Sunday, 13 April 2014

Spring Time Tantrums

Since this winter has been colder and more bitter than most, I haven't had much of a chance to get out and ride, let alone handle, Koda.  He's pretty much been running amok in the herd with minimal handling since the end of November.  Now that it's warm enough to ride and be outside without having your skin freeze, conditioning has begun.  Of course, Koda being the type of gelding he is, is ok with this, but only to a point.  Heaven forbid I stop him from doing something that he is adamant about being 'right' on.  It really started to show when we went down to visit the farrier.  Koda was being a pretty big stink about things over the summer he wouldn't blink an eye at or care.  After talking it over with the farrier, we figured it was due to him not being handled very much in the past few months.

Wooly and showing his hay belly

Cue the start of reminding Koda of his manners

Later that week, it really started to really warm up and the road leading to the barn finally cleared up enough to ride on.  I tacked up and planned on doing some walk-trot work down the road, not too far (don't want another hissy fit scenario like last year) but enough to get a good workout.  Well, apparently Koda was okay with this except for the last bit.  We were having issues with trotting straight when heading away from home, so we would head away then head home, away, and home, etc.  He finally had some nice straight work heading away and I decided to end the ride there on a good note.  When I halted him to dismount, Koda starts flinging his head all around, letting me know of his general pissed off feelings.  He's gone up on me in the past, so I was not having any of that.  Since I was already dismounted, I decided to handle it from the ground.  Every time he flung his head around, mr. attitude had to back up away from home.  We went about with this for several minutes until he finally settled.  I popped back up in the saddle and we had a nice and easy walk back to the yard.

Silly pony.

For the next few rides I'm going to have to be hyper-vigilant on how I allow Koda to act while I am handling him.  I know he has a slightly passive aggressive personality, kind of a lazy dominant attitude, but I need to keep start up bad behaviour in check before it can grow into something more dangerous.

This past morning, we went to the arena and lucky for us, the Ag. Society kept the round pen up so that we could use it that morning.  I haven't round penned Koda yet, so I thought it was a perfect time to get his feet moving and to re-establish some manners.  As expected, Koda was a bit slow to start, reluctant to move out and throwing some 'tude.  Now, I don't really round pen as some would use the term.  When I round pen, I'm essentially loose lunging my horse, seeing him move off my physical cues from the ground.  While we worked through walk and trot work, Koda was great, no fireworks.  When I pushed him up into the canter, he threw in a few crow hops towards me, and I was having NONE of that.  He received some big pressure to move his arse around that pen (got to love the trusty cowboy rope) until I said stop.

At the end of it, I was extremely pleased with Koda, and he seemed to think that I was okay too (personification, I know).  Since we both worked up a sweat, I decided to ride Koda bareback to cool out.  He was pretty good considering he hasn't had that done in a very long time.  I want to start riding him like that more often.  When I had Dillon, I would sometimes school him bareback.  It was a GREAT time, although he was a bit more like riding a couch than a two by four.

Friends again


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