Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Good Sofa! I mean, bad Sofa! I mean, good Sofa!

Sofa is feeling much better. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

When I free schooled her on Sunday, she had a lot more energy than she's had in a while. One of the first times I asked her for a trot, she cantered from the walk instead, and she continued to throw in lots of big, "expressive" canter departs. There was a lot of head flinging, bouncing, striking out and general "expressiveness". She pick up all her feet for me, even the right hind, which hasn't happened it a while. I had a feeling our ride would be interesting, but it was a lovely day and I wanted to ride outside.

So I walked her twice around the indoor and then went out the open gate. She walked around nicely, staying nice and straight even when heading away from the barn. I was very happy with that. After a bit I tried trotting her in a sort of neutral area (not away from the barn, and not quite toward the barn) and she was good. But then she decided she felt really good, and wanted to continue trotting, preferably right to the barn. Which was not happening. So we fought for a minute, and then I gave up on trying to stop her from trotting and just turned her away from the barn, like "If you want to trot that badly, you can trot this way!". And she did, remarkably well. I was happy with how that went, and figured the worst was over as we continued on to the Scary Corner.

Of course Sofernutter didn't want to go through the Scary Corner. So she started trotting and veered off in the direction of Judy's house. I could feel her wanting to canter, and my options were either Stop Her From Cantering and Deal With The Consequences, or Let Her Canter and Deal With The Consequences. I was sick of fighting her and I knew she was sick of it as well, so I let her canter.

She started cantering and crow-hopping and bouncing and head-flinging. There wasn't a lot of power behind it, and I don't know if it was a "Let me GO already!" reaction or a "I'm not so sure about cantering up this hill while hauling your butt around!" reaction. Maybe a combination. But I came out of the saddle a little and pitched forward (BAD, I know...I should be able to ride it better than that. Must work on it.) and she she stopped screwing around, which I appreciated. Clearly there were no evil intentions there. I didn't get too freaked out by it, either. It was kind of fun-ish, in a way. And at least we got to canter!

After that, she walked around just fine, apart from stopping in front of the trail entrance again. I'm not sure what her deal is...she seems to have fun on the trail once we get on it, but she's been silly about going on the trail for a while now. Anyway, she responded to a tap from Mr. Whip (I'm starting to get more comfortable using the whip on her, and she responds to it) and we went down to the first turnaround. I did a couple trot transitions on the trail, and she was a little reluctant, but good.

I think our "issues" were mostly a case of Too Much Energy. That can be solved, though, and it means she's feeling better, so I will take some "expressiveness" and Bad Sofa Behavior over the alternative any day.

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