Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lesson Three

Friday found us pulling into the barn and grumbling a bit that there was another car in the parking lot. (I concede we are incredibly spoiled in that we often have the place to ourselves, but we still grumbled.) Then we went indoors and discovered it was worse than we thought. One of the other boarders was there giving her non-horse-person friend a little horse exposure. This involved a lot of the boarder regaling her friend with tales of her adventures on horse-back.

Brian and I took our time getting ready, but when he had Bear tacked up the boarder was riding around the indoor arena, going over jumps and loping in circles. Moments after we joined them, the boarder traded with the friend, who clearly had no horsemanship skills whatsoever.

All in all, this wasn't an auspicious start. Although the other boarder and friend certainly weren't behaving out of line in any way, the commotion had Bear a little distracted and Brian a little nervous.

We also tried to use Bear's new headstall and bit set-up again, and that went off very badly. We switched back to Steen's set-up after only a few minutes, and actually the other boarder and her friend cleared out before long as well, but things didn't really improve. Bear continued to toss his head now and then, but more strangely kept dropping his head and pushing against the bit, refusing to turn or listen to Brian while he did this.

So, I suggested Brian get off and I stepped in and did some groundwork with Bear, making him focus and work a little from the ground. I then handed him back to Brian and they did some good groundwork. Finally I had Brian climb back on and things were a bit better. By then we'd all had about enough though, so we called it quits. Although nothing about the day was really bad, neither was anything great. But, I guess that's how it goes sometimes. At any rate we'll not be putting that headstall on Bear again.

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