Stick-to-it-ive-ness

No pictures today. I didn’t take the camera, plus it takes so long to upload things on dial-up. (Yes, I am living in the stone age here with the dial-up.)

Lucky was not exactly thrilled to see me. He was less thrilled by whoever was walking a dog in the hay field, which he could see through the barn door. (The BO wasn’t thrilled, either, because there wasn’t supposed to be anyone walking their dog out there.) Also a little weirded out by two of the BO’s grandchildren walking around the farm, but he got over that.

We were back in the round pen today, which is getting even muddier, as it made it to the low 50s here today. And Lucky apparently decided on a total work stoppage. We went around on the left rein a couple times, and he just planted his feet. Turning his head, he demonstrated he can flex really far, but he ignored leg completely and he wasn’t going to be tipped off balance and made to move. Needless to say, the grandkids were watching, and I suspect were unimpressed with my mad riding skillz. T., the boy, asked if he could try. I asked if he had a helmet. While he went to get it (no arguments; his grandmother’s rule is helmets on if you’re riding on the place) I got off and walked Lucky to see if he was sore. Really, I have not had a horse who was NOT sore stop so dead on me. He walked sound, so I readjusted the saddle. I had to laugh that T. has apparently never seen English stirrups run up before. I got up with the shifted saddle, and still no movement. T. got on. Since he’s never ridden with double reins I told him to just leave the curb rein down and try with the snaffle.

Now, maybe I am a wuss for letting a kid get up on my horse when I’m having issues. I think the part where I was really a wimp was I let T. try the crop after I had passed on it. I admit, I am leery about using a crop on an OTTB, largely because my Old OTTB never forgot what a racing whip meant: “Go fast.” Also, if he really WAS hurting, I did not want him to feel like he HAD to move, or that bucking was an option. However, that does not seem to be an issue for Lucky. T. tapped him and he walked on, not with a great deal of enthusiasm, but he did walk on. T. kept going on about how ‘smooth’ Lucky is, and found it hard to believe when the BO asked what he thought about Lucky being a racehorse. He wanted to know if Lucky was a trotter or pacer? It was nice to stand back and watch Lucky move, too. He doesn’t step out more than he has to, but he has a very fluid walk.

I did get back on, juggling the double reins and the stick–it’s strange learning to handle one as I don’t think I’ve carried one since I first started and a few of the schoolies at the Arab barn I rode at needed one. Lucky does seem to need a tap or two. I don’t know if it is soreness–he had some spots, according to the massage therapist, but nothing major. It might also be his teeth, as he does need them done. And I really do think he’s assumed that because the shoes are off, he is on vacation. If there is anything with his feet, we’ll know Tuesday, as the farrier was due. I think it may be some combination of ‘all of the above.’ The teeth should provide a major change, and the search for a reasonably inexpensive close-contact saddle, that might be lighter on his back, continues.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Louise
    Mar 08, 2010 @ 07:42:48

    And, he could just be a smarty pants, who has figured out that he can stop, whenever he wants.

    Now that you have seen that he will tolerate the crop, don’t forget to ask with the leg first. Ask gently once, then tap with the whip. If that doesn’t work, give him a good pop, but, make him move forward. When he does, immediately stop all pressure with leg and whip and tell him that he’s a good boy. Repeat as often as necessary, until he learns that he might as well move forward when you first ask, because he is just going to have to do it.

    Reply

    • luckytocope
      Mar 08, 2010 @ 16:18:48

      I don’t have a problem with using the leg–that’s what made me wonder if he was sore, because I have NEVER put so much pressure on with barely any mouth contact and not had them at least shift. But even a tap with the whip and he goes. I’m hoping with his teeth done, and once the weather improves and the footing’s not crap, he’ll feel a little more like cooperating and not staging a protest. If he keeps doing that, I might have the vet take a look. I don’t want to be making him hurt himself, but I also don’t want to be teaching him to be lazy! (Though better that than bouncing off the walls, I suppose.)

      What’ll probably cure him is when the snow melts off the training track and I can jog him out there. He might wake up more than I want him to!

      Reply

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