Thursday, August 21, 2008

The confidence I needed

Boomer and I have not really been seeing eye to eye lately and his stubborn side has come out. He knows what he doesn't want to do and he resists up until the point of having to do said task, then he complies like an angel. Bridling and bathing are two examples. He is bored and over energized and I am frustrated and losing confidence every time we work together. Then, I found a blog by a woman who is just starting her own horse and working with a few other peoples horses and she really gave me a lot of confidence I needed to just get out there and do it! Her blog is another help was this video which helped me see that Boomer wasn't the only nutty horse out there!

I needed to be reminded that Boomer is an Arab, he will always be a silly, flighty, spooky Arab. The plus side is that I learned to ride on Arabs, then moved to OTTBs (Off Track Thoroughbreds), and then to working and training polo horses. So, I know what I am doing, and if Boomer acts up- I will stay on, which minimizes my chances of getting hurt! I don't know why I was lacking this confidence before, but I was.

So, I went out today and longed Boomer until he was pretty well worked. I had the saddle on and worked him at a walk, trot, and canter and really tried to keep things from being predictable. He is still kind of a pill about the canter. He doesn't want to canter and when he does he drops out of it pretty quickly. I feel like I am letting him get away with being lazy but when I really snap the whip after him he will buck or try to run out on the line. I'm not sure what to do other than work at liberty in the round pen which is just a tad small for him to keep his balance in with the mud. After I felt he was nice and calm I put him in the round pen and let him cool down and graze until John got out there (about 10 minutes later). John helped me bridle him and then I had John longe him at the walk and trot in both directions and they both did wonderfully! I went ahead and hopped on Boomer and had John lead us around the round pen and slowly make his way out further on the line. He longed us at the walk for a while and Boomer was really good! He kept wanting to go towards John but my outside rein kept him on the circle. We also trotted a little and That was a little unbalanced for both of us but it got better after a few rounds! We also reversed which was good for now but UGLY by show ring standards! We walked and trotted in the second direction and it was good too! The trot was much smoother! We walked a lap or two, reversed again and got off. It was really encouraging for me to have such a good ride on him. That is what we really needed! I think things will really start picking up from here!

Boomer has a case of rain rot right now from all of the moisture lately. Rain rot is a fungus which affects the skin on the legs, armpits, and rump mostly. Boomer has it on his legs and armpits. It is not itchy and doesn't bother the horse. It makes scabs on the skin which allow the fungus to grow unhindered by oxygen. My solution is to remove as much of the hair as possible to allow oxygen to get in, wash daily with an antimicrobial shampoo, and apply an iodine solution. After three days of treatment he is already looking better!

Tomorrow I will only have limited time with Boomer for a short longe session and grooming as I have my first day of Grad School! There is an orientation Friday evening and Saturday morning. I'll post more Saturday after we hopefully ride again!


Kim said...

If he's lazy at the canter while longing, then he'll be lazy at the canter under saddle too. Which usually their lazy because it's really hot out, or they don't want to make the effort (usually cause it's hot out.) And if he's kicking and having an attitude while longing at liberty, it's because he's an Arabian, and he has a lot of energy built up that just needs to be longed out of him.. it's an Arabian thing. If an Arabian hasn't been worked in awhile, it's going to have attitude because you haven't worked him in awhile. But the more he's worked with, the better his behavior will be. He'll also learn and know your the boss.. your the leader. A good blog to read is she's an Arabian breeder and has like, nearly 30 Arabians. Recently she got some gorgeous shots of some of her Arabians.

Heather said...

Kim, you are right about his longe line training translating to his riding training. This is why I am trying to perfect the canter on the ground before we try it while riding. I'm not sure it is a laziness issue as he ends up putting out much more effort in trotting at full speed than he would if he were cantering, but he may not realize this. About him being an Arabian, I am aware of this aspect of the breed as I have been riding and training them for about 15 years with a short sabbatical while I was working OTTBs and Polo horses. He has been making a lot of progress with the aggression and dominance issues, but he still continually tests limits.

Kim said...

Oh, I want to ask you, have you seen any other Arabian do what Sabumi does? when you are longeing him, and he stops and turns and looks at you, and comes into you? I got my first Arabian 11 months ago, and my 20 year old Arabian gelding (but he doesn't always do this, and doesn't do it often but) has done that same thing while being longed in the round pen and arena... so when I read your horse has done it too, I then wondered is it an Arabian thing? or do many different breeds do this too? BTW, I really enjoy reading bloggers blogs about Arabians, so I have enjoyed reading your blog and about your experiences with your Arabian.

Oh and do you ever see pictures/videos of Arabians, and say/think, "Wow, that Arabian is so amazingly gorgeous and graceful!" ?? I have lol :).