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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fire is FIVE (but acts TWO)

Today is Fire's fifth birthday. I was determined to make it a point to have a talk with him. When I got to the barn, and before my lesson I went into his stall and gave him some of his special made birthday treats and told him it was time to grow up. Now, I told him that it was okay if he still wanted to get dirty, because even older boys like to get dirty. But that he had to now learn to suck it up and be able to handle more training. He needed to get a tougher skin and learn to push through the difficult things without throwing fits, because big boys don't throw fits.

So then, he promptly threw a fit.

Well, I guess it wasn't that "promptly," I did brush him and get his boots on and tack him up and warm him up... then he lost his five year old marbles. I was having a hard time getting him to come under himself and carry himself correctly. I was glad that I had a lesson that day, because Ryan had some great ideas. He had me really trying to push him out with the haunches and keep his forehand in, in about a 5 meter circle... kind of like a turn on the forehand but larger. It reminded me of a flower. An ugly flower because Fire didn't want to come under himself and up into my outside rein, so this exercise was helpful when it was done correctly but half the time it was a stiff train wreck. We tried other things too. We tried doing some reverse shoulder-in at toward the wall and then back to a natural bend. This worked, but Fire tends to get freaked out having his face shoved into the wall. So I started to get a little frustrated at the 30 minute mark and then Ryan took over.

And then the circus started.

Ryan was just asking for something simple to start, just walk/halt transitions to get him connected. Well, after 11 of these, Fire had had enough. He wanted to go backwards, which Ryan would not let happen. So they walked forward, but marching. But Fire did not want to march. So what does a young warmblood do when it doesn't want to give you a marching walk? They SPANISH WALK of course. Now, as an aside, we have never done any trick work, nor does he have any secret Andalusian blood in him. He was just being a brat and this was how he wanted to show his displeasure for Ryan making him go forward. Ryan then decided to give him a tap when he would detest and give his special walk, well then, Fire REALLY didn't like that. So then, he started rearing. First, the rears we just little hops. Just little hops that could be sat into and pushed forward... but when Ryan wouldn't stop tapping him for tossing in the Spanish walk, well- then the rears were full on hi-ho silver rears. Oh I laughed, because if I didn't I might have cried.

After 30 minutes of Spanish walk and rearing and tantrums had by all (even a swear by Ryan), Fi finally came through correctly with connection and listened. I foresee a few more fights like this in our future, but maybe now that Ryan did this one for us, the next one will only be 29 minutes long.

I guess he'll grow up when he wants to grow up. Today was not that day though.

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