Tuesday, June 22, 2010


It got a little ugly today and then it got better.
Nina was doing her usual sucked back, foot dragging walk/trot.
Every time she started to relax and move nicely she seemed to catch herself, suck back and pin her ears.
Finally she got stuck. And for a horse that is so dramatically sensitive to the slightest touch, she managed to ignore some pretty good kicks in the ribs.

I didn't lose my temper, but I had just HAD IT. Nobody has hurt, scared, hit, shoved, pushed or picked at her in any way for 2 years. 2 YEARS. It is time to GET OVER IT.
Pissy, pissy, sucked back, reluctant to do anything, big drama over everything. I was tired of it. I have gone to great lengths to avoid anything that could start a fight, as that is what she seemed to be anticipating. But now I was ready to fight. Not angry, just determined. A contest of wills.

I spent way too much time getting her unstuck, moving one step at a time, flinging her head.
Finally she tried to bite my foot and when I kicked at her I missed. So she tried again and this time I leaned down and slugged her in the face. She was astounded and finally started walking a little.

But now I had decided that either she was going to GO FORWARD or one of us was going to die trying. So she started her crawly head down walk. Every time her head dropped I kicked, HARD. Every time she pinned her ears back, I kicked, HARD. She flung her head and bounced around and tried to bolt, thought about biting my foot again, thought better of it.

She finally walked a little like a well behaved horse. We stopped and she wouldn't move again. Back to square one. Finally walking again on a loose rein. Every few minutes she would grab the bit and bolt. I would float her teeth. Then the crawly walk again and a hard kick again.
The lady training her horse with a carrot stick was appalled.

We did this for a while and suddenly she remembered how to walk... forward, soft, on a loose rein and like she was going somewhere. Lots of halts, a little backing, all nice and soft and relaxed, ears soft.

By now it had been over 3 hours. Might as well stay til midnight.
I asked for a trot, expecting the same nasty piaffe instead and I was astounded to get a beautiful forward trot, on the bit, light, huge stride. It was like riding on air. I wanted to go on forever, but I also wanted to reward her for doing it right so I did a couple of laps of the ring. She maintained a beautiful trot the whole way, including a little spook at a noise and back into stride immediately. I asked for a halt and she did not try to rip the reins out of my hands or knock me out of the saddle with her head. (That was a part of the walking I forgot to mention.) So I got off.
Great, her secret is out. She DOES know how to do this and can do it beautifully.
The jig is up, Nina.

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