As we headed out for a mid-day ride, I quickly realized Koda wasn't his inquisitive, glad to be out on the trail, sweet riding partner. It was a different day, and today I was riding a different horse.
It always befuddles me (yes, that is a word - look it up and you will no longer be befuddled!) on what causes this behavior. Does he not want to get out of the pasture? Is something hurting him? Are there bears in the woods? Did he drink too much caffeine? I think Koda might have whiplash from looking back and forth non-stop, the entire ride.
With head up high, clearly uncomfortable on this ride, Koda was starting to make me nervous. I ran through my mental checklist, trying not to get caught up in it. I had no reason to be nervous, we were riding on the farm. The same land we've ridden many times, with Brad & Nemo - who was golden by the way.
I took deep breathes, tried singing, re-assured Koda, and tried to help me help him get past whatever was bothering him. I asked Koda to do things to keep his mind busy, like collect, side pass, and turn - which would at times start to resemble a slow spin. It would last all of two seconds, before his head was back up high on full alert, flipping from side to side. I asked him to slow down, the entire ride. I tried to ignore his "up" behavior. He did his naughty thing, several back's and turning towards home. I put an end to that, enough already. Koda wasn't on fast forward, he was super charged.
On the way back, I tried something new and turned his excess energy into a game. We trotted circles around a moving barrel (aka Nemo) first one way, and then the other. Round and round we went. I joked with my hubby, he didn't know Nemo was a barrel horse! Brad thinks Nemo was saying "doesn't Koda know it's a lot less work if he just walks forward" Pretty sure they both thought Koda & I were nuts!
What do you do when you head out for a ride, and your horse shows up all charged?
I rode the horse that showed up that day. We had a very different ride, then my previous post however Koda did listen to everything I asked, and while it wasn't the relaxing ride I had hoped for - all's well that ends well.