The Sensitive Baby

A few posts back I mentioned that somehow, despite my best efforts, I had ended up with a sensitive horse. And, surprising even myself, I am really enjoying the problem solving that goes along with starting a sensitive horse.

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I have little applicable media, so enjoy pics of when my Dad visited last week and met June for the first time

Now, here’s what I mean by problem solving, and sensitive:

This weekend, I hopped on June and she was feeling good. In front of the leg, and ready to work. I wanted to work on bend, especially going right, but I noticed she kept breaking to the canter instead of bending in the trot.

So, we did some trot/walk transitions. But, lo and behold, she continued to want to canter rather than bend.

In the past, I probably would have found this really annoying. But during this particular ride, I tried to figure out why she was breaking to the canter and how to “fix” it.

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I put my Dad to work adjusting her new blanket liner. It’s purple of course. Also, I need to do a review of the Porta Grazer!

At first, I attributed it to anxiousness. But, while she was forward and wanting to work, she was also fine to just walk, so “being anxious” or trying to anticipate the canter, didn’t totally seem to make sense to me.

I decided to really think about what my body was doing when I asked her to bend right.

My leg went on, and I asked for some right flexion.

Wait. My leg went on.Why wasn’t it on before?

I soon realized, I was asking for bend with my calf. Which prior to asking, was not on. I was putting my calf on, pretty forcibly, when I wanted to ask for bend.

So, I stopped doing that.

I asked for bend from my thigh and knee, and kept my calf from pushing into her.

And guess what? She gave me bend without breaking into the canter.

I’m a genius.

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I have zero idea why I was posing like this except that I must have known I would need an “I’m a genius” picture

So, my sensitive mare understands the difference between asking from my calf and asking from my thigh. Which means I need to get better at asking from different parts of my leg.

And despite the fact that this took a good part of our ride to figure out, she tolerated me confusing her. She tolerated the fact that I kept asking her to canter with my calf and then immediately asking her to trot. She was a very good sport about all of it. Which is all I can ask of her. My hope is, she’ll continue to be patient with me.

Although it does worry me that my horse is already teaching me things. Even though she is supposed to be the green baby… lol.

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Macy gave my Dad her typical super friendly greeting. I closed my eyes and prayed she wouldn’t bite him

So much learning with this youngster. Every ride I learn something new, and I can’t even describe how fun it is!

 

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12 thoughts on “The Sensitive Baby

  1. What a cool relationship though. Both learning from each other and enjoying the process.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I miss having a sensitive horse sometimes while riding Maestro. I always loved being able to just think what I wanted and have the horse respond. I do feel sometimes that Maestro is confused between bending and forward aids, will have to think about thigh vs calf!
    Porta grazer review post is on my list for this week!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Emma says:

    ha i kinda love / hate that feeling!! such a clever baby horse 😉 even more awesome tho that she wasn’t pissy about it!!

    Like

  4. L. Williams says:

    hehe #ridergenius award goes to you

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Liz says:

    Aww, I’m so glad your dad got to meet June finally =)

    And yeah, definitely love-hate relationship with sensitive horses! Love because they teach us so freaking much but hate because the tiniest things we do have such a huge effect – which makes it so hard sometimes!

    Like

  6. KC Scott says:

    I really think that the young (and smart) ones teach us the most. Especially the little nuanced things because as horses get older and more experienced, they sort of adapt to you. Like I’m pretty sure I’m doing EVERYTHING wrong and P is just constantly rolling his eyes at me like, “Silly hooman, asking like a beginner but I’ll entertain it anyways.”

    That look Macy was giving your dad had me laughing out loud!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Alex says:

    I would have so much issue with that. I don’t feel like I have the leg control to separate all the parts. Its something to work on but I’d be so frustrated with myself if my only mount responded that sensitively and I wasn’t up to snuff.

    Better she is sensitive though. You guys are gonna be awesome in the shows with those reactions.

    Like

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