Tuesday, February 23, 2010

disconcerting ride

I actually had some time this morning to head out to the stable by myself to go ride. I spent awhile going over some of my new tack with Sheryl and realizing I had the wrong kind of girth that I ordered online for cheap but now couldn't return because I'd cut the tags off. Bah! And I'd gotten the wrong size saddle pad. But at least I can use the saddle pad someday if we get a pony. The girth will have to go the way of ebay I think. At least I got the right kind of snaffle bit. After waaaaaay too much time researching English bits.

Anyway, after all that, I got Girlfriend all ready to go and she was actually being really calm (considering she's in heat). We got out in the arena and I put my foot in the stirrup and swung my leg over just as she slowly started to walk away. That was unusual that she walked slowly away. Usually she does a little jig as soon as my first foot is in the stirrup. Then she was walking slowly and kept stopping to rub her nose on her leg. So I got off and checked her headstall and there was one strap that may have been bugging her so I fixed that and thought everything was fine.

I mounted her again and this time she stood still which actually threw me off balance a little because I was over-compensating like I always do in order to balance while she's walking away. Once again, walked slowly, kept stopping to rub her face on her right leg. I dismounted again and checked everything and couldn't find what was bothering her. There was a little bit of caked mud under the nose band of her hackamore so I brushed that off. Got back on (this time ready for her to stand still although she actually walked slowly off this time). Same thing.

I guessed it might be behavioral so as soon as she began to lower her head I gave her a firm correction tug to lift her head, which she did, but she wasn't happy about it. I tried going to a trot and she did really well for about half the arena, then stopped abruptly and pulled her head down to rub her face on her leg. After composing myself since I almost lost my balance when she did that, I had her walk a little more (with much pulling down of her head to rub it on her leg) and finally said, "Fuck it!" and got off her and took off her saddle and bridle. She didn't do her regular turn and run thing that she does when I let her loose in the arena. Instead she stood next to me and nudged me a couple times then put her head against my chest. I gave her a hug and took her tack back to the tack room and she stood next to the arena door and waited for me. It was strange.

I was feeling pretty pissy though. I had been looking forward to riding and something was obviously bothering her and I couldn't figure out what it was. And I didn't have time to tack up and ride one of Sheryl's horses. I was relieved after I put Girlfriend's blanket back on and then got Doc to put in the arena with her, that she pepped up and acted like her old self again. At one point Doc was standing over by the door, soaking up the sun and Girl and I were on the other side of the arena and she looked over at him, did her little head toss she does, then spun around and galloped over to him and put her nose up again his, then backed up and put her head on his back like she does when she wants to hug him.

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