Things were not as hectic at the barn as last time, altho still plenty busy. Until Trainer Patty mentioned it, and I tried saddling, I didn't notice Koda put on more weight. I had to change the way I saddle him again, never a good sign. Time to cut back on his feed.
We started with a warm up lunge, without a lunge whip - which has never works well for me/us. Asking forward with the end of a rope, is a challenge. We managed okay, switched directions, add a trot and that didn't work so well. Trainer Patty offered to help, but I wanted to do it all on my own this time. I mean really, how long have I been riding? Long time. I decided to skip the lope on a rope, end on a good trotting note, and just get on and ride. We only lunge a couple circles each way anyways.
First try mounting, another rider was having trouble figuring out their lope and Koda scooted away as they approached too close. No big deal. We waited, and I hopped on between their lope offs. Things were going well, until that same horse (who was doing nothing wrong) came near us. Wow. Koda got antsy, wouldn't stop, started shying sideways/backwards, it got bigger - and I chose to hop off. That made his reaction grow, I was barely able to hang onto the reins. What the heck!?! I started petting Koda to calm him down. He got in big trouble from the trainer. Don't for a second think he was mistreated, he wasn't. Correcting a safety issue appropriately is different. I was told not to reward him for being naughty. She was right. I thought Koda was scared, and it was a natural reaction. As the ride continued, I clearly saw he was choosing bad behavior.
I always blame me. The way everyone else saw it, he was being naughty. I held sweet Cierra, while our trainer rode Koda - and he acted the same way for her. What's the difference? She has the confidence to make him listen when he gets big, I don't. After she was done riding him around, and near other horses, I got back on. We rode around for a while, but he started up again. I rode a bit longer, and got off. I'm just not interested in a battle, and could tell this wasn't going to end anytime soon. Our trainer didn't think he should be put away, and if I wasn't going to ride Koda she asked if she could.
Let the horse trading begin. If our trainer rides naughty pants, I could ride Cierra, or I could ride Nemo, and Brad could get on Cierra. Um? I've never ridden either of Brad's horse's. Being the great guy that he is, he wanted me to pick. I chose Cierra. He said he was okay with me riding her first. Really? What an honor. I love my husband! She is an amazing, quiet thinker. I only walked her, since Patty was busy with my horse - who didn't let up the entire ride. Beside, I do want my hubby to have some firsts with her. Cierra is one special girl! He sure knows how to pick them.
Patty & naughty pants in the background.
(looks like he was doing his boredom chomping on his bit thing, another lovely trait)
Koda was shying away from every horse but Nemo, even Cierra. At one point Patty asked us to stay put, we had a trio of horses (Fred & his fjord Lena were riding with us) and she rode Koda in and around and weaving through us. Koda did not want any part of this, but he did it anyways. Wow, what a piece of work. Patty still insists he is the quietest of our three horses, but I just don't see it. None of the three horse cones were very happy with Koda's silly horse behavior. Lot's of ear action while he was weaving in-between Nemo, Cierra, and Lena.
Some of you may remember Koda's backing "I don't want to do that" attitude. Pretty much the same thing. Needless to say, we determined Koda needs a tuneup. I am so disappointed, and thankful, at the same time.
This is what I learned: I thought I was wrong jumping off, and not riding it out. Patty assured me I did the right thing, it was bigger then I was. This wasn't just me/my fault, Koda did the same thing to our trainer - the entire ride. I need to keep my rewards in check. My horse needs a firm rider when he chooses to be difficult, guess I better get stronger inside & out.
Sometimes I think Koda & I are mismatched, but we do well together most of the time. I just wish he made better choices. Today he made a whole bunch of work for himself, over nothing, but I still love him.
|Koda & his friend Belle|