Saturday, 17 July 2010

Shan't! Can't! Won't!

Because I deigned to interrupt our regular hacking route, I was dealt some airs and strops...

We started out well. I even had him stood without restraint in the yard to have his mane plaited, he dozed as I tried not to include my fingers in the weaves of hair! The flies, whilst not too troublesome at first, were plentiful. Unusual since it was just after midday, so we trotted in some straights where we normally only walk. I let him pick his paths on the way, up until the point where he was thinking about which routes would take him home, then I took back piloting rights!

He was good but just awkward, seemed to want to do exactly the opposite of what I was requesting, so first time around the loop he was a little backward in going past the water container. I cantered him along until just before the left-hand bend, where we went to a trot in an effort to not motorbike the corner (that needs more work) and back up to canter. He came back down to walk a lot better as we ran out of track. I decided to track right, just an entrance road along a short way to a main road, nothing exciting. He was looky but ok along there. Back onto our usual route he was no bother until he came to a place we like to canter if you head up to the left. He jig-jogged, I asked him to walk, and then pushed on ahead (towards the underpass, as if we were heading towards the houses). He complied, but I could just feel him looking for stuff. I'm not sure horses are sneaky enough to look for excuses to spook, but it's what it felt like. Lots of infuriating stop-starting. Then the spinning and leaping commenced. I insisted that this was not appropriate behaviour, Quadi countered with a new game, Hat Dancing Towards Barbed Wire Fencing, followed by little rears (the sort Iberians are good at, you actually sink a hand in height as they collect and gather their forelegs in protest). And then a great big boxing stoppy rear! Since he was being such an outrageous gimp at being asked to walk a track he's traversed many times, I hopped off.

We walked along to the point where I discovered what was spooky, a natural burn which was fenced off for cows to drink at. We've seen this many times. Today it was scary. I asked him to walk to a point beyond where he was comfortable and it just so happened I had a spare sweetie in my pocket, so he was rewarded for the mental stretch.

And on we went. Second time around, and he took complete offence at being asked to go around again! Nothing I can do except sit tight and time my aids for forwards when appropriate. Which is not when he decided to zoom backwards at speed. I steered his backside into a tree and he thought better of this. I convinced him just halting and waiting was a good game, and played with some slight flexions. Suddenly he decided it was less work to go with my original plan of continuing our hack!

Another canter, this time I really asked him to collect instead of bombing off (fun as that is!), and he was reasonably good. We're making progress out of the school, which is fab.

Our third time off the loop and Quadi was hell-bent on going right. Which was my intended path, but since he made such an issue of it, I made him walk up to and around the water container on both reins a few times. No drama. Then we headed home, an uneventful hack from that point.

Despite all this he's just been super to hack recently. He lifts his back into my seat and strides out well, all this on a long rein. Good relaxation work to compliment to slow and deliberate work we do in the school.

Lots of waffle on what was not a ground-breaking hack, so it seems I've missed blogging more than I realised!


  1. Whew! That sounds a bit strenuous but it sounds like you got the job done. Who knows what was up?

  2. Who knows indeed! There's a reason for everything they do, clearly I'm not understanding something but he's a tricky character with a patchy education. Best thing is to stay calm and figure out a way of having him onside without a fight! He weighs about 570kg, I don't think I'd win *lol*