I have found the magical piece of equipment that has turned Cisco into a fancy prancing horse!!!
I wanted to try it for a long time and finally found a cheap one that made it worthwhile to see if it would work. I spent a whole $12 on this magikal, prancing unicorn-making device.
What is this revolutionary product that must be made of fairy dust and the tears of middle-aged amateur horse-owning women?
Are you ready for this? Can you contain your excitement??
Here is my secret:
Soundproof ear covers.
Cisco is so much better in this bonnet. He can concentrate so much more, and because he's not worried about something going on around him (like a pigeon that might potentially flap up unexpectedly somewhere in the ring) he's gotten steadier and more consistent. I think he's only spooked maybe three times since he started wearing it, and they weren't scoot spooks, more of a plant a leg quickly for a step kind of spooks. Huge difference.
I know, I know, it could all be a coincidence - he had a chiro adjustment last month (another one this week), most of our rides have been with other horses in the arena, and I've been working on some basics that he should have by now but he apparently picks and chooses as to when thinks he has to do them.
But the few times that we have been by ourselves in the arena or someone has left partway through our ride, or when the murder door opened up at the end of the arena and horses disappeared through it never to be seen again, he's mostly just glanced at it and gone back to work with nary a hissy fit.
I managed to get the Pixio mostly working this past Sunday, which turned out to be a ride I was really happy with.
Canter was much the same - relaxed, trying hard to stay in a relaxed frame, and we had some lovely forward and backs within the canter, including on his harder left side where he usually gives up because it's hard.
This was a ride where he did what I asked so I kept it short. It wasn't perfect by any means (like our ugly, sticky canter transitions) by I'm trying really hard to reward the try, and on this day I thought he tried really hard.
The rest of the week hasn't worked out to ride - Cisco had a chiro appointment on Monday and was told to take Tuesday off. I booked a massage for myself later on Monday, which originally felt great, but after being up for 20 minutes the next morning I made the fatal error of looking down at my phone, which tweaked something in my neck and I couldn't turn my head to the left - 10 minutes before I had to drive to work. Shoulder checking was awkward. I decided it would be smart to not ride for a couple of days, it's much better today (Thursday), but there's a clinic booked in the arena this weekend and the arena won't be free until late evenings (which actually might work out ok for me). I have to work ridiculously early on Friday so I think if I go home and have a nap in the afternoon and then have supper before heading out to the barn I can make it work. I'll make sure I put on Cisco's magic hat!
(By the way - is anyone else having problems with Blogger not playing videos? I had to download them to Youtube to get them to work, they wouldn't work when downloaded to Blogger.)