Sunday, March 20, 2016

Baby brain strain

Odin had a hard working weekend and it clearly pushed him to his baby brain limits.
I must protest these requests

While I was off living the high life (HAHA business travel is not what it is cracked up to be.  20 hours of travel each way IN COACH for 36 hours in country, jet lag, sleep deprivation, etc), CO weather made it a pretty quiet week for him.  Tuesday and Wed he had trainer rides although Wed's was cut short by heavy winds, then Thursday and Friday it was snowy and trainer R didn't even get to the barn.

So by Saturday, Odie was ready to rock.  First he was allowed running around time in the indoor before everyone came for the day.  Later, I opted to let R2 ride him since I had just gotten home the night before and after 11 hours of sleep was still not recovered.

He was still pretty up while she tacked him up (chewing on the cross ties, dancing, "helping" groom) so she threw him on the longe for awhile.   He was actually pretty good there, mostly holding his leads and acting obedient although he definitely needed this pre-ride.

Nice uphill canter transition
After all that, he was still kind of spazzy when she climbed on.  That is when I realized what a genius decision I made having him get a trainer ride that day.  Not that he does anything bad per se, you just really have to ride and your timing and aids have to be really on which I was not in any position to do (I hopped on a friend's broke horse Ollie later that day and had a nice, easy ride).

It took something like 15 minutes of trotting before he settled down enough to focus. Before that it was more, drop behind the bit, lay on hands, pretend I can't go straight, cock my head, WHY IS NONE OF THIS WORKING?

Oh, is this better?
Then she had him canter in both directions and finally, jump a small course!  He was dead tired by that point and could barely muster any enthusiasm.  R2 trotted him in to everything and he quietly popped over and cantered away from each.
You bet there were some grunting sound effects associate with this effort

I wish I could ride that R2, she makes it look so easy.  I was able to appreciate that even more on Sunday, when it was my turn.  No pictures from Sunday, but Odin was clearly sore and tired from his hard workout the day before.

Understandable, but big boy baby horses now have to come out and work even when it is hard.

We started out with a long walk to stretch out those muscles and he was perfect for the first few minutes of trotting each direction.  Totally lovely, can't wait til he is that horse all of the time.  Then I am not sure if he loosened up or was just having a toddler melt down but he wanted to be DONE.

Trotting poles on Sat, he did this perfectly at first on Sunday too.
There was kicking at the leg, kicking the wall, squealing, ear pinning, head tossing, more squealing.  At one point he cantered three strides directly sideways.  Then he realized how hard that was (and it was also a lovely canter, horse if that is the kind of temper tantrum you throw, please keep it up) and stopped.  I just had to ride through it.  My trainer said I was riding really well so hopefully that is true because Odin never really fully settled.

I certainly wasn't going to get off when he was sassing but I also believe he was actually tired and sore so I tried to walk the fine line there.  He finally started giving me obedient work that was a little tense and quick but what I was asking for instead of trying to blow me off. After he was able to maintain that, take a walk break, and come back and do it a second time in a row, I let him be done.

It was kind of a mouth gapey weekend
Overall, I think it was a good experience for him.  He seems to soak up knowledge and hopefully he learned a lesson or two.  I am very grateful for the professionals I have available and the dedication they have to my horse and how he is moving along.  I have this week in town before my next couple trips, if the weather cooperates I need mad saddle time so I can come along as fast as my horse!


  1. I love how honest you are with yourself and unapologetic about trainer rides, so many people in the horse world would benefit from your mindset. Odin seems like such a cool dude, I think your journey together is going to be really awesome!

    1. Ha, if I had any ego about my riding ability, Fawkes beat it out of me. Now I am all about letting the pros do their job so I can do mine! Thank you, every day seems to be different with him right now, but they all are fun.

  2. gotta love the trainers that can just get in there and make it look easy, esp for such a hard thinking baby! sounds like an educational weekend ;)

    1. I always tell my husband that I get jealous that the trainers make it look so easy, but then again, that is what I am paying them for!