Saturday, May 2, 2009

Problem Solved.....I Think

Last June Vooshka and I were part of a group from Wasilla that went to the Caribou Hills Trail Ride in Nilnilchik, Alaska. Things were pretty tight at the trailhead. Vooshka was saddled, tied to the side of a big 4 horse LQ trailer beside a horse she has been ridden with quite a lot. There was just enough room for a person to walk between her and the truck parked next to us. Remember I said she was claustrophobic? Someone walked behind her and she went straight up. Thank goodness she had on a leather halter. The crownpiece snapped and she went over on her back onto the truck behind us. She slid down the hood, scrambled to her feet and took off. Everyone stopped. There must have been 50 people and horses there. Voosh trotted in a huge circle and came right back to me. Stuck her head into the halter and heaved a big sigh. After I checked her over and found one cut on her flank, I determined she was okay to ride and off we went.

Even though she never got a reward (not being ridden) she continued to rear and break snaps and halters when she was saddled while tied. It wasn't a rear out of fear but a very deliberate rear. She would go up until she felt the pressure from the lead/halter, then push that extra few inches to break whatever broke first. She never did it if she wasn't tied to something solid. I asked for help from several people but most said don't worry about it just don't tie her when you saddle her.

Not good enough for me. So Stefanie said she would help. When she was out last Monday her comment was that Voosh may be cinchy and that combined with her claustrophobia might be the cause of her problem. So we ran a 50' lead through the tie ring on the trailer and saddled her. When it came to cinching, we did that in three steps. No rear.

So tonight when I rode I did the same thing. No rear. In fact, she had her head down and her eyes closed.

So problem solved....maybe. We'll see how it goes tomorrow.

Tonight we worked more on forward and maintaining pace. She leg yields wonderfully. After about 30 minutes in the arena we went down the road, around the trail and up the driveway. My driveway has about a 30' elevation change on an easy grade. It's great for doing conditioning work. We walked up and down once, trotted up and walked down once, then trotted up and I got off, loosened the cinch and led her back to the trailer. A good ride.

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