Monday, January 28, 2013

Major PITA

As I'm sure you are all aware, Jetta can be a major PITA. Which she has been the past couple days. Roller coaster I tell 'ya.

Saturday was yet again another crazy day. I woke up too early at 6am to go get Jetta and have a lesson with KB. While at our last lesson Jetta was too forward - running and anticipating the canter - Jetta was more on the lazy side this time. There is no middle ground with this horse.

I got there early and lunged and when I got on she was behind my leg and not really wanting to move out. Sigh... She was also doing the nasty rooting thing which I can't stand. I know she's doing it because of nerves, but the past few lessons (before our most recent with TS) she was perfectly fine. I really want to haul her to a different barn and just school her so she learns to cut it out.

Despite Jetta being a complete brat for the lesson I got some good pointers, as always. The two things we worked on were our leg yields and canter transitions.

For the leg yields, KB said I was bending Jetta's neck too far in order to get her to move her hip over. This was disappointing to hear because I felt that our leg yields were getting so much better! But they're not :( It makes sense though. So to fix this I just need to ask for a straighter neck then we need to work on getting her more responsive to my leg for stepping over. Because straight neck = less yielding to my leg in Jetta's book.

Next up was canter transitions. KB's contribution on finding that "perfect" cue is to ask three times with each of my aids - outside leg, inside leg, seat - and then if she's still trotting nicely then she's allowed to canter. This really, really pisses Jetta off and she ended up kicking the wall. What a fantastic way to make an impression right?

But we'll see how it goes. It makes sense to me, I'm just worried about desensitizing her too much and having her blow me off when I do ask for the transition. We did get some lovely ones, it was tough though.

Today was more of the brattyness. I lunged Jetta then had a quick ride. She was ok - not actively bad but not her best either. Then the plan was to do a white lightning soak on her back hooves, wash her tail and start pulling her mane.

Problem? Getting her into the wash rack. She flat out refused. And it's not because she's afraid of it or anything. She tolerates baths pretty well. No, she just likes to argue with me for the sake of arguing. I argued with her for over 30 minutes using everything in the book to convince her to get in the wash rack. She'd stick one front hoof in, I'd praise her, then when I asked her to go further in, she'd back out.

This is the problem with having a dominant horse. I love her to death but she drives me nuts because she's always seeking a way to get back on top. I finally lunged her in the arena so she didn't get a break and the wash rack would be a more relaxing place, then resorted to flat out bribery.

I grabbed a armful of hay, plopped it down at the back wall of the wash rack and sat down, studiously ignoring Jetta but making sure to rustle the hay a lot. She had the most adorable look on her face - she wanted that hay so bad but still didn't want to step foot in the wash rack. Finally I held a handful out under her nose and she stepped both front feet into the wash rack, then the back feet followed.

Looking so pitiful as she decides whether or not to step into the wash rack

Two feet in...
And we have all four feet!

I'm not sure who won this round - me or her?

She cleaned up all the hay, so I left her in the cross ties and put everything  (that I didn't get to use...) away. Then I stood with my back to her until she stopped pawing and bobbing her head, handing her treats whenever she stood still.

She is such a piece of work.

I think this week we'll be tacking up in the wash rack until she decides it's no big deal.


  1. Did you try backing her into the wash rack? I find this "tricks" many stubborn horses into going in. haha.

  2. Yep, tried that too. She was not having it...

  3. Nothing like fighting with a big horse to make one super frustrated! Glad she got in finally!!