Monday, March 1, 2010

Update on PISSY SISSY!

Yep! She has earned a NEW NICK NAME!

(Sorry no pictures. Hard enough to handle a lunge line, carrot stick and an Pissy Horse.)

I walked out to the pasture to get Sissy.
Usually I have to walk up to Sadie, halter her, and walk into the round pen.
But today.....
Sissy let me walk up to her.
So I haltered her.
Sadie stayed in the middle of the pasture.

Sissy and I walk over to the tack room, and I gear her up.
This time, I leave the halter on under her bridle.

Sadie does not even come over to check us out.
Sissy and I walk to the gate. Sadie stays where she is.

As we walk out the gate, there is an air of 'tude' with Sissy.
She is doing nothing. Walking nicely beside me,
but I get the feeling that she is thinking:
"OH BOY! We are going to have some fun, and I am going to show her who is boss"!

We get to the neighbors pasture.
She is getting ansy, and is wanting to go.
I switch out the lead rope with the lunge line.

Then I point and ask her to go to the right.
She just looks at me with disbelief!
I wave my carrot stick, and she goes into a HUGE tantrum!
Backing! Throwing her head! Not really raring but lifting her feet off the ground.

I insist. GO RIGHT!
I collect the line, because she is throwing such a fit, that the more I tug, the more she tugs, so I let it out.
She stops.

I point right.
She stands there.
Decides she WANTS to go left!
I tug on the rope.
Point right, and wave my carrot stick.
She gives in...FINALLY!
She is trotting quite fast, shaking her head up in the air.
I let her run.
Get dizzy....
Don't let her slow down.
She keeps going.
She is so pissed and I am so dizzy, that I finally just lift the rope OVER my head instead of turning with her.
She notices, but I make her keep going.

About 20 laps later, she looks at me and starts to stop. I push her on.

This is our dance for the next half hour.
In both directions.
She does finally give to me, and will walk when I ask, and trot when I ask,  in either direction that I point.

When all is good, we head back to our house.
She knows we are going home.
She gets ansy.
I am thinking...GOSH I AM ALREADY TIRED!
But gotta make it so she is not to happy to be home.

Once again, in OUR pasture this time.

Left than right.
She finally does it when I ask.
I left the lead rope by the gate, and in doing the circles and "C" shapes
we were quite a way from my lead rope.

I make her stop.
I back up.
She follows, OUTSIDE my hoola hoop space.
She is not sure.
But will follow.
I pick the lead rope up.
Put it on my shoulders.
Then I look at Sissy,
then, I MARCH right into her,
Arms moving, Stepping high, swinging that carrot stick.
She is taken by surprise.
It takes a smack with the stick on her chest, and finally she gets it,
that I want her to back up.
She does so. Quite Nicely infact.
A GOOD 50 yards!

I untack her, and she hangs with me. I brush her cheeks,
chin, and all over her face, because it was sweaty and itchy.
She loved that.
She even followed me when I left the pasture.
So I know she is not mad at me.

And even better was:
So Tomorrow......
Sadie gets some exercise!
If I have enough stamina I will work both horses.

I figure a good three days of this type of work out.
Or should I do more?

I never once got scared of her.
I am totally confident on the ground with her.
I have to teach her that I am boss in the saddle, and I lack that knowledge.
I am not a confident enough rider to trot or gallop her to punish her.
Or smack her on the butt either, because I don't know if that would create a buck or two
if she got pissy.

So AGAIN, any interjections here will be greatly accepted.
All your comments last time, gave me the courage to get out there today, and that
what I planned on doing was the right thing.


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Whew! What a work out! But you won, and she knows it. Way to go!

I had the same issues with Baby Doll. On the ground, she did what I asked, even if she was stand-offish and pissy sometimes. But I always won. In the saddle, somehow she became the alpha. She knew how to be intimidating and she knew she had the upperhand.
Forget pushing her around because she'd buck, spin, run backwards, bolt, crowhop, jig, pin her ears back flat....everything. And we went though that on almost every ride. Sometimes she'd 'let me' win and wouldn't let it go as far.

When I'd try to make her trot when she didn't want to, she'd make it painful, by jamming her front feet into the ground and jumping forward. My neck and back and arms would be sore for days after.

I never did figure out how to connect our groundwork and respect into the saddle.
I now realize we weren't a good match, as much as I still love her, I know her new owner is more compatible with her and is willing and able to be the alpha she needs in the saddle.

Good luck and be careful,

Gail said...

I know who the boss is! Great job!

Cactus Jack Splash said...

Good job with Sissy. She will get it. Just start back in the saddle and work at a walk for a bit. Contrary to popular belief a collected walk is more work for a horse than a collected trot.

What kind of bit are you using? Does the saddle fit well? Does she need to see a dentist or have chiro work done?
Have a great day

Karen V said...

I think you said it best, "She's got your number."

She knows if she mis-behaves, you're going to sink into self-preservation mode and I don't blame you.

From our talk yesterday, she KNOWS better. Today, climb on and ride in circles in the neighbor's pasture. If she starts getting pissy, bump her into a trot and circle her. Lift your inside reins to tip her nose in and bump with your outside leg to keep her moving. Turn the circle a couple times, then switch to the other way. And sit you butt DOWN! Then stop. Back. Forward. Work work work!

Having said all that, I completely understand it's really hard to work a horse like that in the saddle and end up more tired than the horse!

Reluctant Cowboy said...

What a deal Karen is only 30 some minutes away. A lot quicker than the old days that is for sure. You don't need to follow the big river anymore. Boy things have changed.

You have good help just a short ways away. I'd listen to her. I always say a horse is a lot better for exercise than going to some old gym.

Keep us posted