Monday, 14 January 2019

Llama Llama Ding Dong

It was a dark and stormy night....
The snow blowing off the roof of the barn when I left.
Well, a dark, windy and snowy night. I dashed out to the barn last Saturday evening determined to get horses ridden since the temperatures are plunging next week and I likely won't get many rides in.

Cisco was on extra alert right from the get-go. The wind had picked up and was blowing snow everywhere. One disadvantage to riding in a Cover-All arena is that when it's windy, it's noisy. Everything flaps and clanks. Cisco no-likee.

He entered the arena and immediately adopted the llama position and stared at the scary end. And that set the tone for my ride.
Our ride was mostly like this.

He was on edge the whole ride, and felt like a ticking time-bomb. I spent the majority of the ride just trying to maintain a somewhat rhythmic trot in the safe end of the arena. If there was an extra loud clank at the far end (like 50m away), he'd scoot away to safety.
Or this.
Some brave souls rode over from next door, and Cisco found a little bit of comfort in their presence. I was done by this point, but spent some time walking him off under saddle in the hopes of getting some relaxed work under saddle.
Or this, which was "run away" when I circled across the center of the arena. 
And he finally gave me something.

I asked him to stretch his nose down towards the ground as we walked. A bit of extra flexion, and a big give. And he figured it out. And was very happy to do so.
And there were a few short moments of trying to do this. By which I mean trying to stretch his head and neck forward and a wee bit down. 
Hopefully, I can use this tool earlier in my rides to get him to relax a bit when he want to be up. I mean, it will take a while to become confirmed enough that I can get it on command. But I can start asking for it earlier in the ride instead of just at the end.

Of course, getting some regular rides in will help. Which at this point, seems like it might happen in about May or so.
The temperatures over the last two weeks. From a high of 8 to a low of -22. This weekend is on the uptick again, to be followed by another cold spell later in the week.


  1. omg his face in that first picture haha! he's like, "Yes Hello I Am Very Uncertain That This Is What We Should Be Doing!!!!!"

    1. He is very uncertain about many things. The only thing he is certain about is eating.

  2. Drama llama is leery of your decision making process.
    He’s an adorable llama anyway.