So what's happened to Splodge - well, soooooooooooooo much.
When I first bought her I was pretty much told by everyone she was an upside down horse and I would never get her to go right. Well, I didn't care at the time - my view was that if she goes where I want to go what the hell more do I want from her. That's still my view really, but I do admit I have got a little more picky about how I want to go where I want to go. Basically what I have added in is that I want her to be concentrating on the job in hand and not have her mind wandering around checking out for lions and tigers or whatever.
So anyway, searching for a way to quieten my horse's mind has led me to all sorts of stuff that I have heard people talking about, but I have never really thought might apply to me and my horsemanship. But it does! Over the last few years I have been studying how the horse's body works, and how the horse's mind works, and as a consequence, to a degree how the horses spirit works too. And a bit like us, it's all linked together.
As hard as I am trying to keep this subject simple, you can already see that it would be easy to write a book about it.
So back to Splodge. I went riding on her yesterday and my oh my she was good. We went up on Easdon Tor with Sarah riding Winston (our new little pony), and as is my way I spent a lot of the ride studying Splodge's mental state. She wasn't perfect but she was good. She got very slightly worried by a herd of ponies about quarter of a mile away from us, and once or twice she was a 'bit rushy' on the downward slopes. But what pleased me the most was that when she rushed she leant into the bit a little and when I asked her not to she quit leaning, rebalanced herself and slowed right down to the speed I wanted to go.
Sometimes it seems like a long old road training a horse, but rides like that feel good!
I know that isn't the story I was going to tell, but somehow that story isn't going to work without a bit of background info about the work I am doing with my horse - I will get to the story in a bit, I promise.
The Morning After the Night Before
5 hours ago