Sunday, 18 April 2010

Half pass in reverse anyone?

I don't mean reversing aids, I mean half pass in reverse gear! Much swearing from the pilot on this hack. I shall spare you that much though!

I knew it would perhaps not be the smoothest of runs when he was hat-dancing in his stall. Frantically snatching and hay, jigging, etc. He did settle down eventually.

We set off well too. Right off the yard, down to the end of the road. Quadi had a stop and think at the end of the track. Yes, I did actually want him to head up the closed road, just us two, gave him a squeeze and off we went. He was spooky and looky, blood a little up, but no bother really.

We hit our first bump when he decided that he couldn't possibly ever ever ever cross the threshold of The House With The White-Walled Entrance. He bimbled to a halt. I find that letting him stand and look is less stressful than immediately asking for a reaction. When I feel him less tense I ask him forwards. This has worked so far, but he felt that there were tigers just beyond the driveway and I was wholly unreasonable to ask him to go forwards. He sidestepped sideways. No good on the road. Albeit a closed road on a Sunday with us both head-to-toe in high viz. It's the principle of the thing, he's normally ok on the road and suddenly being on the wrong side is unacceptable to me.

If this had been a used road I'd have gotten off and led him past until I could find somewhere safe and off-road to remount. We were visible in both directions to I stayed mounted.

Having given him the chance to trust that I was not putting him in any danger and walk forwards, where he started zooming backwards, I turned him around and reined him back for a bit, and turned him the right way. Oh dear, we happen to be farther on Quadi. Heavens, how did that happen? Wasn't it hard work going backwards, would you like to try forwards now?

No he would not! He went into "No More Questions! Everything No" mode. So I repeated rein back, this time we zig-zagged from one side of the road to the other, and I asked him to halt. He threw in a couple of two-finger, half-hearted bucks and a declamatory levade for good measure. I just giggle at him, there's no point in getting wound up when he does. I made perfectly reasonable requests on a route we've hacked quite a number of times now.

I swear he forgets why he gets angry, because he walked past as if nothing had happened! He pulled the same routine at the next house, as did I, and we were on our way.

We had another halt and look when a farm dog barked at us, and as we headed up a farm access road, I pushed him up into a bouncy, collected canter. He was fab and light and I would have gone for longer but I spied a pheasant in the field making her way towards us. He'd already shied at some daffodils and I thought it prudent to return to walk before I ended up prone with a face full of game. Of course she didn't make an appearance but had I not slowed I bet she would have ;)

So we walked the rest of the hill. Great for his back end.

We crossed through some woodland and onto another road to head back home. This road is a 'live' road but is long and straight. The first house we came to had one of those mirrors to see oncoming traffic placed opposite their driveway. Quadi took exception to this too and slammed on the anchors in the passing place on our side. Just as a garish turquoise pick-up truck was coming up behind. We were well out of his way and I waved the moody driver on. Doubt he'd even have realised I hadn't meant to stop.

Having had quite e-bloody-nough of his dicking about, I growled at him to get a wriggle on so we could get home. And he did. We located our turning into our home patch of forest. Instead of taking the turning left to go home as I assumed he would, Quadi was most insistent on going straight on into the forest. I figured he'd be too tired but let him lead on. When he started neighing I realised he hadn't gotten his bearings at all *lol* So I led him home. Definitely shan't leave navigation to him in future!

I got off a little way from home to let the blood return to his back and to stretch myself off. He was nicely warmed but not lathered. Barely broke his jacket. More long hacks are required methinks!

1 comment:

  1. "a declamatory levade"

    LOL .... a nice turn of phrase, that!