Saturday, November 16, 2013

Teaching (or maybe learning) patience

Calabar has a set time frame for riding. It is generally about six furlongs, though we have been stretching that of late. And he has funny ways of telling me he thinks we are done. He heads, of course, back to the mounting block at the center of the arena. Regardless of which arena, there is a center and a mounting block signalling his intention to end the session. 

Ears of displeasure
In the indoor arena, there are trail obstacles set up. We have used these often as part of our cool down time so he believes if we do them, the riding should come to and end if he heads towards them. Regardless of where we are in our ride. We have also ended with a few jumps a little cross rail, so he will also wander over there in hopes of getting back to his dinner.

I am not an ogre. If he is doing what I am asking without arguing, I don't drill him endlessly and we end on a good note. However, if there is grumpiness or a little too much attitude, well, we have to work a little longer. 

This leads, as you may guess, to a little conflict now and again. 

We are learning and teaching patience together. 

Becoming impatient and bossy with Calabar is a losing battle. He is 1,200 pounds of opinion and unless I convince him we are having fun, I will not win. So, yes, sometimes I interrupt our collection and dressage work to jump over the cross rails a couple times. I don't care about form or how he comes out of it--we can worry about that later--I am more concerned that he gets to do something he likes so we can go back to doing what will help both of us be better in the long run. 

I figure we have lots of time to make us both better as a team, so taking the time to have some fun along the way can't hurt.


Anonymous said...

I love the term "ears of displeasure"!

Our mare Lily had a habit, if she thought we should be finished and we'd come to a halt, of reaching around and biting, gently, the toe of your boot to tell you that she was sure you'd agree that we should be done.

lmel said...

Good philosphy--keep him happy and interested. And yes, they will always win, so why make it a battle of wills. Sounds like it works!
Harley shows his grumpy side now and again too so I know right where you are coming from. :)