Tuesday, April 17, 2012

frustrating pony

Scenario 1: Shyloh has been in her stall all day due to the threat of thunderstorms. She has not been worked in a week. The wind is so strong it feels like the barn roof is going to rip off. It is so loud. There are no other people or horses.

Scenario 2: Shyloh has spent the day outside with her herd. She was just worked the previous day. The weather is nice, the sun is shining. The arena doors are open. There are two other horses in the arena and some people.

Which scenario do you think Shy would be an absolute dream pony and which one do you think she would be a horrible nightmare in?

For the dream pony, if you guessed Scenario 1, you are correct! Yesterday was amazing! Shy was awesome. I got to the barn and turned Shy out in the arena to run some energy off of her and get a good roll in the sand. She was being very sassy and having herself a good ole time running around, bucking, and doing these little bunny hops. Then she riled up the hole barn by calling to the other horses and they all answered back. The wind was howling, but Shy never gave it a second thought.
Shy's fan club
Once Beth got to the barn, I tacked Shy up and Beth began to put out poles and a tarp. Something new! Beth wanted to work on getting Shy to use her back end more. I told Beth that Shy has not shown any spookiness at the wind (it sounded like it was going to rip the roof off), so if she becomes spooky, she is faking. 

No worries, because Shy had no spooks or scoots this ride! Wow! She walked, trotted, and cantered over poles and tarp. She hesitated once when going over the tarp the first time, but never gave it a second thought any other time. Beth was very impressed with her canter transitions, she didn't know where the improvement came from. Shy has not been ridden since the testy ride last Tuesday. Her transitions were really good and much more controlled and balanced! 

Beth also worked on a side pass with Shy, which Shy figured out. Beth was very impressed that Shy was responsive to her legs and not jumpy at all. Shy was also able to disengage her hind end without a fight! 
Then I got on Shy! I think we are like a vicious cycle. If she is relaxed I am relaxed so she is relaxed. If I am tense, she is tense, so I am tense. Make sense? As soon as I got on Shy, I could feel how relaxed she was; sometimes I can just feel the nervous energy in her. We walked on and went over the poles and the tarp. Shy was wonderful! She listened to what I was asking her and was so calm. This is the pony I want her to be all the time. Shy got a ton of praise and we ended the lesson a little short, but on a great note!

Scenario 2 was today. I went to the barn with high hopes of my perfect little pony and she did not deliver. Shy was fighting Beth every step of the ride. Shy wanted to go fast, so Beth made her go fast. Round and round they went. Shy wanted to stop, Beth said nope, we are going fast! Shy was very hard on the left rein and kept locking up on the bit. She gave Beth a hard time when she was asked to disengage her hind end. She kept scooting into her transitions. Beth would touch her mane or the side of her neck and it would send her flying forward. It was horrible, awful, terrible. Not as bad as it could of been, but where was my Shy from yesterday? 
Getting ready to give Beth a hard time
I did not get any video of the disaster that was today. I was in shock and disappointed in Shy. Clearly Shy knows what is being asked of her and is able to perform, but chose not to do so today. I should have got video of her ride today. And to think, poor Shy (and me) would have got the day off tomorrow if she was a good horse. Oh well, more work tomorrow. . .


  1. In my experience, I get two steps forward and one step back. As we progress, it seems we get more steps forward. But, the backward step is almost always there... some time, some where. It's disappointing - but I live for more good days in a row. Good luck!

  2. Bad Shy! Horses sure know when to push your buttons. I hope tommorow goes better.

  3. Funny, it would seem logical if it were the opposite.
    Hang in there, we all have bad days.

    1. I thought so too. She is crazy though and never does the expected.

  4. My guess would be she was sore. She had a week off and then worked hard over poles which used new muscles and then was sore the next day. She may need to work every other day or at least get a day off after hard workouts. Maybe work hard, relaxing trail ride, work hard, day off or something like that just to mix it up. Sorry it was such a disappointing day, but it happens with young horses and it will get better. :)


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