I'm not sure what happened but we went from baking hot last week to absolutely freezing this week (literally only a few degrees above freezing at night). So, combine that with high winds and the horses are playing "untamed wild pony of the prairies".
I got up super early this morning because I've owned Lainey for just about forever and had a feeling I might need some extra time to get ready for my lesson. Sometimes I'm smart like that ;).
I decided to grab both horses at once and save myself making the half hour trek to the far side of the field twice. First indicator something was amiss: This is Lainey's halter, but what's with the old ratty leadrope? Oh wait...it's new on both ends...and broken in the middle. Tied back together, though. I suspect it's mine. Envisioning just what she must have done to tear a new lead rope in half, I'm already a little less than impressed with her. Mentally telling myself to give her the benefit of the doubt, I grab her and Ginger and start the walk back to the gate. Except Lainey is not walking- in fact she is trying to back up and kick a random pasture mate. I give her some not so gentle encouragement and we're on our way safely. We get almost to the gate and the other horses in the pasture attempt to do a last minute round up of their friends by galloping past. Lainey rears and pulls, showing me her lead rope breaking routine, except I am attached rather than a wall. I get after her, but we're forgetting Ginger is attached to leadrope #2. Ginger assumes I am angry with her and tries to run away from me in the opposite direction. Cue medieval torture. Attach human to two horses and have them run in opposite directions. It felt so nice I let go. Horses do a victory lap of the pasture, stopping in the farthest corner. I am angry. My two sense my hostility and hide behind their friends. Too bad I had treats in my pockets for their friends ;) (Shhh...not really, don't tell) Ginger can't resist any sort of treat and was sad to discover the treats were "gone" after I grabbed her lead. Lainey of course can't let Ginger do anything without her, so she got caught as well. Back to the gate we went. This time I was ready and shut the party down before it got started. 1 hour after my departure, I arrived back at the barn with two sore shoulders, one traumatized pony, one angry mare, one broken lead rope, and zero time saved.
Lainey kept acting the spoiled brat her entire lesson. Having young horses off and on, I don't tend get too worried or embarrassed by the odd ridiculous day. I was plenty embarrassed today :)
99% of the time she is my steady eddy go to horse. That other 1%? Really, I shouldn't bother and should just put her away. But, I had a jumping lesson and was super excited about it. Also, I was sharing it with the cutest little girl and her saint of an OTTB, so I felt like I'd should at least ride with her. Trainer girl said she had a great ride on Lainey the day before, so she'd probably settle. Oh, and the lead rope? Well, after she rode, she tied her to wait to be taken back to the pasture by helper girl. Helper girl went out the side door to do something. Lainey thought she was getting left behind, sat back, broke the lead and proceeded to calmly head out the door. Except she is fat, the door was only partly open, and she got stuck for a second or two. So helper girl caught her. And now she gets to live in the crossties again. I'm embarrassed of my 1% evil horse.
I won't get into all the lesson details in order to keep this at less than a novel. Here's a quick recap:
- Little girl jumps her course. Yay, so cute!
- My turn. Before jump 1: No forward button installed. Lainey tries to back up close to cute OTTB. I suspect to kick it. Parents of child looking understandably concerned. I'm very angry and Lainey has no choice but to get away from the scene of the attempted crime. Jump 1: Hey, not so bad. Between 1 & 2: Lainey: "My rider is not letting me go fast enough so I'll canter sideways like a crab! And try to dive my head between my knees! Oh, and scream for Ginger!" I had to circle her and put her back to a trot. As her revenge, she left the ground at jump 2 about 9' early. No kidding- there was a canter pole and a jump. We jumped both at the same time. Antics ensue- after all she has just displayed her jumping awesomeness for all to see, right? Jump 3: Not so bad! But between jump 3 and 4 we could have done without the canter in place part. Jump 4: 2 jumps in one! Let's jump way too early again! But like a deer! So early and deerlike we land ahead of the jump and have to jump it like a bounce! Fun times. I lost heart here and did a few laps of working trot, looking for some semblance of a polite horse. Jumps 5,6,7 were all a bit better and I excused us from the ring.
The best part? These were cross rails:) She could have probably walked over them. And she was babysitting and doing 2'6" hunter courses in a kids camp last week.
Sometimes I wish I had a nice quiet gelding. Particularly today for some crazy reason.
This is super long already so I'll recap Ginger's ride tomorrow. Hint: It was really good :)
Angry Pouty Mare: