Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bratty Baby Beth

What started out with a relaxed, forward, compliant lunging session this morning, turned into a hissy-fit temper tantrum the minute I got on the drama queen!
Beth would not move forward.
Sideways, yes.
Backwards, yes.
Or not at all.
But definitely not in the direction her head was pointed.

I got off and we lunged again for a few minutes, with her being pissy, and me being more pissy, demanding her respect. I wasn't so much mad, as confused about what had suddenly happened to her attitude and determined to work through it.

I got on and we made about 50 feet, before Beth decided there was something terrifying over the fence in the backyard. (There was absolutely nothing that hadn't been there for the last several years. And the "scary thingy" seemed to move, depending upon our position. Just an excuse for stopping, I think.)
Again, no forward gear. Just a lot of head tossing and stomping.

I got off and went and got both my stubby spurs and by dressage whip, to reinforce my leg aids.
I had to use both and we finally got forward, at first just a few steps. If I really got after her with the whip she would give a little hop-kick, not quite a buck, but the threat was there. I didn't want to push her that far, so rather than a sharp thwap, I used an irritating tap tap tap. Every time I got a little "try" I would relax a bit, then ask again.
She would get part way around the end of the arena, then sidepass [beautifully] back towards the barn gate and/or her herd in the paddocks. The couple of times she made it to where she wanted to be, I had to start all over with regaining the forward movement.

We finally managed several circles, both ways, at the end of the arena, at a semi-relaxed walk, so I called it good and loosened her cinch and let her stand for a bit in the grooming stall, to think about it, while I did some odd jobs around the barn. Then I unsaddled her and put her up.

Beth had managed to change what I had planned to be a short, review lesson into a major disagreement about who was in charge. I know there are readers who will think I needed to listen to what she was trying to tell me, but the message I was getting was:
No! I don't want to. I don't! I DON'T!!
It was not fear, nor discomfort, as far as I could tell. It was simple disobedience.
It was an example of Beth at her naughty worst.
I may need to ride her again tomorrow (instead of Maddie) to see where we stand.


  1. They all got to try that at one time or another, better to get it over with sooner than later I always think.

  2. Humph! Some days are a trying huh!
    it will be better that next time!

  3. You are so much braver than I. Baby Doll used to give me that hop-kick/crow-hop attitude many times, too. It was everytime I left our property and headed dow the road away from our house and barn, but she was fine in the arena or being ridden around our fields. So I know she wasn't hurting or scared. She just didn't want to leave and go where I wanted to, and was barn-sour.

    She never gave a full-on powerful buck, but she tried everything else to scare me...pinned ears, spinning 360 degrees, bolting, trying to run backwards to the barn. Oh it was fun. Not!

    I hope that Beth was just testing you and she now understands that she must always comply and respect your authority from now on.