Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Toad is back to her old self!

I went out to work Toad today and was a little nervous because she's been such a wingnut after her week or so off from work.  I was worried for nothing because she was back to the Toad that I've known the last five months.  She was good in the cross ties and very polite on the lunge line with only a couple exceptions.  One of which was a big spook which was not malicious on her part.  And she got over it well for which I was proud.

I'd been working her to the left and had just changed to lunge line over so we could work to the right and she was just about to go out on the circle when there was a clanging outside and then a kind of weird mechanical sound.  Probably most horses would've heard it and put their ears back and been a little concerned, but this is Toad.  Add to that that going to the right is her "bad side" that she doesn't like to do and she went straight up in the air and tried to take off.  Luckily, I just got a new cotton lunge line so I was able to hold on without worrying too much about rope burns.  I did have to let the line out almost all the way but I was able to hold onto her.  Then I was proud of her because she reared, then did stop and when I said, "Whooooa!" and held my finger up, she didn't move.  Then I said, "Come on, Toadie ..." meaning "Come one, get over it!" but she thought I meant "Come to me," and she started to walk forward.  I said, "Whoa," and held my finger up again and she stopped and stood still until I walked up to her.  Very good girl!  I tried to lead her to the arena door so she could see what the noise was and she got halfway there and went straight up on all fours again and started to spin, but when I told her to stop she did.  Finally she followed me to the door and looked out and saw M.  and Trainer K. messing with the trailer hitch and you could tell the gears were turning in her head.  I took her back out on the circle and she actually did her walk, trot canter just like she was supposed to!  She was definitely still in "high alert" mode but she was able to return her attention to me whenever I reminded her.

I took the lunge line off and told her she had earned her right to roll.  She pawed the ground for a moment then looked at me with concern.  I started to back up and she followed me.  I stopped and she stood right next to me! I realized she was not going to roll until I took her halter off.  What a good girl! So, I took her halter off and then she exploded and bucked all over the place (which makes her fart =snort=) and rolled and bucked and did one really fast gallop around the arena.  She really needed that time to get her ya-yas out.  It took me about five minutes to catch her, but that's to be expected when she hasn't had arena time for quite awhile to get her bucks out.

It was nice to have her acting like herself with me again.  It re-emphasized how important it is for her to keep working on a consistent basis.  When I bought her from her old owner, that girl had stopped working with her as soon as she decided to sell her so she just sat around in her stall/pasture for months with no work at all.   But I'm going to make sure she stays in training and we keep working with her just as much as always until she sells so that she can keep herself working to her full potential instead of reverting to the bad habits she had with her old owner.  Apparently, Trainer V. made a comment about how she needed to let Toad's old owner know that I'm selling her.  I don't know why - that girl couldn't wait to get rid of her.  And if for some crazy reason she wanted to buy her back I wouldn't sell her back.  Toadie needs a rider who will work her at least six days a week and have consistent, firm, high expectations from her so she can keep her body and mind active.  And she needs someone who sees the wonderful horse she is and doesn't just write her off as a "dangerous project horse" like her old owner did just because her old owner had no idea how to handle her.  And she needs someone who is a more experienced rider than me so they can ride her every day.  Maybe I was her stepping stone to the perfect home?  At least she's being sold as a sweet, smart, well-mannered young high-strung Thoroughbred as opposed to a dangerous, project horse that has no manners and no training.

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