Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Homecoming Queen

You couldn't really say that Estes is barn sour - that would imply that she doesn't like to leave the barn.  And that's just not true.  She loves to go out.  But she loves, Loves to come home.

Like, really, really loves to come home.

She's a charge-y little bitch, that one is.

We started working on her "whoa", 'cause she's all go.  She was getting it pretty good and does well with a bit in her mouth, but since I want to be able to ride bridle-less by the end of the summer, she's got to do "whoa" a whole lot better than she currently does.  I can't blame her for not having much of a whoa, I mean, after all, if I want her to stop, I pull back on the reins.  This whole voice-seat-reins thing is completely new to her.

We've been working on voice-seat-reins for all of two rides and while she wasn't stopping on the voice cue, she was well on her way to stopped with the seat and completely stopped most of the time by the time I picked up the reins.  She's a smart one, too.

One of the ways we thought we'd fight her desire to come home is to take her out on a ride, leave her tied and then take her out again - you know, letting her know that just because we're back at the rail doesn't mean her day is done.

Yesterday, Bill and I had an awesome ride, came home, tied up the critters and hung out for ten or twenty minutes.  Since I'd unbridled Her Highness, I decided to ride her with just her halter and lead rope.

That went well for the first part of the ride.  I even dropped the lead rope and did my imitation of Alec on The Black...
Yes, I was even posting.
My body still hurts, running does nothing
for your posting muscles.
Bill has video, but it would make you nauseous, so I'm skipping that.  Just trust me, I was posting a trot with no reins out on a dirt road (closest thing to an arena I have).

Then we rounded the corner to head home.  And the Homecoming Bitch Queen appeared.  I went, "Whoa".  She did nothing.  I sat hard.  She kept heading home.  I picked up the rein and pulled back.  The bitch pulled through and kept going.  Oh yeah, that bit makes a whole lot of difference in her attitude.

So we did some turning around and standing, pointing away from home.  We rode back the other way, away from home.  We did voice-seat-rein.  All pointing away from home.  The minute we headed back to home, she got charge-y again.  Lather-rinse-repeat.

Eventually, she got it.  And when she forgot, we started all over again.  That was the longest trip home EVER.

I think, because her halter is ginormous on her, that she wasn't understanding the pressure on her face.  Not that it should have mattered because she's already received the voice and seat commands.

We've got a long way to go.

Bill took her out in Ranger's halter today, which fits her slightly better, and said he had more success with voice-seat-reins, but it's tough.  If you're not used to doing it, it's easy to forget a step, usually for us that step is seat.

She'll get it.  Sooner rather than later, I hope.


Shirley said...

I think we've all been there at some point.
Posting bareback with no reins- that's balance! I'd be shamelessly grabbing mane.

GunDiva said...

My *one* dressage lesson took. We did posting with no stirrups while I was on the longe line. I pretended that Sharon, my fabulous instructor, was there.

Unknown said...

Just keep working on it.

I am working on multiple ways to stop Shy. She does well with reins and verbal. Not so well with seat and legs.

I am impressed with your posting bareback! I don't post, so very cool!

Mrs. Mom said...

You want me to create a pretty rope riding halter for Her Royal Highness, the Queen? I can get more purple JUST for her ;)

Dreaming said...

Yay, you! Posting bareback is a great exercise. I used to be able to do that... years and years ago!
Doc is just like Estes. He used to make me so darn mad and frustrated. He'd emulate the pokey puppy on the way out and pretend he was a flashy, high prancing A-rab on the way home. We did circles, we did serpentines, we rode past the barn and went out again. We did everything. He was a stubborn guy - but then again, he is a Haffie!
Keep at it. Don't let her get away with it!

Allenspark Lodge said...

I was working Washoe while Bill had Estes. Washoe 'got it' about every fourth time - but the very next time he acted like he didn't even know! Then we would stop on rein, next on seat, then on voice, and back to what?! It's gonna be a long summer for all our horses.
Bionic Cowgirl

allhorsestuff said...

I think the plan is excellent....mine would just be the same though...on each coming home time.

I practice the " leap frog" technique, it works best for not delaying the ride home. Wa walks in front for a time...then the other horse, then us and so forth. Only when she is responsive to me does she get to lead again. It took some time to develope, but now is great.

We started back with bitless riding, just today with Wa. I have a"nurtural bitless" in synthetic. The leather one is really nice, one day I'll get that one.
I have 2 ways of using it . One way is for more direct communication..my rope reins clipped directly to the noseband. If Wa gets out of hand forward, I change the reins to the under chin ring.

I use the big breath out( first step in slowing to stop)
Close my thighs(2nd step)
Sit down deep( 3rd step)
Usually she is slowing by the time she hears me just breath in!

Your queen is a smarty, she sounds like mine!