Thursday, May 6, 2010

Our First Real Argument..

Ok, there is definitely some LBI in Guinness' horsenality too..

This evening, after feeding, I went to play with Guinness at liberty in the back field, with the intention of doing a little in the roundpen and then potentially really riding him around the field (corner to corner).

Liberty went pretty well - he was very treat-oriented and had a lot of energy. For instance, he leapt onto the tire pedestal with all four feet. When he did leave me, he went into the round pen to see if Smokey had left any dinner.

At that point, I closed the rope gate and we played circling game at liberty in the round pen. Nothing great, but he was making it around about 2 1/2 laps at a trot before pooping out. In hind sight, perhaps I should have asked him to go really slow instead?

I tacked him up with the saddle at liberty, then fooled with him some more as I tightened the girth. Eventually, I asked him to come to get me. He was pretty pushy and kept bumping me off of the mounting block, so we did this a few times.

When I did mount up, he made a face and swished his tail, but I figured that was probably due to me putting weight in the stirrup, which he isn't that used to. I lifted my energy and allowed him to walk, but it took him a few moments to move. We walked along the rail about 1/2 way around and he stopped. I waited a second and then asked him to walk forward escalating up to using the savvy string to "spank the air". At this point he did a very slow motion, LB rear! I thought perhaps he misunderstood me, so I asked again. Again, he reared at when I spanked the air and added a little hop with a sour face.

This pissed me off. My reaction was probably a combination of fear and "how dare you"! Fortunately, as I swung down I thought, "I'm feeling a bit hot headed, so I'd better stay fair." I undid the 12' line that I had been using as reins and made the boy work a little bit! He looked at me like "Shazam" and lowered his head.

I took him back to the mounting block and darned if it didn't happen again, in almost the exact way!! This time, I didn't dismount. Instead I cranked him around into strong lateral flexion and had a heart to heart talk with the chap (both sides). He didn't give me a hint of resistance. He looked just like a teenage boy who just called his mom a bad word and knows that he is in for it.

After a couple of minutes (probably not long enough), I asked him to move forward again. This time he did, but I didn't want to push it and dismounted after 1/2 a lap. I walked away and he kinda barged into me, so I sent him away. After a minute or two, he came back with lowered head. As he started lipping my arm, I looked him in the eye and told him that if he bit me he was dead meat, so he began to lick instead.

I couldn't resist that and started grooming him back. Hrumph. After several minutes of that, I opened the roundpen and he cantered up to the gate where his buddies were. Then I turned them all out into the big field for the night.

I guess that things aren't as simple as they had seemed. I'd be that our future LB battles continue to happen at home, where he feels more confident and is trying to move up in the herd.


Emma Kline said...

heh. been there.

Naturally Gaited said...

Oh, do tell! With which horse - Nigel? How'd you fix it??


Lisa said...

One comment - rather than using the savvy string, use a 12' line or the mecate of your hackamore to spank the air/spank the hair. Carol Coppinger has made this comment more than once - that savvy string is sharp and the horse, particularly a LBI, can take that as extremely unfair.

Been there, done that with Cricket. It's rough and unfortunately, it's going to take some time to work out.

Naturally Gaited said...

Thanks for the insight. I think that a serious increase in unmounted driving game has helped a ton.

Truth will tell this weekend..