Taming the dragon

I’m now convinced that Subi’s problem is energy. Too much energy. He’s exploding out of his skin thanks to winter, mud, and rain and I’m paying the price. Though I am keeping up with ulcer treatment just in case and he is eating hay again so there is that.

Friday night, he reared, again, caught his hoof in the lead rope, again, clipped his hoof on my arm, nearly knocked me over, and got loose. I told him to woah and he stood stock still until I reclaimed him and we walked the rest of the way to the barn, but he was still on edge. Up until the rear, he wasn’t good, but was reluctantly listening as we halted and backed and walked (rinse/repeat). Batt was just as pissy in front of us and eventually, revolution. Once in his stall, I told my husband I should just put him down because he’s a dangerous asshole. Not my finest moment. My husband, who actually dislikes Subi (he’s scared of him after getting kicked 7 years ago, or more actually getting behind him when he bucked), was left to talk me out of that. Michele and my friend Sandra did was well…

Close reenactment of Subi as a dragon. 

After a decent night’s sleep and a better attitude (anything is better, right?), we turned out in the morning and I thought, why don’t I keep leading him around the house until he’s bored? Haha. Yeah ok. Once Batt was in the field, Subi realized that we were going away from friends and reared as Batt let out the biggest buck I have ever seen from him (winter usually results in lame Batt… this is strange). So I abandoned that plan and walked him to the driveway instead where we couldn’t see friends and he was fine. We went to the barn for a crop but spend the better part of 30 minutes working on the driveway.

When you’re poorly behaved, your mean mom makes you work in your blanket…
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Hello! I’m not in Kansas anymore…

We trotted up and down a couple times, we did walk-trot-halt transitions, we did turns on the forehand. We even chatted with my neighbor for a while. Considering he hasn’t been up to the road (other than when he got loose) in years, he was completely relaxed. Go figure. Once he got impatient (too much chatting) we backed down the entire driveway (it’s long) working ob straightness. Then more transitions. Finally, I got bored so we went for a hike my small patch of woods where I used to use as a ring. It’s overgrown and there are trees down and branches ever. We walked through brush, over logs, and explored.

 

 

So much to look at, so many dead leaves to eat.
Poles, logs, and posing

The only conversation we had was at the end when we disagreed about crossing the 2′ log. Subi wanted to cross, I valued my life too much. He sulked.

The log in question and Subi’s disgruntled face… Idiot horse.
walking over all sorts of stuff. keeping those feet moving. Of course this log wasn’t THE LOG he wanted to go over because mean mom…

He’s been very good since. He was exhausted after our adventure and I’m going to try and get him out today. Though it’ll be abbreviated as I do have to get to work eventually and also gale force winds. Still, it’s nice to see what a little work does for Subi.

Maybe I’ll keep him around…

Subi and the big, tall, terrible, awesome, scary, wonderful… tarp.

I’ve alluded to having issues with Subi lately. Sometimes he’s fine leading to and from the barn. Sometimes he’s a rearing mess. I cannot for the LIFE OF ME figure out what sets him off. Maybe it’s being in a stall for the night and he just has more energy? Maybe is that there are big, tall, terrible giants in the sky scaring him to death and only he can see them? I don’t know. But honestly? I’m sick of it.

I’ve been swapping back and forth between leading him in a halter and chain and a rope halter. For a while he was overreacting to the halter/chain so the rope halter was better, but then post OMG CRAZY HORSE incident, I swapped back to the halter/chain combo as I had better control. I had been backing/halting, but I’ve limited that some as Subi has started to anticipate the backing once he misbehaves… So, he rears, halts, and then backs himself. Stupid thoroughbreds…

Anyway, I ordered some ground training books and I’ll start posting about those later. BUT Friday night I basically melted down. For no reason what-so-ever he was stupid. He hates the dark and soft ground and that combo is a perfect excuse to misbehave. So we spooked at Batt, we spooked at the giants in the sky, and we just were stupid and poorly behaved in our walk to the stall. This was AFTER we stood in the howling wind with no halter or lead rope changing blankets (WTF? I can’t do that with either of my other 2). I finally dumped him in his stall, started crying, and told him I’d sell him if I could find someone who wanted to buy him. Then fed peppermints to Jiminy and Batt… Not my finest moment.

But, I started fresh Saturday morning. The ground was frozen and he was a perfect gentleman to turnout. Prior to turnout (post reading 101 ground exercises), we working on dropping his head for a few minutes based on poll pressure (with halter assistance if needed), releasing at the first sign of compliance. He picked it us really quickly. Then turnout.

Later that day, I dumped him in the round pen and did some basic lunging. Just walk-halts for about 15-20 minutes. I reintroduced change of direction too and we worked on that for about 10 minutes. We did some turns on the forehand (both ways) which were hand with his arthritis, but I accepted effort, not perfection, and he was trying. One side was easier than the other. After a while, I realized I needed something else since there were no fireworks and decided to grab the tarp in my car.

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My plan with the tarp was to introduce it over the course of several sessions/weeks. Except, I walked it over, folded, and Subi looked at me and went back to grazing. So I dropped it by his head and he gave no shits. So I made it make noise and no response. Thanks horse. SERIOUSLY????

Next, thinking I might as well risk my life, I tossed the thing on his back and he continued to give no shits.img_9509

Then his neck. From his neck it fell over his head which was not a problem until it blocked the grass, which just required him to push it out of the way.

WHO IS THIS HORSE?????

So, I decided to make him stand on it. This took about 30 seconds mostly because he didn’t see the point.

Then we walked and lunged over it. Caveat. He was only willing to lunge to the right over it and had to be led to the left over it, but since he had no issue walking over it, I’m assuming he was tired/sore by that point.

We have 3000 problems, but tarps aren’t one of them.

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I planned to work him more yesterday, but I was tired and well, day off. Today we have snow and my university seems to want to avoid closing despite the city closing offices…