Monday, May 13, 2013

An Awesome Day

I was going to title this post an awful day but the more I thought about it the more I realized that it had really been a good day.

Point one: No one died,..... just kidding but it is a good point.

Point Two: No one really got hurt. My arm may beg to differ but its really not a big deal.

Point Three: More went right than went wrong

Point Four: I "cowboy'd up" and did what needed to be done even if I was nervous to do it.

I actually got a video of the whole ride today and am working on downloading a program to edit it so that will be included in a future post but I wanted to share what I could for now.

I had been psyching myself up all day to be ready to get home and ride. I had actually planned on working on getting her to trot but as I fought the wind to get to my car from work it just didn't seem like a good idea. In fact, by the time I got home I had convinced myself that maybe I shouldn't ride at all. My first success was convincing myself to be brave and ride anyway.

There was a lot against me with the Thoroughbreds out in the pasture for the first time, surrounding the arena,  the wind and the fact that I just haven't ridden Katai that much but I can't always just wait to ride untl everything is perfect so I knew I needed to just do it!

She was actually amazingly good except for an interesting moment at the beginning that I will include in the video. She really didn't fall apart until after the ride when I tied up in the barn. She stood well at first but I saw that she had a gouge near her hoof and went to get some first aid supplies. When I got back out she was starting to get crabby about being tied but allowed me to doctor her foot without really loosing it. I got her groomed and went to pick her feet out and she was being a little brat. She would pick them up but flail them around and wasn't holding still for even a micro second. One bad instant with the hoofpick and it was jabbed into my arm. Not awesome

The best thing was that I already had my first aid supplies for her and I use this awesome stuff that is basically Neosporin for horses including the pain relief. I had just brought it out for Katai's injury, remember? I adore this stuff and can now say authoritatively that it does relieve pain.
 Katai was clearly being naughty with her feet but it was at this point that she really fell apart and it was all really on me. I have issues when I hurt myself. The rational normal part of my brain goes "oops I hurt myself. Oh well, no biggie." and I go right back to what I was doing. For some reason though some part of my subconscious starts running in little circles shouting "I'M GOING TO DIE, I'M GOING TO DIE" and I faint and sometimes throw up. Sora knew this and several times ended up standing next to me while I lay on the ground half conscious and I trusted her to do so and not hurt me but I don't trust Katai that way yet. I had picked Katai's other foot and was scolding her for flailing and when I stood up I almost went right back down again. Unfortunately I'm used to this and went to lie on the feed bin until I could recover and Katai decided she couldn't be patient anymore and just lost it. She was rearing, pulling, flailing, dancing, pawing and basically doing everything she could to tell me that she was NOT going to put up with being tied anymore.

For about ten minutes there was nothing I could do unless I wanted to faint under her so I just let her dance. She was tied in a very safe area in a very safe way and although accidents can always happen she was in about as good of place as she could be. Besides, untying her wasn't going to do anything exept teach her that being a nervous wreck was the best way to be untied.

I eventually recovered enough to go check on her, I could hear her the whole time and kind of see her back and head, but I just let her fuss. I finally decided that she was going to be at it all day and I didn't want to leave her and risk having her injure herself so I tried a new tactic. Whenever she reared, pulled back or stood back at the end of the line I tapped her on the butt with a lunge whip while I hid around the corner.

She did quickly give up that stupidity but still wasn't calm enough where I was willing to let her go. She was sweating a bit at this point but nothing alarming. So far my tying tactics have been working and tonight was the first time she's really been naughty in about a month. Originally she didn't even know how to tie and really flipped out when I first expected her to stand still while tied.

She did finally quiet down enough that I untied her and put her back in the pen but it really wasn't the way I wanted to end my day with her. She had mostly been very good and that whole fuss ended up getting her punished and ignored. I know it was necessary but I still don't feel good about it.

I keep reminding myself that I only punished the bad behavior when it occurred, early on when I was was riding and later when she was naughty while being tied, and otherwise was very kind and encouraging. She was rewarded for every good thing she did and even got a treat when she paused for a couple of minutes and stood nice in the middle of her tantrum. However, the perfectionist part of my brain is still upset about the issues more than its happy about the successes.

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