So I am now certain that we have entered the rebellious teenaged years. Every ride this week has included an attempt or two or three by Ike to control the gait at which we are traveling. He opts for the Scooby Doo Scramble every time and also chooses to ignore my attempts to regain control. This devil-may-care attitude is completely out of character for Ike which led to the certainty of my conclusion. I fully expect him to put his hooves on his hips and scream, “you aren’t the boss of me!” then stomp off to his stall and slam the stall door shut. Of course, the top of the stall is open and I will be able to see him sulking in “his room” but he will have made his point. I can only hope that this phase will pass quickly. The schooling show this weekend will be fun if Ike decides to take this show on the road; I foresee low submission and harmony scores in the collectives…awesome.
I started my ride yesterday with walk-halt transitions and some one rein flexes for good measure. I tried to set the tone quickly hoping that it would shut down any naughtiness. Ha! Was I ever wrong. I thought I had lightening quick reflexes from riding Cigar for 7 years, but Ike managed to outwit my aids numerous times yesterday. At one point I was pretty certain that we were going to either run through the fence or have to jump over it. Somehow at the last second, I managed to pull Ike’s nose around enough to make a turn and avoid the collision. Can I just say how strong the boy is when he gets that motor going. Yikes! There is a lot of power in his engine and the brakes need to be adjusted. He even took advantage while I was attempting a free walk. Boom! We are careening down the long diagonal. I can see the judge’s comment now – “impressive canter lengthening, but you were supposed to be walking, neck needs more stretch.” Just like a frustrated parent, I tried to remain calm through the commotion.
Today we rode alone. We had someone with us in the ring every other ride this week; I also did not carry a whip to see if the behavior would stop. Wrong. Again I was lulled into a false sense of peace. I was riding a three loop serpentine and was thinking to myself that all was back to normal…and then, Ike popped into canter before I could even think half halt. Luckily I had good rein contact and was able to regain control and our trot within 5 strides. Looped around again and the stinker again tried to bolt. Finally, my reflexes were faster than his and I stopped the nonsense before it started…much like a parent waiting outside as their teenager tries to sneak out the window. For the rest of the ride, Ike was an angel. I’m certain that he will try again and fingers are crossed that I am on my toes and waiting outside that window.
My motto for the upcoming week: Stay calm and ride on.