Today was our second ride, and I'm happy to say it was even better than the first! While the start of our visit wasn't ideal , it was all good in the end. I even bribed "the boy who doesn't want to ride horses" into coming along so we could get some photo/video, they are posted at the end of this novel.
We arrived to find the trainer was running behind, understandable & no big deal, stuff happens. We were asked to saddle and lunge our horses which we prefer to do ourselves anyways (after all, they are our horses). However, being brand new to the place presented it's challenges.
Brad started things off and lunged Nemo in half the arena, while the other half was being used. He came out and wanted me to go in, um...okay. I had my big girl pants on today, so off we went to lunge. I was at the far end of the arena, Brad & Nemo were back by the stalls, and Patty was in/out of the arena trying to help everyone. Koda did good, except he wasn't always paying attention to me. He did everything I asked, except lope to the left. He would take a couple strides, then his lazy butt would go back into a trot. I'm sure I looked silly trying to crack the whip (which I couldn't do with the one I had) and get after him. I tried everything I could think of, except smacking him. I thought about where I was positioned, what part of his body I was staring at, what cue I was giving verbally or otherwise - whew, I worked up a bigger sweat then Koda did lol. In reality, it was probably the best thing for me. I had no one to lean on but myself. At least he did everything I asked to the right, including lope. When hubby came back into the arena, we switched horses and he briefly took over lunging Koda (just like the old days) and of course the little shit did everything Brad asked right away both directions, go figure.
The earlier appointments eventually left, and the rest of the visit was nothing but great. She apologized profusely many times, we accept it and realize everything can't be perfect. Patty asked how things went with lunging, and I told her. Next visit she will work with me on lunging Koda again and said the same thing hubby did, I need to smack Koda on the butt and make him listen when he doesn't. My whole horse deal is the fear of doing something wrong, and not wanting to mess up my horse. We discussed this in length, as well as his need for me to be a strong leader especially at this stage of his life. Patty reminded me it's better to make the mistake and learn from it then to never make the mistake at all. I completely get it, but it won't be easy.....for me. The odd part is, I'm actually "a leader type" in other parts of my life - so I know I can do it, with practice. Brad's word of advise to me "treat him like you treat me" ha ha very funny. Patty briefly rode Koda first, she must have needed to know Koda was in a good frame of mind before I got on - and he was. Let the riding begin!
The boys did everything we asked at the walk & trot. No loping yet.
Nemo is a hard worker, and he's smart. He is already off the martingale.
A short clip of Brad & Nemo in action.
Koda continues to listen well but has not made much progress with his mouth/playing with the bit. He stops playing when he goes to work at the jog, but when walking/standing it's a nonstop chompfest. Therefore this past week they went to plan B with him, they leave the bridle loose (without reins) in his mouth all day. It sounded harsh to me. She showed me how/why they do it, to teach him to hold the bit in his mouth. It seems to work, he scoops the bit up and quietly holds it in his mouth. Koda has had his mouth checked at least twice and had work done on his teeth both times, including recently. We talked about the use of different bits, and possibly using a bosal with him.
The past couple visits he has had a dry cough likely unrelated to the bit issue and more likely to be allergies? They are watching him, everything is normal (eating, no fever, same goofball behavior etc) except for the occasional single dry cough. To be on the safe side I will be calling the vet on Monday morning to discuss his cough, and mentioning his bit play. The cough doesn't seem to be bothering Koda, but I want to make sure.
Koda & I switching directions at a jog.
A short clip of Koda & I in action.
Listening to Patty. I wish I had a tape recorder with me when we visit, she teaches us sooo many things I can't possibley remember them all.
We had a good day. I'm happy-tired, and I love that feeling!! Even if this isn't the best picture of me, it says it all!
Million Dollar Donkey
6 hours ago