With New Skills Come New Evasions
|You don't even know how hard it was to keep him from just eating everything in sight...|
Dino had the entire weekend off because horrendous freezing cold rain + visiting my family. He enjoyed being lazy and eating all day.
Back to work on Monday like the rest of us.
Homeboy peed right before our ride like the good, smart pony he is, but neglected to poop. So after several minutes of walk during which I did not nag him, I asked for the trot and Dino was all, "No thanks, I have to poo and pooping and forward motion cannot coexist."
But the thing with him, is that he doesn't just stop and poop right away. I might let him get away with that. No, Dino has to meander around the arena at a snail's pace contemplating his poop for a while before he actually stops and does the deed.
I will admit to there being a lot of beating with Mr. Whippy at that point. Even if you have to poo, you can't just totally tune me out, amirght?
So that was the start of our ride.
The trot warm-up was less than inspired impulsion-wise, but Dino was showing that he'd learned his lesson and was so, so soft in the bridle. While I did have to give him a tap with Mr. Whippy now and then when he dropped behind my leg, overall the trot work was good and the pony was mostly obedient. I even did some transitions without stirrups to get him off my leg and kick off No-Stirrup November.
Then came the canter.
It wasn't HORRIBLE, but Dino's decided that cantering connected and on contact is hard, and he has to use his butt, and that's really difficult and exhausting and he'd just rather not. He's figured out that I'm going to ask him to do this consistently, and he's not really a fan.
So we had to work through Dino's new interpretation of the canter cue, which was "fling my head in the air and trot faster".
Um, no. No, not quite.
Eventually I got some good canter departs, but then Dino was all "CANTERING WHILE USING MY BUTT IS HARD I JUST WANNA TROT" and started breaking to the trot spontaneously. I tried hard to just put him to work at the trot as his penance for breaking gait, but I will also admit that I got frustrated and just chased him back into the canter with floppy reins at times.
It's a process.
But we did manage to end our ride on a good note with some nice, round canters and softness and moving off my leg, and the end of the ride is what counts in our horses' minds!