Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A few good bucks

Obviously the water jug fun had stirred up some memories for Oak because the next day we did not make it far before he started bucking again. This time reacting to the stirrups looped over the saddle horn. He was pulling away from me when we did it, so I went back to asking for just small circles at the walk before calling it a day. Frustrating because we had been doing so well, but I was obviously pushing things too fast for him. New rule: introduce new stimuli in the roundpen, so we don't reinforce bolting and bucking when things get overwhelming.

The next few days have been spent back in the roundpen. I increased my reinforcement and started him back on stuff he knows well. We then introduced the stirrups falling, and being hooked on the saddle horn and the walk and trot. No more bucking. Yay.

Today I took him back in the pasture for some lunging. I could tell he was nervous by his over reactions to the stick, but I rewarded him a bunch for his tries, and we were able to have some nice circles at the trot in several places around the pasture.

I also had a riding lesson today at a 3-day eventing barn I have never been to before. I had a riding bio-mechanics lunge-line lesson on a big, sweet OTTB. I loved the lesson material. It was a great work out with a lot of new and challenging exercises for my tool bag. I hope to practice the exercises on a barrel or something to increase my strength, balance, and coordination since I don't have a horse to practice on.

I don't think I will be going back to ride with that instructor again though. She was the kind of person that baits you into making mistakes and then berates you for them. She constantly uses rhetorical questions and sarcasm.... Nobody got time for that. I don't really learn well when I am being belittled and ridiculed (who does), so I was pretty shut down throughout the lesson. I even put my half chaps on inside out! I was shaking at several points, and just kept doing stupid things, because I was so stressed out. I just get so nervous when people start off being so aggressive. I guess I am too sensitive, but I have been in a lot of high-pressure job situations, and had a lot of people yell at me throughout my life, so I don't think I am ever going to get any better.  When I was a kid I would just push through all of those feelings and try to get the most out of it anyways, but now I just don't see the point. I could tell by the way she talked to her staff and other students (and her dogs) that it was normal behavior for her. Not only do I feel she is not the right trainer for me, I think she would be a disaster with Oak. I am pretty sure he would either shut down, explode, or both.

I have a lesson planned with a another trainer on Thursday -- this one is willing to come out to my house! I am pretty excited and hoping that it goes well.

1 comment:

  1. That's too bad about the first trainer. I can't stand people like that either! I hope that the next one works out