Thursday, May 7, 2009

Where have all the horses gone?

I had to laugh at Lester last night. Laura had gone ahead and put the horses out in the pastures for the night while I hopped on the Pony Man...He didn't mind, but after our ride and he was fed and alone in the barn he suddenly realized he was "alone". He had that worried horsey look and raised his head higher as we walked down the driveway. Still no horses. Less started to whinny and call out to them on our way up there. It made me think of that song by Paula Cole "Where have all the Cowboy's (horses) Gone". He was so relieved when he saw them-head low, acting all cool though.
Lester's trot work was awesome last night! All 2 figure 8's and 3 mins worth, lol! He's been really tight in the neck and jaw lately and while I don't want to work him up to anything or build him up- there is no point, I do wish for the little work he does to be round and feel good for both of us. It's very strange the variations of stiffness I feel on him. He still initially does not want to turn right, cocks his head left and pulls the reins from me. But when he is in this perfect, round, soft state he can do anything. His level of collection feels incredible. He was so foamy on both sides of the mouth (could have been the 10 sugar cubes I gave him :-p)and wasn't behind the bit last night at all and he didn't - he was in my hands and a bit heavy, but he was still carrying himself. I may have to start calling him the 3 minute miracle :-) So how do we get to this perfect state? It's weird. I ask him to back up. I don't yank or pull on him, I just ask him to halt, and gently ask him with my legs and fingers to back up. And he won't do it. Instead he'll usually curl his neck and do turns on the haunches quite steadily. When this happens I just send him forward into a trot. And he's all there. The very weird part is he's all there or not at all, there is no in between, it's not worth trying to ride it seriously. How can this be though- completely perfect or a complete wreck on 4 legs?


Stephanie said...

Hmmmm how odd - no backing? But he's all there with forward motion...

When you ask for a back you get a turn? So his feet are not locked up.

Have you done some turn on the forehand exercises to unlock his back feet?

Has he ever done a trail course? Maybe you could trick him walk him through a couple of exercises and then have him to a "back through" if he refuses perhaps it's part of his back problem manifesting itself in a different form?

Wow wasn't that helpful....sorry...

allhorsestuff said...

It truly does Not surprise me that Less does not wish to back is one of the hardest things for them to takes some muscle..and he is not in shape for it.
Not even 2 steps though hum.
Funny how they can be all there when on a high..that is how I know Wa can give me something I ask for..she does it out on the trails first!
I am having a problem now with the Wa dipping down "behind the bit"..I am trying to push her back up..she is doing soo much better truly though.
Well, Less is such a good boy! I do think of your video when I trying to make one for last towe attempts did not turn out! Darn..she is MORE than ears!tee hee

Denise- LessIsMore17 said...

Steph-you know I forgot to mention that before I "retired" him I used the side step or turn on the haunches to get him round and soft. I even would side step him over a pole just in fun. I'm not sure if it's a "can't" back up (because he will do it eventually and feels ok doing it) or a "oh I remember what this means and what I'm supposed to do" because when he got "locked" I would sometimes just stop him and ask him to just step sideways, this would unlock his whole body- I saw this during a Karl Milkoka dressage clinic and it works!
Oh and it's more of a "spin" than a turn.
and LOL don't be sorry, thanks for the thoughts...

cdncowgirl said...

I'm so glad that you are enjoying what the two of you DO still have instead of dwelling on what if and if only.
Cessa officially retired last year. I'll still pony her for exercise and hop on once in awhile. But no more barrels or 'real work'.
Her new job is the Pony Princess. I'll saddle her and put the nieces and nephews up there and give them rides. Pretty sure she'll love it, she's a bit of an attention whore! lol

Grey Horse Matters said...

Well at least he gives you some good riding time when he's in the mood. I can see how 'cool' he is, what a cute guy. I'm not a trainer so I won't even attempt to figure out his mechanics. Just enjoy it when you get it.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I don't know either, but I am happy that he's making you happy out there sometimes. And he sure does look good, no matter what he does.