Today, I bitted him up in the Myler shank bit. I decided that I would ride him in the bit that he finds most comfortable and it's a good thing I did. N was lunging Cali, who was bucking and kicking in the middle of the outdoor arena, and M was riding her huge Friesan/Paint gelding who was bucking and kicking at the end of the arena. Ashke was walking and trotting very nicely around the outdoor on the rail. We had worked on the canter to the right and managed four rounds with an up and then a down transition on each round. We turned around to go to the left. M and her horse left the arena and a new black QH was walking around in a circle in the parking lot.
That's when Ashke lost his mind. And I have no idea why he decided right then that he was going to flip out. It might have been that he thought Cali was leaving the arena at the same time as the Friesan/Paint and he got upset. It's not the first time he has done this.
He began to bounce up and down, rearing a little, then spun in a circle, fighting for his head. He was doing the Arabian Snort and trying to get away from me. Always in the past, I have gotten him to stop long enough to get off. This time, though, we had a come-to-Jesus moment (or insert any deity you would prefer, except for Kali - we do not need a Destroyer Goddess here). The bit helped a lot. He spun in a circle a couple of times, his neck completely curved in to his chest, and I heard N call out and ask if we were okay. I wrestled him over to the rail, faced him into it and we sidepassed down the rail at a trot. By the time we reached the other end of the arena, he was pretty much regretting his decision to pitch his little fit.
I didn't get off though. Thanks to my saddle.
I didn't even slide a little bit in the Alta Escuela. I felt in control and was able to force Ashke to do what I wanted him to do. Of course, I'm sure it didn't hurt that he realized that Cali wasn't leaving.
I then worked his butt off.
We did a lot of this:
And then I decided that since he is picking up his leads based on the heel cue I am using that I would work on him picking up his leads on the straight away. I believe this is a huge step toward working on a flying lead change. He did really well on the exercise as well.
Although, I wasn't as good as I could have been at calling where we were going to be. Luckily, N and I did not crash.
I need to get control of my elbows, I think. N does not do the funky chicken when she rides. And just to prove it, here they are:
Things to take away from today:
- Ashke did really well, despite his temper tantrum, and I am getting more and more comfortable at the canter.
- I LOVE MY SADDLE!!!!!!!!!!!!
- My boy was pretty whupped by the end of our session.
- We cantered more today than we have ever.
- I didn't back down when he threw his little fit.
- I can do the Funky Chicken in the saddle