Monday, September 06, 2010

Steen the Bad Influence

Today Brian and I headed to the barn. We hoped for a longer trail ride, but things didn't quite go that way. The real problem was Steen. It was really windy and he was a bit antsy at first. As we headed down the strip, though, he relaxed and I thought he was going to settle in. Even when we headed back towards the barn and he started to prance, I tried a new technique to calm him down. Instead of trying to control him with the bit, I pushed him in circles with my leg and the rein on his neck. He was willing to turn in tight circles, which helped him think more and be less inclined to prance. By the time we neared the end of our warm-up area, he was walking on a loose rein and seemed quite calm.

We veered onto a little double-track that runs by a shed and that's when things got less fantastic. Something scared Steen and he spun around and tried to bolt back towards the barn. I'm used to this sort of thing, so it didn't phase me. Unfortunately, Bear was between Steen and the barn and he took Steen's behavior as his cue to run home. So he spun and bolted as well and Brian, who is not so used to this sort of thing, tumbled off.

Steen and I intercepted Bear before he made it back to the barn. Brian caught up soon thereafter. We repaired a broken rein and went back to the scene of the incident. I then led Steen down the road to be sure he didn't pull any more stunts to rile Bear up, but it soon became clear that Bear was not at all worked up or worried about what had happened. So, we retired to a big grassy area and Brian worked Bear in some big circles and figure-eights. I think it was productive for them, since my belief about what happened is Bear basically took a cue from another horse instead of his rider. This is totally understandable and almost all horses do it, but in an ideal world it wouldn't happen. Brian didn't work Bear hard or demand anything unfamiliar, and as I watched them trot in circles I thought Bear relaxed and softened up. Steen, meanwhile, got an easy day - even though he instigated the whole thing. Sometimes life isn't very fair.

1 comment:

  1. Glad Brian and Bear were no worse for the wear. I think you are absolutely right. Herd instinct got the better of him.

    We had a terribly windy day today, too. Luckiy we were in the trees most of the time, but the drive home was really moving te trailer around!

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