Saturday, August 1, 2015

Temper, Temper Lucy

Before Camille and I left for Shaver Lake last week, I was up early to ride Lucy before Camille woke up and we loaded the car.  As I walked down the back porch steps, the donkeys started braying in anticipation of breakfast.  Lucy walked over to her pasture gate and gave her "I'm hungry" nicker.  She was not impressed when, instead of feeding, I slipped on her halter and took her to the tie rail.

The morning air was cool and Lucy was animated as we walked up to the dressage court.  She stood still while I mounted but I could feel her displeasure as we walked around the arena.  She wanted to buck (the equivalent of giving me the finger) but is too much of a lady for that.  Instead, she wagged her head when I asked her trot.

I had been thinking I should watch her trot and canter on the lunge to evaluate how her hocks were moving.  Now, I thought, would be a good time to do that.  Lucy could be as pissy as she wanted without me on her back; better for both of us.  I hopped off.  Lucy was immediately thinking "breakfast."  The lunge line was not hanging on the fence by the dressage court.  I thought there was one in the horse trailer tack room so we walked down to the trailer -- which was on the way back to her pasture.  While I poked around in the trailer, Lucy nosed the shelf on the inside of the door, looking for cookies.  Neither of us found what we were looking for.

I continued walking my prancing steed to the barn.  As we walked down the barn aisle, I could hear Lucy "What the heck?  Where are we going now?  This isn't the way to breakfast."  The lunge line wasn't by the roundpen so we walked back outside, through the rear barn doors, and over to the small arena.  The lunge line was there; faded green and a bit stiff from being out in the weather.  I picked it up off of the fence and we walked all the way back up to the dressage court.  Lucy didn't balk but she definitely lost the pep in her step.

Back in the dressage court, I snapped the lunge line to her bit ring and asked her to walk off.  She walked a step, then bucked.  And bucked.  And bucked.  And bucked.  All the way around the circle, twice.  She didn't pull and she didn't kick at me but she didn't do anything except buck.  Then she launched herself forward into a gallop; going so fast that she was leaning like a motorcycle -- if I had been on her, my toe would have touched the ground.  "Aaaand trrrot" I said.  She gave me one step of trot, then shifted back to a canter.  I let her run until she found her brain and did a couple transitions from my voice.  Then we changed directions.  She bucked and galloped a bit and then settled.

I unclipped the lunge line and took her back for that breakfast she so wanted.

I think her hocks are just fine...


  1. I never even thought about riding during feeding time. More than not it would not end well. What was I trying to prove and why should I ask that of my horse. When I had a hosted a clinic here, the lessons all went longer and I was last. Of course when it was my turn it was feeding time and Target could hear all of my other horses waiting to be 16'3 thoroughbred was not a happy camper and my lesson was a waste of time (and money).

    If she had been fed first, I'll bet you would have had a better ride. How is Brett doing today?

  2. Wow! I would say you are right about her feeling good!

  3. During the summer I typically ride Lucy early, before feeding. She knows the routine and is fine with it. She knows no one will get fed until we are done. This particular morning, I was not quite as early as usual so she thought ride time was past and we were into breakfast.

  4. I'm okay with riding during the normal feeding time. They figure out quickly enough that they still get fed. I'm glad she was feeling good. :) Time for her to go back to work.

  5. Oooh, mad mare!


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