So before I start--I published another article on Horsenation, the much-awaited one about my internship at Practical Horseman! I was waiting to write it until I got my act together and was ready to submit to HN. And then I ended up writing it in one night. Deadlines are motivating I guess.
Go check it out and give me a shot at that SmartPak gift card!!!
So although I haven't mentioned it before, Mr. Midnight can be a bit of a twerp on the ground. There are a million excuses why--he was gelded late, there are new horses in his field, blah blah blah--but bottom line, he's 12 years old and needs to save the drama for his mama. (Oh wait, that's me, isn't it.) Anyway, if I don't assert yourself as the one with the power to move him around, then he totally takes advantage--gets in my space, turns his butt to me, tries to rub his face on me after a ride, whaps his head around without paying attention to where my head is, etc.
I'm working on these things slowly by keeping his halter and lead on while I groom and tack up so I can keep control of him better. If he moves in my space, I push back and get him to take a step or two. If he tries to turn his butt to me when I walk towards him, I move to his shoulder, then ask him to engage that hind leg and do a little turn on the forehand. He has actually been pretty good for the past few weeks, and I'm starting to work on getting him to cross-tie. He's OK with being attached to just one cross-tie, but if his head is in both it kind of flips him out, so I just do one cross-tie and a lead rope in my hand.
But with summer, new boarders have come...and that means new horses in his field. Which means ALL RULES GO OUT THE WINDOW. Of course.
So that is how I spent God knows how long trying to catch him. He was fine to catch, but then would just rip away and take off galloping. I only put up with that for like 3 times of him running away, then I got a chain and an apple. By that point someone else came up to catch her horse and I just followed them out. It did take two tries though--I was so terrified he was going to break his nose or something when he galloped off with the chain. Thankfully he was fine, and I was able to get someone to take my Horsenation author bio picture.
Plus some other pictures that made me realize that I need to establish FORWARD definitively before I fiddle with the roundness stuff I've been learning in our lessons. In the other pictures we have flexion but he's clearly not using his whole body at all. Which is a shame because his gaits are actually quite lovely and swingy. And on my end, I need to get my hands out of my crotch and use my elbows! You can kind of see in the picture above my wrists are a bit bent, not effective.
Hopefully things will have settled down in his field the next time I go out. If not , hopefully I can get there early before my lesson and do a little groundwork (leg yields, turn on the forehand to get control of his legs) in his field.