Something of a resolution

So Knots and I took about a week and a half off. As I mentioned previously, I talked to a few friends about the situation, but mostly I just stewed on it. I was really trying to figure out why I was taking the advice so hard. I mean, Knots has never been anything close to a clean slate. (Fade to storytime….)

Knots was left at the farm. His owner stopped paying board, and he was left out for a few months before Maggie decided he needed to do something. Her son was drafted to ride him, and he cowboyed him around a bit. Knots is fast as shit. Like win a race fast. Its intimidating to watch, and a bit terrifying to sit on top of. It seems he was taught to stand and run. He didn’t accept leg or hand contact, and he would run away with people. I guess that’s called bolting. Anyways. He was ridden by Maggie’s son for awhile, and at some point I started riding him a little bit. Around this time Robert and I built some cavaletti and realized that Knots loved jumping. I started riding him more and he started calming down. He was able to be used in summer camp that year, and in the fall we started jumping more regularly. When winter came around again, we started taking dressage lessons and went to a show. Bam. He still wants to bolt in situations with new people and he is very uneasy in large groups. (As storytime ends…)

Trot poles. Our very first time. February 2013

I’ve been riding him for two years. And so I think the moral of the story is that I want to reevaluate my goals. I have developed a real attachment to this pesky mutt, and as soon as I accumulate enough money, I’m going to buy him. Whether he is good at dressage or not, we can continue improving. If we are safe enough to run around a novice course in December, that will be great. If not, then we will continue poking along until we can safely move on up.

In the meantime, I will continue getting Jellybean moving (I have a post about our last ride scheduled this week ;)) and working to fit in as many rides as I can around my schedule.

And so onto the next ride after the dressage lesson. Maggie has been putting in some time working with Knots when I have been working. So on Saturday I showed up to the barn and grabbed Knots with my cookie stash. We tacked up and I got ready to lunge him, only to realize my side rein donut was broken. How exactly have we gone through two sets of side reins in a year? I don’t know either. I will be saving up for a better quality pair in the hopes that is the problem…

Anyways, we worked on the lunge line with Maggie’s side reins and attempted to see some level of submission. I didn’t feel like I was seeing a lot, but I wasn’t seeing much active resistance. I think the side reins needed to be a hole or two tighter, but I was out of holes. Anyways, I lunged in both directions and then mounted. I decided I would ride with ‘side rein hands’ which is to say I just used the reins to put pressure on the bit if Knots was resisting and to have an extremely light contact if he was giving to the bit. I used my legs and seat to trot in a 20-30mish circle.

I was fairly pleased with the results. He was not extremely submissive by any stretch, but he was responding. I think this ride is something we can build on. Only about 100 more rides like this and I’ll have me a dressage horse :p

Eating my new boots

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