Friday, June 8, 2012

nursery rhymes

There was a little girl

Who had a little curl

Right in the middle of her forehead;

And when she was good,
She was very, very good

But when she was bad she was horrid

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
This pretty much sums up Shyloh. Ugh. Actually, I can't be too mad. . .I did not fall off and I learned a bunch of things from today's ride. But I am kinda mad at myself, I set my video camera up and forgot to push play. It would have been nice to see footage of our lesson.

So today. . .Shy really had a bug in her butt. I got on and we walked really well. Beth wanted to start out with having a solid whoa using seat and legs. We started out pretty good. Shy has a decent whoa with the verbal command and the reins, but it is essential to be able to stop her in multiple ways. She did stop each time I asked, but she clearly had her own agenda for today, which was basically get to the arena doors and back into her stall.

If I stopped her facing away from the doors, she would turn herself toward the doors. So it became a battle of the arena doors. Beth suggested we work on disengaging the back end. Okay. . .

For some reason, Shy will step around with her rear end, but then want to walk forward a few steps before stopping. Beth was trying to solve this mystery by getting me to use my hips, thinking maybe she was off balance and trying to center herself, or Shy was just taking advantage of me because she does not do this when Beth rides. Beth helped me with the reins to stop forward movement. . .

And it worked. But now Shy only wanted to walk backwards. Ask for a whoa, she stopped and walked backwards. Ask for a forward walk, I got a backward walk. What the heck? So now I had to fight to move her forward. It is always something with this horse.

Next, Beth gave me instructions to think what I wanted. Think a nice slow walk. . .Shy walks nice and slow. Think a faster walk. . .she walks faster. This was in preparation for trot work. After I would get in her in nice bouncy walk, I was to ask for the trot, but immediately think slow walk. This actually worked quite well and I did a lot of slow walk, fast walk, slow walk, fast walk, trot (or attempt to trot). But then Shy got it in her head that she did not want to do this anymore and became scooty. On one of her scoots, I almost came off! It was heart pounding, but I learned that I can control her. Even though she scoots that butt and those short little legs move so super fast, she will stop for me. Whew!

After a few scoots, Beth got on Shy and trotted her around. Shy was scooty with Beth, but Beth is able to ride more confidently and handle it a lot better than me. Then I got back on. . . hey, we have to end on a good note right? I got no more scoots and we ended on a few steps of a nice trot after a couple attempts.

Little Shy with her Big Attitude. . .maybe she was not horrid, but she defintely was not the dream pony from this ride or this ride earlier this week!


  1. You know, Estes was kind of "backy" this week, too. Estes hates to back, but she spent a lot of time trying to evade and moving backward on our last ride. So I started making her back and suddenly, it wasn't such a fun game anymore.

    1. Shy hates to back, too. She is always looking for new ways to get out of work when she doesn't feel like it.

  2. Camryn and I have been working on backing when we stop. I just want a step or two. Today she just kept backing and backing, finally I just opened the reins (held them both out to the side) It worked like magic she did this backing,backing, backing thing several time, the reins out worked each time. We found a new cue for "stop backing". I do know what caused it, we'd just been working with the clicker on this and she was waiting for the click to stop backing. We were riding with a horse who had never heard a click and had never met Camryn. So we weren't clicking and she was confused about it.

    1. I can see where Camryn thought she was doing what she was supposed to be doing. But Shy was just being a brat.

  3. Sounds like Doc. He'd get things in his mind like that.

    1. Shy is crazy. First it was only wanting to walk sideways, now backing up. Ugh! Beth said I always have to be one step ahead of her because Shy is always three steps ahead of me!

  4. Hey, have you ever thought about riding a lesson horse until you get your confidence up? The way you write it, it seems like you're bordering on being nervous to ride her, and are definitely nervous about going any faster than a trot. Shyloh sounds like she's a pretty good pony most of the time, but a green horse isn't good for a rider with confidence issues to learn on. Plus, Shyloh can sense that you're both nervous and not as advanced as Beth is, so she takes advantage of you. Just something to think about, I've been enjoying reading about both Shy and yours' exploits.


    1. Thanks for reading!!
      Unfortunately, we are not a lesson barn and do not have lesson horses. I did lease a Haflinger for a while before I bought Shy. And when I bought her, I was told she was a trail horse and a little older than she actually is.
      Something that I think about every day is that fact that I am learning on her and she is learning too and maybe she is not the horse for me. But, I have a great support system at my barn and she really is a wonderful horse (even with her attitude). She does take advantage of me and I know it, so I prepare for it. Beth has been amazing for both of us.

  5. Oh Shy! I hate when horses walk backward as an evasion tactic. I hope she gives up on that one quickly!


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