Photo by Margaret Chant and edited by Jessica Metropulos

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Advancing Porcupine, Bareback and Bridless

Tonight was a night for the Crest-myster, and a VERY interesting evening indeed! I decided to try a little more in the round pen, since it was a rocky thing the other night, and boy, things were different.

Started out a little RB again, very reactive and flighty to every little thing, but that got better as we kept playing. Started building up to some extreme friendly game again, since that seems to be his biggest issue at liberty (which is funny, because online, when mommy's holding his hand, he's FINE). Anyway, played some friendly and did some sideways, cutting and circling. Once he got moving around, Crest was feelin' fine, because he was tossing his head around, and kicking and playing. It's always fun to watch him be exuberant.

So then,(don't ask about my motivation) I decided that we needed to do some new things to advance our porcupine game. During the spring/early summer, Crest learned how to back by the tail, which was very cool, because he used to not let me even touch his zone 5. But anyway, back to this advancing porcupine. Tonight I decided to re-approach teaching Crest to follow a feel and back up by his hocks. This was kind of a gamble, and I knew it going into it, Crest is still unconfident with ropes and things around his back legs, but I figured that at least we'd get some good friendly in. In the past, when we've played with this, he's kicked, panicked and run off, started spinning, etc. So with that in mind, tonight I friendlied him up REALLY good, then, when I felt he was confident enough,I just asked him back really lightly, and much to my suprise (and satisfaction!) he was like..."mmmokay..." and just started walking backwards. Well, you can imagine how pleased I was!

After finishing up on the ground, I took a really HUGE leap of faith in my horse. Let me give you a bit of back story here. Some of you know this story already, but for those who don't, about 18 months ago, I had a pretty intense riding accident with Crest when we were riding bridless. There were some pretty raw emotions flowing through my mind, and Crest, being sensitive and 10x more RB than he is now, got scared, vaulted a 4.5 foot fence from a standstill with me on him, didn't quite clear it, got hung up, flipped, and landed on top of me. He crushed my knees physically, and mentally damaged my confidence hugely, not only in riding him, but riding in a round corral, in jumping any horse in general, and especially the idea of riding him bridless.

Tonight, for the first time successfully since that accident, I rode Crest bareback and bridless, and for the record, it was in a round corral! It wasn't like we just took off into the sunset, I assure you it was much lower key than that, but it was bareback and bridless. We were under control, LB (LBI to be exact...grass-diver!) and we did transitions! Walk-halt-back transitions, and we also turned, both yielding HQ and FQ. All this without even a rope around his neck! Of course, through the entire ride, I was trying not to start crying(mainly because, to be totally honest, I was scared shitless), but after I got off, I let out a big sigh, a laugh, and started crying and giggling into Crest's shoulder, while repeating (Dane Cook fans, see the Crying Sketch) "I survived, Cresty!!". That was HUGE for us! HUGE! AH! So excited!!

3 comments:

Katie Oostman said...

Hi, I'm Katie. I like reading you blog and just wanted to let you know that that took alot of courage in you and your horse to get back on! That is very exciting and hopfully an awesome break through! Keep up the savvy!

Katie

Mariah Helms said...

Update your blog Fran, well, after the party. *suck up face* please!?

XOXO

Mariah

Jen said...

Fran,

Happy Birthday!!! I came because Mariah got out her stick and told us to RUN!!! :) No, but seriously, Happy 18th. You are a woman LEGALLY!!! *waves magic carrot stick wand* Here's to many more wonderful birthdays in the years to come. *raises glass of mineral water, since Fran is not yet 21*.

Hugs and fun!
Jen