I have nothing positive to say other than that we didn't kill each other.
I'm normally a really positive person and on my blog I find the sun behind the clouds or the half full glass but tonight that just isn't the case. I really did know that she wasn't going to be her normal self at the new barn, in a new environment, around new horses, in a new arena but I hoped that some smidgen of the Katai that I know and love would remain. Instead I got some sort of devil pony in her place tonight.
I think she was more scared than naughty and I treated it as such being gentle but firm but when she continued to blow through my aids on the lunge I got firmer and it barely made a difference. On top of that, and I'm aware it wasn't helping me at all, I had an audience. All things considered it was the best audience I could have had of a few of the more"rough and ready" riders that have dealt with young horses but they've been boarding there for many, many years and although nothing Katai did was any different than what any young horse might have done I still feel like it's going to be the gossip of the barn.
I stayed almost two hours late at work so that I could get to the barn late, and I easily had enough work to do to fill the time since it is retirement plan audit season, so I got there around 6:30. I ate my dinner and changed so that I was catching and tacking up closer to 7:00 and hoped the barn would be quiet and it was for a little while. I wanted nothing more than to have the place to myself the first couple of times I worked her so that I wouldn't make a scene or disturb anyone else. It did sort of work since not one of the three people that showed up rode their horse but Katai did certainly get a lot of attention. They cooed over her while I tacked her up and she wasn't great in the cross ties but not as bad as I'd feared either. Then I got her into the arena and all hell broke loose. I knew she'd look at the mirrors but what I didn't guess was that she would think that every time she saw them she was seeing a friendly herd member that immediately trotted away as soon as she went past. She was transfixed staring at them since that was the only way to keep the "friend" there and every time I got her to go past the mirror she about had a heart attack. The one thing I'm proud of, and yet still second guessing myself on, is that I rode.
After close to 30 minutes of lunging, all over the arena and in different directions, she was calming down just enough that I thought I might actually have a better shot if I were mounted. As I said at the beginning we did survive but lots of turn on the forehands later and a couple of fairly reasonable short walks in a straight line at my direction and I climbed off and called it a day. She felt like she either wanted to rear or bolt the entire time but she did listen to me and kept all four feet on the ground with some help from me.
Its tough to know if it was the right thing to do and I was evaluating the situation the entire time I was in there trying to figure out what my options were to turn the situation around. I think a whole bunch of stuff like the weather, seriously?!? 8 days of pouring rain and crazy howling winds at below 40, or the new place or the people while I tacked up hugging her and making a fuss over her certainly didn't help and I do realize they are all things that she needs to get used to and I WANT her to get used to it's just that I wanted to do my best to ease her into all of it and not have it strike at once.
I'm still trying to pick out anything positive that I can and I'm definitely not by any means giving up. I'll be out there again tomorrow to repeat the whole process. Hopefully minus that craziness.