It's. Too. Hot. Cannot. Handle. It. Blegh...
It's been in the mid 90's over the weekend and going to continue into the majority of this week. I tried to get up as early as possible this morning to go ride both mares, but ended up only being able to handle one ride in the heat, ending up with sweat dripping down my back and literally off my nose as I picked out Misty's hooves after the ride. Yuck.
I'm finally getting around to putting some rides on Misty. It's going well, but we have a TON of work cut out for us. I really did think that she was a lot further along in her training, which both my BO and the lady I bought her from led me to believe. It's not a huge deal because I don't mind doing the training, I just didn't expect to have quite so much work to do.
Sunday after I cleaned stalls I sucked it up and worked her on the ground because it was already 92 degrees and there was no way I was riding in the stuffy barn. My BO set up a couple little trail obstacles outside so we worked on those. While Misty is very polite on the ground, it's clear that she's like that simply because of her personality, not because anyone taught her manners, as she'll occasionally try to run you over or completely ignore you.
I worked on teaching her to be sent over obstacles. She'll lead over them fine, but by sending her over stuff it will build her confidence by doing things without me and it's easier for the tougher obstacles if she does it by herself that way if she tries to leap stuff I won't go flying out of the saddle :) She walked over the stall mats arranged in a narrow bridge okay after some convincing, though it took a bit longer for her to send from the left side. She doesn't quite know where her feet are, especially the hind ones, so she kept tripping over the poles on either side. I'd like to work on her with trot poles some.
We moved onto the tarp and raised poles, which she did quite well. Much better than two weeks ago when I introduced her to the tarp and she wouldn't go within 5 feet of it. There was a raincoat sitting on a barrel so we did some desensitizing with that. She spooked at it when I first presented it to her, but when I tossed it on her back she stood stock still. I think she was thinking that if she didn't move it wouldn't hurt her, but I'll take that spookiness over running away any day! She gradually accepted me rubbing it all over her, then I tied it to a rope and drug it around. I'm suspicious that she was never actually roped off of. I haven't gotten my rope from home to practice with yet, but dragging ropes across the ground (such as the lunge line) scares her, which sets off alarm bells in my mind. A rope horse should not be afraid of ropes.
She wasn't a huge fan of dragging the raincoat around, but tolerated it. We had a couple spooks where she tried to run away from it, but ended on a good note when she was able to slowly drag it backwards (towards herself) and then I reeled it in and petted her with it.
Today I went to get her out of the pasture and she didn't want to be caught so I made her run around a bit until she decided that she'd really rather be caught. Saddled her up and away we went. Here's what we need to work on.
Misty's Summer Goals:
-Learn to carry her head low on a relaxed rein at the walk, trot and canter
-Learn to jog
-Fine tune canter transitions, especially to the right
-Learn to reach into contact, not curl away from it
-Fine tune forehand/haunch turns
-Teach her to sidepass
-Begin teaching lateral movements
-Get her to have a quieter mouth
-Teach her to "whoa"
-Play with cows
-Learning to be caught in the pasture
She's able to carry her head relatively steadily at the walk and trot, but completely forget about that at the canter. She has a rough time picking up and holding the right lead canter. She has no jog whatsoever. She does not like contact and will curl away from it and gape her mouth. I am going to try putting a cavesson on her since I'm already using a mild bit, but if that doesn't help may actually try a flash because it's really bad. This is why I like buying unbroke horses - so that I can start them correctly so that problems like this don't crop up. It seems like she wasn't ever introduced to the bit properly, or it may just be something she learned from her last home since her owner used a Tom Thumb curb bit on her (hate those things). Her idea of stopping is to slam on the brakes, heavily on her forehand with her head in the air. She doesn't do any lateral work, though she does have an idea of how to pick up her inside shoulder when asked. She does forehand/haunch turns albeit sloppily. She strongly resists backing. Bridling is a struggle, you almost have to pry her mouth open to get the bit in. That's pretty much it in a nutshell. We've got a lot of work!
I bought Misty a new Cashel fly mask since her cheapy one gave her a huge rub (hence why I love the Cashel masks and will never use anything else every again). I didn't notice that it was one of the new ones with the patterns, but I love it! I think it suits her well, though she is not amused...