Sunday, January 10, 2010
Jess and Bar in trouble again
Yesterday was a reminder of why there are some people I won't ride with. Or even share the arena with.
Steve and I got the barn at 3 or so, which is usually the perfect time on a Saturday for us to ride our kooky horses. Peter is done with lessons, the arenas are pretty empty, and even if Bar is in a mood (which is less and less these days), we won't interfere with anyone. It also allows me to focus on him and give him the kind of training--whatever that is--he needs that day.
In general, we make it a point to choose times to ride that won't interfere with lessons, and won't intersect with the people who have the hardest time with Bar. He was very much a wild horse--even on the ground--when we first got him, and he made himself quite a reputation that colors how most people see him. And since I do try so hard to work him away from most of those folks--since they make me nervous, too--they really haven't seen him be any better.
It's probably a bit of a loop, isn't it? We don't work around them because they make me (and then Bar) nervous, they get nervous when they see us because they haven't seen him actually being good, then I get nervous, and so on.
He still needs to be worked, and yesterday he really needed to be worked, except Peter's daughter Brie was in the indoor arena. Normally, I would have just groomed him and put him away, but it looked like Brie was finishing up, and the outdoor arena was open for riding if she wasn't, so Bar and I went down to warm up in the round pen.
I don't really know what happened with Brie. I do know that when Bar got through the gate, he spun his butt away from me and then started to barrel over me. Not allowed, no matter what, so I backed him up, possibly more forcefully than needed, but I'd bounce off 1200 pounds if I were lucky, and end up under it if I wasn't.
I heard a couple of the women who watching Brie shouting directions at either Brie or me, but I couldn't tell who or even what they were saying, and my focus was on Bar and getting him to stand still in any case. When he was standing still--mere seconds later--I glanced over and saw that Brie was on the ground and walking next to her horse, so I started to lead Bar towards the round pen and he was calm and obedient--a little clingy, even--at that point. I heard one of the women tell Brie to "just get out of there," but was on the other side of the round pen by then, still focused on my own horse.
The story today was that by "beating" on my horse, I made Brie lose her horse and someone else had to catch that horse.
My first priority is my horse and keeping him under control. Nobody else but me is responsible for that, and I have to assume that other riders have that attitude, but sometimes I wonder. If it had been Steve, would he have blamed Bar if Lena had spooked and wandered off? Or would he have made sure he was controlling his own horse?
Some days, I wish I had my own arena on my own property. On my less grumpy days, I realize that Bar can and does work fine around some horses and riders and this is yet another training challenge for both of us to work through on our way to better horsemanship.