Monday, November 1, 2010

Leftover from Day two - First Day in the Saddle

I can't believe I forgot to talk about the Static Attack!

We'd had our turn and were busy working on our stops when all of a sudden the batteries on Mark's wireless mic went out. For those of you who never have to deal with this, what happens is the speakers are suddenly pouring out very loud static.

Smokey decided this was way too much. First I dragged him into this place with no sky, then he had to do all that grown up horse stopping, with all those people watching, and now the entire world was HISSING!

We surged forward at a somewhat controlled trot around the indoor arena, round and round the other horses. I never tried to stop him completely, but was somewhat dismayed to be on the only horse reacting this way.

But I decided what was best was letting him trot this out as long as he stayed in my control. We were turning well, no bucking, no rearing, but head pretty high. Finally, after four days (okay 2 minutes), Mark SLOWLY put his new batteries in (why no one turned down the volume is beyond me) and the static went away. We came to a halt and I shouted "Thanks a lot!"

There was much relieved laughter. Or was that just me?

Later I asked if I did the right thing by "riding him out" and Mark said that usually that's what he recommends; however since so many of his students these days are backyard horseman they can't always ride things out, especially when it's a much bigger reaction (full gallop, I presume).

I spent a good portion of the next two days praying that he had longer lasting batteries in that mic.


lytha said...

holy crap, that's awful! you shouldn't have had to worry about that, amidst all your other challenges!

thanks for sharing, i'm really enjoying this series.


Crystal said...

Wow I just been catching up on your clinic and he sounds pretty neat, and the comment about a colt, thats funny cause Im the other way around, I still call my 6 year old a colt, lol!

Susan said...

It's experiences like that that make a well broke horse. Smokey's well on his way.

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

In Mark's book, "Whole Heart, Whole Horse," he says that horses need to move to work out trauma -- emotional or physical. Being young he doesn't have a storehouse of experience to rely on yet, so it was not surprising to see his reaction. Letting him expel some physical energy by trotting around under your control probably helped him expel the emotional energy he accumulated.

Good job.


PS: I heard the "Thanks a lot," but I didn't realize it was you.

Rising Rainbow said...

Cheez! I hate when that kind of stuff happens. Sounds like he handled it pretty well considering it frightened him so.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Sheesh! I get so annoyed when I cant control the environment to have a good calm horse, lol! I feel your pain.
More exposure to things like this, will make you and him an even better team

Jan said...

Good for you- how you handled the unexpected with Smokey! You knew what spooked him, you thought through how under control he was although he was trotting at his direction, you knew you could handle what was happening and you decided to keep going with it! And then you even asked for feedback from Mark. You are doing great with Smokey - I hope you feel proud of that.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...


Fantastyk Voyager said...

You worked it out with Smokey just right! What a great learning experience even though you must have been as terrified as poor Smokey. Sounds like you and your horse are really becoming a team.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Sounds like you handled that well, but did Mark think that you riding out a cantering or galloping Smokey would also be correct?

In a small indoor arena space with other riders all around? If so, that would surprise me.

And did Mark really call you a Backyard Horseman? Yikes. And that would be opposite of a...what? Frontyard horseman? lol!

Apache did the "I'm alarmed and need to move" thing at our very first ACTHA ride together. She basically just trotted from our horse trailer, where I had just tacked her up and mounted, all the way across the parking area to the barn. I just let her trot it out because there was nowhere for her to go. She had a nice little prancy trot, too.

You did good girl! Give that handsome fella a carrot from me. :)


allhorsestuff said...

AHH! This happend to me too...and my mare just STOPPED DEAD..and looked at the actual speaker! (me, i looked at the jerky woman yelling into it!)
I couln't believe she knew where it was!

Smokes was good to ride it out with!Like others have said, he is well on his way to becoming a rounded and reliable partner, thanks to your decisions and training that you are pursuing!