I survived Round 1 with Rosso.
Rex, my trainer, came to my house Sunday since that is where he is worst. I was warming him up on the lunge line when she arrived. I stopped, brought him in, attached the lunge line to his bit ring, put my helmet on and we discussed the game plan.
I was to get on him and the minute he began to act like a turd, I was to jump off, smack him as hard as I could with my whip and send him FORWARD on the lunge line - not a nice comfortable canter - but chase him forward in a very uncomfortable, gallop that was difficult for him.
The idea is that we want him to think I am MUCH worse, MUCH more dangerous on the ground than on his back. It is always in his best interest to keep me on his back where things are much easier. Training is all about making the wrong thing hard and the right thing easy. She said I could not be hard enough to him right now. He needs to develop a good, healthy respect for me.
I got on 'im. He immediately began throwing his head and dancing around. I jumped off, smacked his ass with my whip and sent him forward. Yelling and waving my whip around and making him gallop for all he was worth and I did not let up.
Rex helped me see Rosso's submissive signs... his inside ear pinned on me, lowering his head a little, chewing or licking his lips.... but he was still to GO FORWARD in his mad scrambling gallop!
Please forgive the weeds... with all the rain, they took over! Our farmer neighbor came and sprayed them so they should be gone soon... but you get the idea - here I am chasing Rosso all around and he is in a mad dash. We decided to forego the Western saddle since I wasn't going to try and ride out his bucking, but I was going to get down as quickly as possible to whack him and send him FORWARD. Thought I could get down faster in the saddle I'm used to.
When she thought it was time, we brought him in to me and I tried again. Nope. He began jigging and tossing his head all around, threatening to buck and twirl, so off I jumped, smacked him with my whip and sent him FORWARD at a hard, hard gallop. I chased him and chased him and I did not let up.
The third time I got on - same thing.
The fourth time - more of the same.
The fifth time was the charm. I walked him in both directions, I patted him, he stood still while I sat on him and I hopped off. He was trembling from fatigue and sweating buckets - little pools around his feet and running off his belly. I untacked him, sponged him off with tepid water and walked him til he was cool.
I don't know if you can tell how drenched he is, but it's like he just stepped out from under a hose... guess you had to be here to REALLY see it!
It might sound harsh but it is the way it must be. He has to submit to his rider and learn to act like a gentleman vs. a dirty bronc. He is not living in the rodeo. Once he is nice to me, I can be nice to him - simple as that. There simply isn't room for rotten behavior where someone (namely ME) could be hurt.
After the fight, I this odd thing happened to me.
I guess when I was lunging Rosso and chasing him with my whip, I gripped the whip and the lunge line with all I had. I was surprised to find my forearms so fatigued I could not grab a beer, let alone lift it to my mouth when we were in town for lunch. It was physically impossible.
It's like I was a tyrannosaurus with these useless little appendages hanging from my body.
Furry Husband had to help me milk goats... I couldn't clean the litter boxes... I couldn't lift or grip anything. I was completely and totally useless. They are still sore today, though I could actually lift my coffee mug to my face this morning one handed. Yay me!
Round 2 happens tonight up at Rex's barn.