About this Blog

Meet my very 1st horse, Lazarus.
I couldn't wait for Santa anymore or ask one more time for a pony for my bday (after age 30 it got embarrassing). I took matters in my own hands and I finally decided to pick a pony that needed a new home. Laz found me as I contemplated with this idea. He was sweet yet very sassy, fresh off the track, Thoroughbred (OTTB).
Join us for our re-training, rehabbing from laminitis and testing all parts of mixed up horsemanship and partnership, and luck...

Monday, September 16, 2013

The whipping boy

Last week the weather was a mix of 90 and 60's. I took advantage of the one hot day and gave Laz a nice liniment bath and scrubbed him down, knowing it would probably be his last bath of the season. He used to hate baths, and he now really enjoys them. Just stands and lip laps at the water
So, yea..well, I guess I got yesterday's dirt off.
Someone was literally quite pleased with himself
"Now i reelly cleanz"
Mid week I saw a 5k and a 10k race in Kensington, which is the park I board near. I thought, HEY, this is perfect..we (Billy and I) could do this together and Laz had a farrier appointment at Noon. 
Run, Laz, Lunch-YES!
So, we did. 
I have a love affair with Kensington and I thought it would be the coolest place to do my FIRST 5k in.
It was! The race was small but soooo beautiful and fun. So many positive, encouraging people with Cider, fruit and sandwiches at the end. Oh, and a medal, and an UGLY sweatshirt that I will literally cut into for rags.
After our race.
Billy is an avid runner. I is not.
When I ran (well, when anyone did) across the finish line, they announce your name/age/where you live. It was very cool. I know that isn't new ..but for me, it was!
I ran as much as I could, but walked a lot too. Finished in 37:54
Billy after his 10K cooling off along the lake
Then it was time for Laz to get recasted. We did the same double cast and he grew about an inch of heel--HOORAH!

Sunday Funday!
J9 and Kaspin  came to meet us at our barn for a hopeful trail ride. It was raining so we decided to just play and see what transpired. We didn't want to get caught out in a storm/downpour especially since Kaspin is a newbie at trails.
Can you believe that I randomly met J9 at a clinic about 4 years ago and we live about 1 mile apart and board about 20 minutes apart. Crazy. She's been SO awesome to us in our Parelli training and just overall support! I just adore her.
So, we warmed the boys up in the front pasture.
Laz was giving me some indications that he wasn't pleased that his pasture mate Pito wasn't around

Here he is handsomely staring at Pito
The sun poked through so we decided to tack up and do a bit of road riding to help expose Kaspin.
Well..Kaspin was TREMENDOUS from start to finish. J9 has done some amazing things for him, it's truly remarkable. I had thought "Ohhh, we will be soooo good for your newbie boy because we do this allll the time" 
Boy did I eat my words. Laz acted like he has never left his pasture. EVER.
He literally would put the brakes on, try Quarter horse spinning around and ignoring ALL my leg/rein asks to want to go back to Pito.
He was 100000% ignoring me.
I was beyond frustrated and embarrassed.
Thankfully J9 helped me through it and we FINALLY got Laz to lead  er FOLLOW the 'newbie' Kaspin who thankfully wasn't feeding into Laz's high strung behavior.

 Yes, that's me below, with a whip/crop made of a branch.
That I used. A LOT. ughhh
I had to literally "beat the sh*t" out of my horse (I kidd of course..wait, do I?) to get him from stopping swirling around to try to run back to his pasture. It was ridiculous. He was not scared, he was not in pain, he was truly wanting to be sour.
I would gently ask for him to continue forward. He would ignore, I would ask again, he would ignore following with a "I'll just turn opposite super quick" and I had to crop his shoulder until he turned to where I was asking. I ended up having to match his intensity which I hate doing.
But it worked and he ended up shaking his head, processing it, and settling down a bit more.
I had to take many mental breaks. Pauses. I wanted to reset him as well. I would start again. Asks and suggest and then TELLS. The reason the 'tells' came into play??? 
He literally ran INTO a mailbox and then broke it off. 
Ya, don't worry...I didn't at all feel like a DumbA## leaving a note in their smashed box of "Sorry my horse rammed into your mailbox, I'm happy to pay for repairs"

He kept ramming me into tree branches, or would step too close to water pipes in the ground. He literally was acting up one of the worst ways I've ever had him do.
I don't know what got into him but I do know this; for a while now, he's been testing me and Sunday it blew up in my face.
 We just continued down the road, and worked on going forward, and listening to my cues. J9 suggested turning around and walking and then circling back and walking him opposite and he FINALLY calmed down and listened.
Even the whole way back, he felt slightly annoyed with me and much more fast paced than when he and I ride either alone, with Mason, or with Pito.
It was just off. We were off. I was sooo disappointed that I had to crop my horse and even more disappointed that he was not listening to me
We did end it all on a good note, with the two boys grazing on our return, so we dismounted and ended it. Kaspin was an A+ student and Laz was a pot smoking D student. 
Scratch that. Laz is an A student..his teacher (me) failed him.
I have a lesson scheduled this week to help me work this kink out.

It was eating at me ALL day yesterday. So much that I was telling my Husband about it while we walked the pups. He really didn't get it until I said "It's like in a heated game of Basketball, and your star Forward asks your Guard, in front of you as the Coach, what play to play?"
He was like "Oh.  Wow."
Anyway, I had to really work on letting it go. I actually saw this and decided, in the end, he did make good choices. It just took awhile.
We'll see what my trainer is able to offer me for this behavior so I can earn his trust and confidence during our rides, at any time. 
Build the partnership instead of us fighting 
He clearly wanted to be just be back in his pasture with his friend and not listen to me. I want him to be able to make decisions but then also trust when I need to make one for us.
After all, this is a team sport.


  1. Sometimes things just fall apart - I know. You just keep at it and work through it and soon you're past it and everything is just fine again. I know that too. Don't be too hard on yourself.

    1. I know..it's so hard NOT to be. I just always want to do right for him/by him and I left feeling like I had to do things I wasn't happy about.

  2. It sounds like a particularly challenging ride, but you told the tale well. The mailbox incident cracked me up, in a with you, not at you way. Cause I've been there.

    I know for me, my worst moments with Val have come when I was riding with someone and I worried about what they thought. Maybe not consciously, but nonetheless. It made me feel more separate from him instead of together... and ramped up the unproductive energy.

    Next time will be better - everyone has those kind of days. :D

    1. Can you believe it?! When it happened, we started laughing too. Like he just blasted right into it like it was a feather.

  3. Some days are so hard. I feel so bad for you both because those kinds of rides leave everyone involved feeling down. Luckily, we have equally good days too! I'm sure your next one will be perfect! :)

    It helps me when Pie is acting like this to completely forget my own agenda. That sounds nuts, but it works for us. See it 100% from your horse's point of view. Don't let one thought of what you want creep into your mind. I am not saying to necessarily do what your horse wants, but the first step is to really understand what he is feeling. Figure out what is honestly going on with your horse. In other words, be your horse. Feel what your horse is feeling. Maybe his actions are warranted but you can only know if you put yourself in his shoes. That always helps me find a way to help Pie get through a tough spot because I am seeing it from his point of view. It changes the focus entirely - no comparisons to other horse's behaviors or to other rides you've had. It puts you right in your horse's head - right now.

    Hugs to you both!

    Hugs to you and sweet Laz. You two will work through this.

    1. I tried, I really did. I just was coming to the conclusion of that he just wanted to be with Pito and not listen. I could be so wrong, but I really felt he was tuning me out with every choice/question I offered. The only answer was "PUT ME BACK" and I could have...but really, he lives a great life 24/7 that for one hour, he can be a partner..right?? UGH.

  4. Omg I am DYING at the thought of him running into the mailbox. Laz, what is going on in that head of yours? I hope this was just an "off" day and he wasn't feeling the whole trail ride thing. Don't you usually go out and about alone and he has no problems? Has his turnout situation changed at all (new buddy, lost a buddy, etc)?

    1. NOTHING has changed. Yes, we ride alone or with Mason all the time and that was what was killing me...he had no reason to act like that (that I figured out--so I'm sure he did) other than wanting to be with Pito, his herd mate and not with his new friend who visited. He also made ZERO attempts to bond with Kaspin, he fact he tried to kick him while I was in saddle. Lord. Maybe Laz and Lucy have swapped minds? ;)

  5. Was Pito calling for him back at the barn?

    Ugh, unfortunately I am all too familiar with days like that. I can feel it in my chest just reading your frustration! This is why I sold Poppy - because I got to the point of not overcoming it and it was clear we were never going to be a correct match. So yes, I definitely know the feeling!!!

    You have such a great relationship with Laz so this was definitely just a one-off type of day. Dont be discouraged! And kudos to you for having a lesson set up this week. In my opinion its the best thing we can do for our minds! Trainers always seem to know how to make it better :)

    Keep us updated!

    In other words - he looks quite handsome all bowed up in those pictures!

    1. Oh yes, LOTS of calling from his lover. But that is pretty typical as well and usually doesn't bother him. Of course I can't understand horse so maybe it was extra urgent this time with a new horse around?

  6. Yes, don't be hard on yourself:) You are amazing with Laz!! Thanks again so much for having us and we will for sure be back! I too laughed hard about the mailbox(sorry). Really! it was funny, LOL. Silly boy!! Thanks for the super nice compliments about us!! You're the best!!! xoxoxoxo

    1. It was fun despite the challenge--boy I was SWEATING!! LOL. Thank god you coached me through the riding and the "BREATHE, BREATHE" :)

  7. Trust me everyone has days like that. Try not to beat yourself up about it. It happens. He will be better next time!