In all my posts lately about Ranger, I haven’t written a lot about Batty. In fact, after our few disastrous rides, I haven’t really WANTED to ride him. So far this year, we’ve had a grand total of 3 rides.
So, with summer coming up, I had to change that.
Why not pick the hottest day of the year to ride again?
I was going to haul out on Sunday morning, but instead, I decided to sleep in (7:30 just seemed so nice…), and then the idea of hooking up the trailer just seemed like too much work. I was already making excuses. So I decided to ride at home. I decided to try and bring the fun back for both of us and created a little playground in my backyard highlighting what Batts likes (crossrails, hills, and fun) and avoiding what he dislikes (anything that’s not a crossrail, solid jumps, too much work, non fun stuff, collection, etc.). So Batty watched me set up his course/playground with extreme interest and when I finally went to catch him, walked up to me rather than away from me (often I can’t catch him…)–huge change.
We also made 2 other changes. I lunged him lightly at whatever pace he wanted (to the left he chose the trot, to the right he chose a combo of a trot and canter) and I stuck a nose net on him to see if we could do anything to combat the violent head tossing he was doing the last few rides. He didn’t love the nose net but the head tossing did NOT resurface so… ???
After lunging we warmed up with some trot and canter sets up the hill by my driveway before we visited our “playground” in the backyard. It was already freaking hot by this point. The plan WAS to be off by 10 but we didn’t actually get on until 10 so… Oops. Either way, we didn’t do a crazy amount. But, we visited our poles and crossrails and had a look. A certain chestnut eventually got mad a me for making him look and then stopped but then started launching himself over his crossrails and “galloping” up his hills afterwards. He was having fun. At one point I tried to trot my one crossrail to the next one but someone would have nothing to do with it and insisted we canter to it and gallop out and up our hill, but other than that… I’m pretty sure I looked like a little kid on a pony I was laughing so much. I had no control either. If only I could do cross country with crossrails… he’d shine at that… But ONLY that… Crossrail champion of the world.
So what did this tell me? No idea.
But, he wants the fun back in the work and ring work just ain’t fun. Crossrails and hills? That’s fun. Weirdo. Batts is an odd one.
Well, he did take off on my after I untacked him and pooped in my neighbor’s lawn… So he wasn’t 100% well behaved…