After the terrrible, spooky start to trying to ride a couple of Friday's ago I decided that it was time to go back to some groundwork with Cisco. I haven't done much of it lately and I do think that it has helped in the past, so it was time to grab the rope halter.
|Don't get sucked in by this innocent face.
I was hoping to get a free arena so that I could work with Cisco when he is in his high alert mode. And I did - for maybe three minutes. Within 15 minutes there were about six horses in the arena. Oh well.
We started with our TRT Method groundwork in the scary end of the arena. This groundwork focuses on getting the horse to relax. It took a few minutes, but Cisco was doing pretty good with it. He always wants to try to scoot out of the end, so I had to keep catching him at that moment to stop his feet with his butt towards the scary end.
We also did a bit of work with an umbrella, which isn't something that Cisco typically gets excited about. I was looking for reasons to reward him with a click and treat. I couldn't mess around as much as I would have liked as there were a couple of riders having a lesson on green horses and I didn't want to fry their horses, but we were getting stuff done. Cisco was being pretty good and didn't seem too worried about the end of the ring.
We were standing at rest with his butt towards A (at the scary end), a few feet off the track, me facing him and a bit to his right. I was trying to decide what I was going to do next with him.
And then I suddenly got run over by a Mack truck.
Well, that's what it felt like.
My asshole of a horse heard something behind him while he was "at rest" - don't know what because I didn't hear it (might have been because one of the horses being ridden went behind him on the track for the 50th time that night?) - and did the same thing he does under saddle, which is the GTFO bolt. Unfortunately, I was in the way of his GTFO, and he slammed his shoulder into my chest and knocked me backward onto the ground.
I'm pretty sure there was an audible "splat" sound. I most definitely did not bounce back up.
I also didn't let go of him, but because I didn't bounce back up within three seconds I couldn't have that come to Jesus moment with him about my personal space. It happened so fast that I have no clue as to if he actually attempted to go around me or just blindly bolted, which is what I suspect.
|I told you I needed this on a t-shirt!
Once I caught my breath, picked up my toque, dug the treats out of the footing that had fallen out of my pockets and brushed the dirt off my butt we went back to the groundwork. This time, I was a lot more firm about him needing to stop his feet coming out of the scary end.
He was pretty well foot perfect. And he even gave a huge yawn release, which is something he doesn't typically do.
We did a few more minutes before I decided to end the day - mostly because my back was starting to tighten up. The rest of the evening was spent with a heating pad and thinking up sales ads (not really, but it's a good thing he's cute).
|Phantom is smart and would never knock over her