Finn's trainer ride went pretty good. My trainer is working on his canter and she told me that his canter is probably the worst she's ever ridden. Yikes! He is basically legs everywhere, unbalanced, nose in the air. She got a couple of really good canter strides, didn't want to push him, and worked more on his trot.
Today was a completely different story with the canter during our lesson. 4 new horses moved into the barn today, and my horse gets seriously stressed out with change. When I went to pull him in from the paddock he nearly ran me over, did a couple of sideways leaps, and a couple of half rears. On the crossties he was dancing around, whinnying, wild-eyed, and completely crazy. I haven't gotten nervous around him in a while, but I was pretty nervous. There was also a lot of commotion in the barn. Today was a holiday, which I completely forgot about. Usually I get to the barn around 1 and it is empty. Before Finn's bad behavior could escalate even further we tacked up super quick, and I hopped on. I thought about lunging him, but there were a few people riding, and another boarder lunging her horse that was bucking, rearing and tearing around the ring in a frenzy... There is nothing I can't stand more than lunging to get bad behavior out, especially when there are other people riding.
We warmed up at the walk and trot, and although Finn had his head in the clouds, and continued to call out to his buddies, the silliness stopped for the most part. When our trainer arrived we cantered a few 20m circles to warm up and I couldn't believe the loose, forward horse I had under me. For the first time Finn's canter felt almost normal. He was reaching for the contact and felt so much more balanced. We worked more on the canter throughout the lesson and I felt glimmers of hope for his normally choppy, horrible canter. We also worked on some raised cavaletti, and lots of leg yields.
I'm so proud of my horse. I really thought I was going to have a horrible ride given his behavior in the paddock, and all of the excitement in the barn, but he was able to settle down and get to work. It makes me excited for show season. He really seems to excel when there's an audience watching! My trainer took a short video of us in the beginning of our ride before he settled down. His little head tossing used to turn into full out rears, luckily he seems to have grown out of that!
I also put him in a Happy Mouth loose ring snaffle and he seems to go a lot better in it. I feel like in the Myler Comfort Snaffle he would just lean and pull the entire time I was riding him. In the Happy Mouth I feel like he's not so heavy, but not shying away from the contact either. I need to remember to be lighter with my hands though. I feel like the Myler taught me to be way too harsh because no matter what I did I couldn't get him forward into the contact. In the Happy Mouth I feel like it's much easier, with much less effort! We're getting a cold front/snow the next few days. I hope to ride on Wednesday but with 10 degrees as the high Finn might get a few days off! Here's some pictures from last Friday.
|Conformation shot after almost a year together. I think he looks good, especially that nice, shiny, coat!|
|Enough with the pictures, Mom!|