'Member the young thoroughbred gelding that I took to see the cowboy trainer? Rosso has figured out I'm not the cowboy and as such has decided to fuck with me.
I rode him Tuesday and he began acting "fizzy". I kept a nice forward trot and used my circles and big half halts to get him working vs. trying to run off with me and acting like a big turd. I know I was relaxed because I was thinking in my mind to sit heavy in the saddle, keep my lower back relaxed and my shoulders loose.
I was confident because of the work Anthony, the cowboy, had done with him and the tricks Anthony showed me to do when Rosso began to act fizzy.
All of a sudden the circle became really small and Rosso spun, leaped to the side and I lost my balance at which point he began hopping around. I fell off. I wasn't hurt.
I caught Rosso, hopped right back on and finished my ride. I rode him longer than I normally would have and I made sure he was listening to me.... transitions to trot and canter and back down to walk, moving side to side away from my leg, working lightly and nicely in my hand.
I thought to myself - hmph. I must have been too relaxed and too over-confident and I lost my balance and it was my fault I fell off.
I rode last night and thought to myself.... "Sometimes Rosso seems to need to just GO. Maybe instead of trying to use my circles and half-halts, I'll start with a nice, big, ground covering canter." I got on, began a trot and was asking for canter when the shit hit the fan and I hit the sand.
He began spinning around and bucking - I thought I had him at one point and was going to stay on but he began bucking harder. Off I came. I remember yelling, "you FUCKER!" as I flew through the air.
Again, I was not hurt. I captured the big, red, turd - put him on a lunge line and whipped his butt with the lunge whip HARD to send him into work.
Once he looked sufficiently submissive, I got back on and had a nice ride. We ended the ride with him standing still on a loose rein in the arena and chilling out with me on his back... I patted him, jumped off and went in to have a beer.
A well earned beer I think!
I was frustrated. Really frustrated. Like to the point of crying because I felt like all the confidence I'd gained is gone. No way am I taking him out on the roads or on the trail when he knows he can dump me. Not so much because I'm afraid I could be hurt, but a loose horse running ... fences..... cars...... it doesn't mix.
I felt like all the work we've done with him and the money we paid Anthony was for nothing...
Today I talked to Rex, my trainer. We have a plan. She says Rosso did not get away with anything because I got back on and rode him hard. He didn't get his way. The time he spent with Anthony was not wasted.
However, we don't want the bucking to escalate and we don't want him to think it's standard operating procedure for a rider to get on, be thrown off and get on again.
Rosso is having a respect issue. He respected Anthony and Anthony's bullwhip swinging and cracking... he was very much "Yes, SIR" with Anthony. Now he is testing me and showing me he really doesn't care what I want or what I think he should do. He's showing me what HE wants - which is a free lunch. He wants to be left alone to eat grass in the pasture and run with his little herd. He doesn't want a job.
I have to go to work for 8 hrs every day. He can work for an hour or so when I say. I pay the feed bill. I buy the hay. I keep him healthy.
Our plan includes a big, 60 lb Western saddle, a lunge line attached to Rosso's bit and when he begins to fizz, I jump off and I chase his nasty, naughty self like a crazy woman with my eyes bugging out of my head and my hair on fire. He works. And he works HARD. And that should be fun for him with a 60lb saddle on his back. The Western saddle also gives me more to hold onto... and more security. He should begin to worry more about ME and what I want and how to NOT piss the crazy woman off vs. what he wants.
Rex is going to come to my house and help me. I'm not used to being FIERCE. She'll help show me how much and when to let up. She'll ride him at my house to give him a dose of reality while I watch and learn. Ultimately it's up to me. If I can't get him to behave for me, well..... what good is he? Nobody gets a free ride, that includes him.
He's a perfect little angel when I take him to Rex's barn... no hoof out of place and I get all sorts of glowing compliments. At home? He is the devil. And that just ain't gonna fly no mo'. I want to enjoy my horse when I want to ride and not prepare for battle.
Wish me luck. I'll keep you posted.