Okay, so I didn’t blog yesterday because I was still rolling my eyes at Copper from Saturday. Apparently he still finds side passing to the left to be a struggle. He’d been doing so much better at this, and I assumed that he was through that mental block. I have moments that I wonder about my aids, but he understands my aids when I ask him to side pass to the right, so how could I be messing it up that much in changing directions? So, I’ve been applying more leg, which generally gets the point across. I have to apply at least twice as much leg to side pass left. Well, he sassed when I applied more leg, and shook his head, so I applied even more leg. So he pawed at the mounting block. Makes total sense, right? When faced with a problem, attack the nearest inanimate object. HIS LEG GOT STUCK BETWEEN THE STEPS. It took a second for me to realize what the idiot had accomplished, so by that point we were jumping sideways (YES, to the LEFT!!!!) on three legs. Time to emergency dismount and fix the crazy, but of course he’s jumping in the direction I want to dismount, and there’s a moving target of a mounting block flailing about on the right. I’m proud of myself for not getting super nervous. I was more angry. Why so stupid Copper? So I emergency dismounted to the left, but I flung myself forward in front of his chest. Yes, fat girl can swing off the pony. Of course, by the time my feet hit the ground, he’d managed to fling the mounting block across the barn. Then he stood as if relieved. Ha. I was still mad, so I ran around to the other side of him and shoved him left across the barn. You will side pass to the left!
Once I got back on, I jogged him off and he was super responsive. He was riding like he was worried I’d attack him at any minute for his wrong doings. In that moment, that was a wise choice for him. So I stopped him and asked him to side pass to the left and nothing. More leg. Ah, how nice. He side passed to the left. So I jogged him some more then came back to it and he was still doing well, so I praised him lots and called it a day.
Despite the fact that we progressed in that ride, I wasn’t thrilled with how it had played out. We’d taken two steps back, but then kind of regained them. Because of this, I wasn’t super excited about riding him yesterday. I cleaned house a lot on Sunday, so I didn’t ride then. Plus, I was still rolling my eyes at Copper for the mounting block thing and didn’t feel like dealing with him.
When I brought him in yesterday, I was curious about what Copper I’d get. Sometimes he overreacts to correction and acts like I’m going to slaughter him. I was a little paranoid he’d be a twit about the mounting block, so I led him to it before tacking him up to gauge his reaction. No cares. Well, at least he’s rational enough to realize that the mounting block snafu was not the fault of the mounting block.
So I sprayed him with fly spray after scrubbing some hair off of him, then tacked up and lunged him a little. I should’ve known there was something going on with him on Saturday, because as soon as I mounted, he wanted to trot off. Which is super weird for him. Generally he’s more than willing to move forward, but never really moves out without instruction. So i don’t know what was with him on Saturday, but if it happens again, I’ll hop off and lunge him before continuing.
He rode well last night. We’ve been working on long trotting some since a) he’s supposed to be a hunter and a western pleasure pony and b) it gets some of his energy out so we can actually work on the jog. He was pretty good at side passing both ways yesterday, which was a breath of fresh air. Since he was doing so well (and hadn’t really thought anything was scary), I rode him over and grabbed a pool noodle out of the tack area. At first he was interested in the pool noodle, then he started yawning when I wapped (yes, that’s a word…) him with it.
Well, also on Saturday, I got all of my hair cut off. I’m currently sporting a bob, and I’m liking it. I have to train it to curl under, which is kind of annoying, but I have a more polished look now maybe.
So, in the spirit of fun haircuts, I decided to roach Copper’s mane. It has been a long time coming. In the winter of last year, he scrubbed his mane out in places and it was challenging to band for the show in September of last year. So when he scrubbed it out this winter, I knew that it would have to be roached if we showed any earlier than September. Well, I’m not confident that will happen, but I was really tired of taking pictures of him and him looking like this.
So handsome, but so wild and untamed looking. He really has a nice neck, but it is hard to tell with a partial mohawk and hair laying on both sides of his neck. When I untacked him, I got the clippers out and he stood perfectly while I shaved off all of his mane. I left myself a chunk at his withers in case I needed some to grab when I mount from the ground, which happens rarely, but does happen.