I can say with certainty that Little John has moved from 'terrified of open spaces' phase to 'buddy sour' phase. (curls lip)...I do not like buddy sour horses!
He was acting like a little poop this last ride, so we went for a stroll in the desert. We have just been ponying out in the desert and then I get on and tootle around on him in the yard, work on his barrel patterning and he watches me walk of logs (sigh). It's coming. He will now follow me over a log. 'A' log. Not two in a row though. Just one at a time. Still won't go over one if I'm riding him. I'm getting the feeling that the 'redhead' is coming out in him, but I was not ready to make an issue of it yet.
So he's walking along out in the desert pretty good, looking around, but since he was just there, not to concerned. Then he gets to where he's wanting to lock up and turn around for home.
Not so much you little shit. I can deal with 'I'm overwhelmed out here in all this openness'....I do not tolerate a horse getting more and more pissy about wanting to go home. So we took off trotting.
Now, you have to understand...
LJ has the most ungodly trot-thing going on right now. He will jog nicely in an area he feels comfortable in and it's pretty...and nice to ride. Anything faster than that little jog and it's like being on a pogo-stick. He does not know how to properly long-trot. There is no extension of his body or lengthening of his stride. He simply just moves his legs faster...and faster...and faster. (Boing, boing, boing)...He will rattle your teeth. There are few things more uncomfortable than a short-coupled horse trotting fast.
So we bounce around out in the desert, every time he starts to feel a little panicked, we circle some bushes, get his stride regulated again and then straighten out again. I mean, the horse HAS to learn this stuff. If he's going to cut it with me...He HAS to. LJ doesn't realize this, but the whole time, we have been working our way in a big circle. When I finally ask him to just walk again, he really has no idea we are almost at the front gate.
BTW...LJ doesn't know how to w.a.l.k. out in the desert either. I'm not sure he even know how to walk for more than a few strides at a time. But low and behold, he finally hits a swinging walk and I thought, well, we are going to milk this for a little bit and we ride right on by the gate and head south towards a more developed area. LJ is walking along, stretching his neck out...stretching his head down...Testing to see where the end of the reins are, and of course, I give him his head completely because after all...
The objective IS to get him to stretch through and forward and
That dirty little shit, sucked back and blew up on me.
I was bucked off immediately.
I'm no bronc rider. I can ride a bucking horse...IF I know they are likely to buck. Sometimes I get lucky like I did with Frosty awhile back, but usually I am just bucked off pretty quickly. My classic exit is getting rolled over the left shoulder of the horse. I can ride the hell out of a 'spook', but that suck back and blow maneuver...I don't have a good track record with that. LOL.
Needless to say, I AM experienced in that particular dismount and I usually roll lightly and gracefully through the landing and jump right back to my feet. I am the master of the unplanned, left-shoulder roll dismount. Hahahahaha
I jump up and look, just in time to see LJ take a couple of running strides and I think, 'CRAP, I'm gonna have to walk home and I do hope that stupid horse actually realizes where home is'. And then he just blows up and gives it all he's got. He bucked so hard he bucked himself right into the middle of a creosote bush and then froze.
Hahahahaha. I was trying so hard not to laugh out loud. I didn't want him to come 'unlocked' until I got ahold of the reins. I got him caught, led him out of the creosote bush, stepped on and we fast trotted around in another big loop and didn't stop until we were in sight of the front gate.
LJ hadn't even broken a sweat. :-/.
This does not bode well for me. I'm not used to having to ride down a young, already, fit horse. I've been working with lazy, fat, mature horses for a few years now. Even Shooter is not inclined to be 'high energy'.
I'm kinda thinking LJ needs the deep sands of the Hassayampa River bed, if I intend to treat him to the 'wet saddle blanket' training program (evil grin). So that is where we are headed for a few days of riding, until little mister gets some of these colty hijinx out of his system. I don't care how tough LJ thinks he is, that soft, deep sand will take the starch right out of a horse. :-)