Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Pony Finger and Saddle Shopping

The princess hadn't been worked in two days.  Which apparently made her decide that lunging was out of the question, she'd rather stop, spin and rear at me, effectively giving me the pony finger.  In fact, today it was more than the finger, it was the finger and the arm gesture too.  New York angry style gestures.  Though my heart rate went sky high, I snapped her on the shoulder with the lunge whip and growled at her.  She went forward, but not without adding in a saucy kick in my direction.  Oh. No. You did NOT just do that!  That would be, channeling my inner gangster girl.  So, round and round she went at a crazed gallop.  She tried spinning four times, the fourth time rearing straight up in the air.  The minute her feet came down, I was a crazy woman.  If my body language didn't scream "You are one dead pony", I'm pretty sure my trucker language did.  She got the message.  Fifteen minutes later she was doing soft transitions.  Phew.

We are looking into ways for her to get more play time in.  I obviously can't turn her lose in the arena when other people are riding.  We live in the Pacific Northwest where the ground this time of year is muddy.  And my pony is a princess, so she doesn't want to get diiiiirty.  She lives outside from about 3pm -10am.  During that time, I'm told she stands there.  Doing nothing.  She doesn't investigate, she doesn't buck and snort, she doesn't want to step in the mud.  So she hangs out by the shelter, waiting for someone to come visit.  We're talking about maybe putting someone else out with her to play with.  We'll see if that materializes.

We tried the Kent and Master's dressage saddle today.  Tess moved really free and forward underneath it but the saddle pushed your legs AWAY from the horse, so that you felt like you couldn't get your thighs on the horse.  Not good, especially with a horse prone to bucking.  So then we put a Thinline with shoulder shims in.  Better for the rider, but Tessa got stickier.  And it still wasn't great.  So then we added even more shims in the front.  Ahhhhh, that's better for the rider.  But Tessa by this time was back to crabby.

To be fair, by this time she had Laura on, then me on.  Then switch saddle.  Laura on.  Me on.  Switch saddle.  Me on.  Laura on.  Add shim.  Me on. Laura on.  Add more shim.  Me on. Laura on.  I mean, that's enough to test ANY horses patience and work ethic, let alone a green, cranky mare.  So tomorrow we're going to START with the double shims in the shoulders and see what kind of reaction the pony has.  Laura keeps telling me to take my time with saddle shopping; you don't want to rush into anything. But it's so hard when it seems like the missing piece of the puzzle is the saddle.  Patience, grasshopper.  Patience.....

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