After a really busy work week, I only made to see Laz on Monday evening, Friday evening and yesterday (Sunday). Not the best showing up but it's hard to carve out 4-5 hours in my day when trying to work to afford my horse...talk about a cat chasing it's tail!
Anyway, Friday proved to be a challenging day. Winds were whipping around 35 mph and Laz was up around 45 mph and bug eyed! I hand walked him for 2 hours trying to get him to settle down. After an hour or so, my BO "C" came and met up with me, with Ellie (her young filly) to work both the ponies together. Ellie is SUCH a smart youngster and learns so quickly. She is going to be an amazing horse. Even though she was scared at some points, she never acted stupid and really listens and gets it. Half of that (or more) is the BO's natural ability to translate what she is asking of her properly.
With Laz and I, we weren't quite on that sync of good communication but we did eventually get there with some help. I was hanging on to Laz's lead too tightly again for fear of getting trampled when he spooks. I feel that if I can 'control' him with my lead that I can prevent him from jumping on me. But I think what I'm doing is making him feel claustrophobic and closed in when he's scared. "C" had me gently lunge him for a bit to allow Laz to choose to get his sillies out and he bucked out a couple times (after our hour walk mind you) and then he focused a little better on me. She reminded me that a loose lead is going to keep him calm and that I HAVE to trust my horse. So hard sometimes after dealing with years of horses that bowled me over. Those of you that own TB's or any high strung horse, know what I'm talking about, right?! It's always in the back of my head. When he jumps, I jump. Not a good combo.
So I did listen to her and kept a loose line and he almost immediately calmed down and even when he did spook, he just rushed up past me and looked at me like "oh, oops..sorry" But nothing dangerous. He just has a rocket flight instinct and if I just continue to work with him and let him know that he can trust me as his leader, he'll be kept safe. The other great thing that "C" reminded me of is my bear voice. She thought I was using too much of it on Friday, and that it was working against me. It's only for when he is really not listening. Her method is this "ask your horse..if he doesn't listen then you TELL your horse, and finally if they still don't listen... then 'kick his ass voice is used'" So the 1, 2, 3 method and with me on Friday, I was going straight to TELL and never really asking him. Not fair to him, but I didn't realize that I was growling at him so much, so it was good to have her to check me. So I revised that when we walked around on our loose lead, and if he spooked, I would just coo at him to calm him down instead of 'barking' at him. He seemed more responsive to that and I think just needed to be 'talked' to and reassured that he's safe with me. His spooks don't make him a bad horse, it just makes him a bit more to handle and hopefully over time (and with less wind, lol) he'll settle down and get more confidence. For such a big boy, he really is a big baby! I'm not overly confident in handling him because of his size sometimes and I have to work on that.
It is SO interesting that those little communication adjustments in our lesson made SUCH a big difference. I wish and strive to know WHEN to make those adjustments on my own...opening those lines of communication and learning what he needs and how he learns best from me. It's fun when you get that 'A-ha' moment of communication. Love it.
I want to make sure that when I do get back on, that I have my nerve to ride through his spooks and not be a tense rider. I'm hoping that creating a strong foundation on the ground with him will translate on his back.
Sunday, we just enjoyed Lazarus from a distance because my husband and I went to the farm to help plant the garden. We planted SO many (hopeful) yummy things; corn, tomatoes, peas, orka, fennel, onions, carrots, lettuces, squash of a few varieties, herbs, and more! I'm so looking forward to be able to 'ride' and then pluck some fresh veggies for dinner in the next couple months.
Laz continues to look so good with his metallic summer coat coming in, and has gained great muscle back in his body. I'm setting up a day with a chiropractor out there (per Cliff's rec) to work on his back/hips and help smooth out any internal kinks from being stalled for so long.
Tonight the BO and I are meeting at a barn in between us to attend a laminitis seminar and a tack sale! I have like $20 to spend, lol, so I'm sure I won't be buying anything but I hope to hear some interesting things about laminitis and what others are doing. I do feel like I'm walking in there tonight with a horse whose case should be studied!!!
On a separate note, but FUN is that I won something! I literally NEVER win contests but I'm changing my attitude and now thinking/dreaming of all the things that I could win now (lotto would be great!) but I did win a great book from "Pet's Blogroll" which is a great networking site for fellow bloggers who bloggity blog about their furry creatures. Go check it out if you haven't already and get your blog on there. I look forward to receiving my winning prize "One Good Dog" being I am a huge pup lover and need a good book to read. Perfect! Thanks!!!