Hell-horse's peddling in reverse fits. Even if you are just walking.
I just walked him in a big circle and left his face alone as much as I could. When he felt relaxed, we reversed and went the other direction. Then I did a few smaller figure eights with him. I rode him kind of like a horse that is barely started under saddle, just guiding him enough to get him to follow his head while moving forward. I babied him, talking to him and petting him for every little thing he did right (pretty sure the track people around us thought I was a wierdo). Hell-horse was really good! I stopped him, let him stand for a minute and then got off.
|He was trying to pull down on me here. That was the worst thing he did. Well, that and tries to eat grass. I figured if he was relaxed enough to try and eat with me on him, it was a good thing.|
It was probably a stupid risk to get on him, but I'm still glad I did. Hopefully it was good for him to just go for a walk and have even the tiniest of accomplishments rewarded. Do I think it will change him overnight? Absolutely not. At least he had that positive experience though and maybe enough of them will add up to make him better in the end. I wish I were fearless, that I were brave enough to ride him on the track. I never will be and I honestly doubt Ty would let me even if I were. Maybe one day I can do some dressage with him. Maybe. He does have some really good days, it's possible.