Thursday, August 29, 2013

To big for his britches

Last night I rode Killian again.  He hates being ridden, I can tell. He does everything he can to get out of it.  Like tries to run me into the fence, takes control and heads back to the gate on his own, you know, bad horse things like that.

We worked on his manners a lot.  We worked on standing still while mounting. We worked on remembering who is actually in charge, and we worked on softening.  He is like a giant steel gun boat, with about that type of maneuverability.  Basically none.

I worked on letting my air so he would relax, he didn't.  I tried serpentine's, he did them but not very well.  I tried trotting in a straight line while asking him to flex at the jaw...he almost gave on that one.

Then Simon came out after football, still in his pads and stuff, and ran from one end of the arena to the other. As Killian and I stood there an watched him I could feel the tension in Killian building until he was literally trembling.  I don't know why that bothered him so much.  It was as if he wasn't sure what Simon was even though he started at our side, ran to the opposite end of the arena and then ran back. The minute he got closer, Killian relaxed as if to say, "Oh it's just the kid"  I don't know. It was odd.

After that we did some loping.

All I wanted to do was lope in a couple of circles. Circles the size of my own choosing.  All Killian wanted to do was lope to the gate.  I wanted a continuous lope, he wanted to trot lope trot.  His fast trot is so bone jarring I could hear my spine crunching with each step.

I did not have spurs on so my only tools were my legs and smooches.  I was using some roping reins, so I didn't even have a rein end to smack him with...he needed to be smacked though. There will be some tack changes before we ride again.

We were loping (trying) to the left, he would pick up the left lead, then head straight for the fence even though I was turning him with my leg and his head.  He flat out ignored me.  The impending fence would cause him to slow to the trot. I'd smooch him back up to a lope, he'd leave on the right lead, which would keep him from being able to smoothly make the circle.

The word awful doesn't even begin to describe how that gait feels.

Finally he gave me one full circle of my choosing (on the wrong lead) to the left.  I took him to the center and we rested. I got off and called it done.

I let him cool down some and then hosed him down. He was pretty sweaty and really tired, but it is good for him.  I think though that we will start doing some round pen work first with him before each ride.  He has gotten to be a little too big for his britches.

I wanted to ride Trax this morning, but I'm still pretty sore from riding last night.  It should not hurt that much to ride a horse. Especially one that is 17 and "very well broke."  He has lost his status as my "go to" horse.


  1. Frustrating! But at least you got him to do the circle! Good job keeping up with it :)

  2. Well, I have to admit I don't know the meaning of many of the words you used Cindy -- but it's obvious Killian is a handful. I hope you keep trying. :)

  3. Gotta love it (not!) when the old, broke horse forgets how to ride. The only good thing is that with a little steady reminding, they usually remember pretty quick. Keep em working to keep em honest. I just wish I was better at taking my own advice:)

  4. When a horse changes from a good horse to a naughty horse, my first go-to would always be pain. I know you wouldn't want to hear that, what with Sassy and all! But, you never know, a visit from a horse chiro and/or massage person and he might be back to his good self. It's always worth a look even if some of these niggling things are sometimes hard to pinpoint.

    1. Hi Keechy, and yes you are right, my first thought is usually pain as well. Killian has always been a bit on the lazy side and I even had him checked by a vet because I wanted to eliminate any medical issues. I have ruled out pain for a couple of reasons.
      1. It doesn't bother him in the least to chase after Danny and try to hurt him.
      2. He runs full bore to the food bucket
      3. He offered the lope to me first, I didn't ask. The thing was, he wanted to lope to the gate, not to where I wanted. That is why I insisted on the circle. He was trying to run off with me, not cool.

  5. Sounds like quite a trial. I hope your next ride goes better!

  6. Maybe at his age he would prefer a quiet trail ride as opposed to ringwork.

    1. I agree and really that is his purpose. But what prompted the ring work was last weekend when he tried to run off with my 14 year old grandson on him. Not acceptable!!! I know that this horse knows how to stop, how to turn, how to back up, how to side pass, and even how to spin. I do not require that he do fancy moves very often, it really isn't his job. But I do require that he act like a gentleman no matter who is on him. :)