So Amber's finally got her turnout. She looked SO happy out there. She is turned out with one mare, incidentally a chestnut QH, and an odd colored little pony gelding. She has been able to begin securing her place as 'boss mare' with them - life is good, she says.
"You're REALLY taking me out for a REAL ride, mom?!"
Yeah, we went out for a ride today in the jump arena. She was a good girl to have not had real work in 3 weeks! She was trying to run right through my contact. Ignored my half halts. Now, at this point, I've got her number. It's no longer a nervousness of contact, which at first, I do believe it was. It's not pain, despite the wolf teeth - I just don't see any sign of her being in pain. She's just avoiding my direction, pretty much saying "Lalalala, I can't hear you, I'm just going to trot faster until you give up!"
Enough of this game...the more she tried to ignore me, the harder I got on her. When she responded, pressure off immediately. To get her to the point where she'd actually stop to think about this, I asked for the opposite of what I wanted: I asked trotted her so fast she was on the brink of cantering, but was not allowed to canter. Faster than she wanted to trot to run through my contact. She quickly decided that it was a lot easier to trot nice and easy and listen to the bit than to fight with me. ;)
Worked up a sweat. We are both out of shape. My seat and hands were disgusting. I'm just horrified that I'm crunching up and leaning everywhere like I am. Tomorrow she is off. I don't want to throw her into daily hard work coming right out of a rest period. Tomorrow she might give one of my friends a pony ride at best, and she is definitely getting a bath if it's in the 70s. Her mane looks so stupid, by the way. *Sigh*. Still a mohawk, and innocently I'm sure, she rolled in the pasture, probably having a party because she was finally, FINALLY free, and the nice, neat banding job I did is not sticking up in the air. Pointless.
The good news: My mare is happy again and we are back in work, even if it's only walk/trot with brief trot periods. We will work again on Monday or Tuesday, if anyone is out at the barn. The only problem at Halcyon is often during the week in the morning, nobody is out there and on principal, I do not ride alone. Am I afraid to? No, but anything can happen even on a horse like Amber that I trust...what if it was totally unrelated to my ride? What if I became ill and couldn't get back to the barn? You never know.
All in all, I was pleased with our ride. She seems less mouthy with the copper roller D than she was before. Less head bobbing though. I still think it was the loose rings. They might have been pinching; I don't think that was it; I think it was a case of she didn't like the noise and the movement on the sides of her mouth.
Ordering a french link eggbutt asap. I know Bob recommended the oval lozenge bit, but Amber has a relatively small mouth and I feel the lozenge would be too much bulk for her and she'd prefer the flat french link.