Who's got two thumbs...

and spent 30 minutes on Saturday cantering non-stop around the indoor arena and then the next day had the same up up UP mare?

This girl.

Dat's who.

Rode Wednesday and then gave Dassah mare Thursday and Friday off because she got her shots and I figured she'd be a little sore. It also rained both days and the horses didn't get out either day.

So Saturday I showed up to sunshine and warmth and soggy fields, drenched outdoor and only the indoor available. No worries I thought (famous last words) - I'll just let her run around in the indoor and get her wiggles and giggles out before I lunge. Then I'll lunge and hop on.

bwaahahahahahahahaha. bwahahahahaha, hahah hahah, ha ha haaaaa....

I should have known by the prancing all the way to the indoor that the day might not go as planned. Dassah does not prance to the indoor normally.
I threw her in the indoor and opened all the doors (each door has a gate behind it). Dassah squeals, bucks, and bolts around the arena. Thank God, I thought, let's get all that out now. 

I set up a tiny jump course - two crossrails and a vertical. Can't wait to jump.

Dassah's walking around now and then stands for me to clip the lunge line on. When she's walking, I know it means her head is (USUALLY) in the game.

We briefly lunge and I find I have a very responsive, swingy, and quiet pony on the end of the line. #awesomesauce.

I tack up and after 10 minutes of her ignoring my leg, grabbing the bit, deciding all half-halts warrant a "LALALALALALA" response, etc., etc., I decide that perhaps she just needs to canter it out. I do this on occasion - every now and then she just needs to get a good canter out of her system before her brain can engage. It's about 10 minutes of cantering in a large circle, both ways (minimize stress to her tendons) and then I have a pliable, willing, and listening partner.

Try 30 minutes this time.

Try 30 minutes of varying two-point.

Try 30 minutes of really working on my balance, getting those calves engaged and heels down.

Try 30 minutes of figure-8s.

Try 30 minutes of spirals.

When she gets like this, I try to wait until I hear regular snorting with each stride before I ask for a downward transition. I want her relaxed and ready to work. I also want her ready to work with me, so if I ask for a downward transition and don't get it, then we keep going. If that happens, then I'll keep cantering until she wants the downward transition, I'll give it to her, and then ask her to canter again. Then when I ask for the downward transition, she's very happy to give it to me.

Try this not happening at all for 30 minutes.

After 10 minutes I heard regular snorting. Great! I asked for a trot and got a very emphatic "NO!" In fact, I'm pretty sure I felt her find another gear - overdrive perhaps? Apparently the praise I gave her lineage the other day made it's way to her ears. great.

So we continued. I have blisters behind my knees where my breeches pinched and my left calf is sooooo sore. 

Once she found that other gear, I knew this was not going to be ending anytime soon. So I added work. We practiced those figure-8s and spirals I mentioned. We practiced balancing in the corners, giving to the bridle on the long side and maybe using the hind end a bit.

One boarder popped her head in right when we had started cantering. She worked her mare in the roundpen outside, took her back to the barn to tack up, and came back to find us still cantering.

Yes, I felt crazy. Who does this?!

FINALLY, I felt her asking for the trot. I had given up asking. I gave her the trot and then immediately asked for a canter. Half a circle later I asked for the trot and she immediately powered down. I kept her at the trot until it was nice and relaxed, then we walked.

We walked, walked, walked, and walked.

I should have let it end there.

Only now I had a relaxed horse. So maybe we work just a litttle bit. Like, 5 minutes?

It wasn't too terribly bad. She kept grabbing that dagum bit (simple snaffle rubber dee) and bracing against me but eventually she softened a little bit. We need better transitions so we worked on our walk-trot-walk. I was aiming for softness from walk to trot, our trot to walk is pretty good. I thought maybe I'd throw in some trot-canter-trot transitions and we only had one bit where we went a couple laps again around the arena before she was ready to listen. Seriously?

She gets SO amped up about the canter. We can have the nicest first canter depart and then after we transition downward to the canter, it's all flinging the head, hollowing out, bracing, and general F-You attitude if we trot again.

My plan: So many trot-canter-trot transitions it becomes a non-issue. I need her to be bored about the canter.

The next day we went on an hour ride around the fields with AC and her mare. I thought Dassah would be plodding along with nothing in the tank. Only I was wrong. I had the SAME MARE as the day before. We only walked around the fields but she was all about getting to where she was going. Poor AC's mare could not keep up and they're both the same breed makeup (not quite Appendixes as they're both 3/4 TB). I did switch out the rubber dee for my full-cheek double jointed snaffle - she does seem to like that one better. It didn't help they both saw something ferocious in the woods that they spooked at.

Oh spring, you devilish season. So full of all the different meanings of life.

I need today off - my whole body is so sore.


  1. Wow, mare's got go. I don't think I'd still be alive after a 30 minute canter.

    1. Now to channel this go into something productive....

  2. Bahaha! Hot mare has the hots! Love it when the TB gets in there and says "okay lets go!"

    1. It's like having a sports car and it's doing its own "VROOM VROOM" all the time. She's my little red sports car!

  3. Replies
    1. That was me for about 5 laps, then my body slowly started to die

  4. oh man... mare's apparently feeling GOOD haha. kudos for sticking it out - doubt i would have been able to.

    in fact, i KNOW i wouldn't have been able to - i used to use a similar technique for very 'up' ottbs at my old farm, and when i started riding my hot arab mare i tried the same thing and it did.not.work. bc apparently arabs don't get tired... so i had just dialed her up to 11 and none of my tricks for bringing her back down worked. oops!

    1. Hah hah . Awww, that sucks. Yeah, sometimes I just don't dial it up because (if I'm paying attention) there are times when dialing it down just do.not.work.

  5. Replies
    1. I'm still sore and it's Tuesday! But yes, it was kinda awesome.

  6. UGH. It needs to stop raining so our crazy horses can GO OUTSIDE


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