Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Cinna's Big Adventure!

My show weekend really started Friday night – the competition venue graciously allows trailering in for schooling the night before after the arena is set. While I’ve shown in this arena many times with both Topaz and Ruby (it’s where I trailered Ruby for lessons this summer), Cinna had never been there. Actually, Cinna has only been off my farm a handful of times: she spent a week in my neighbor down the road’s pasture when I was out of town, two small local fun shows this summer, and she’s trailered over to ACS for farrier days (and to be ridden once). Considering her baby brain, I deemed it in the best interest of safety (for everyone involved!) to expose her to the competition arena before we tried to ride a test on Sunday. So Friday I dashed home from work, changed into my new teal breeches (for luck!), whipped through chores, tossed my tack in the trailer, grabbed DH, and prepared to load Cinna. 
Teal breeches FTW!

I know I didn’t go into detail last week, but I did mention that she had been kind of a hateful witch to load for our trip to the farrier last week. After about half an hour of fighting with her in 85 degree weather, I did finally get her on the trailer, but we were both dripping sweat by the end and she tore out approximately half her tail (backing up so quickly she stepped on it… ughhhhh). Then trying to come home from the farrier I couldn’t get her loaded again, so I just handed the lead rope to DH and walked away. To my supreme annoyance, he had her loaded within about 60 seconds. He told me the secret was to get her up to the back of the trailer, scratch her ears a little, then turn around and walk in. I basically called him insane, and told him that would never work twice. Famous last words…. 
Who, me? Bad to trailer? No!

As soon as we were ready to leave Friday, she started calling for her boyfriends, and I thought “oh great, this is going to be a shitshow”. I got her up to the back door of the trailer, took a deep breath, scratched her ears for a minute, then turned and walked onto the trailer. I’ll be damned if she didn’t start climbing in after me. She stopped with her front hooves in, so I turning around and scratched her ears again, and then gave a tug on the lead rope – bam, she walked right in. After I secured the divider and climbed out, I got treated to a big ol’ shit eating grin from DH, so I resisted the impulse to punch him and got in the truck. 
I'm literally the one who created her (in the sense that I planned the breeding haha) and was the first human being to touch her.... and I've done all her training (and copious amounts of bribery). Why does she listen to him better?! Ughhhhhh.

After we arrived, I hand walked her in the arena for a bit. There was only one other horse schooling in there, so I warned them she was a baby and generally tried to stay far out of their way and not ruin their experience. Aside from typical baby spooking at things (the mirror, the jump standards, a spot on the wall that was a slightly different color, etc), she was fine. Very looky, which I expected. It also didn’t occur to me until after the ride was over that it was really her first experience in a big indoor. ACS has a small indoor, but it has 4 large doors that were open at the time, so it probably felt less confining than this indoor. After I thought she’d had sufficient time to look at everything and was comfortably walking on a loose lead, I headed back out to the trailer to tack up. 
Obligatory mirror selfie. My horses are always obsessed with themselves.

When we walked back in, the previous horse that was schooling was heading out, and another one was coming in. Apparently we picked the perfect time to ride – last time I trailered up the night before a show, there were probably 10+ horses in the ring and it was a little hectic. Thankfully, I was able to climb right on and put her to work. For whatever reason, Cinna is infinitely more spooky on the ground than she is under saddle. So in ridden circuits around the ring, she got very looky and snorty, but she stayed with me the whole time. The only exceptions were a handful of times where she froze, and then wanted to back up. If stopping/backing is her main evasion, I will take that any day over leaping through the air/teleporting/rearing/spinning/bolting/whatever. In every instance, I was able to convince her that forward was the answer, and she faced down all the monsters. She was super concerned by the judge’s stand, so I had DH sit up there (and make noises) and give her treats every time we rode past. Eventually we were able to work at the walk and trot in pretty much the entire ring, so I decided to end on a good note and not even attempt to canter (since her test Sunday was only walk/trot). 
 Luckily our actual centerline Sunday was infinitely straighter hahaha.
So much verbal reassurance! :)
My favorite video from the night -- towards the end of our ride, getting confident!

As I was walking back over to the door to dismount, there was a commotion in the doorway – an incoming horse slipped on the concrete entrance. As he scrabbled trying to regain his balance, the sparks from his shoes, and then his legs getting stuck under the arena gate (which thankfully wasn’t latched so it swung right off him) caught Cinna’s attention, so I quickly dismounted and walked her the opposite direction. The rider finally managed to get the horse up and into the arena, but then stood there for several minutes blocking the doorway. Finally I asked them if we could get by, and we were able to escape the shenanigans. 
Shenanigans are only allowable if they're HER shenanigans.

At this point, it was fully dark outside (although the side of the arena where we parked did have some lights). I quickly untacked, then took a deep breath and prepared to try to load her into the dark box of horse-eating death trailer. I bet you can guess where this is going? Yup, ear scratching method had her loaded in less than a minute. I don’t know what kind of devil magic DH bewitched her with last week, but I’m glad we were able to have such a positive schooling experience! Next up: show recap!

18 comments:

  1. Of COURSE Cinna listens better to DH, lol. Isn't that always how it seems to work out?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It fills me with irrational rage 😂

      Delete
  2. Ugh is that just a husband thing or what!? When mine rides my pony he goes around all soft and quiet like a hunter. And he doesn't even know what he's doing!! I hate him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like why?? I'm the one who feeds you! Haha. Equines make no sense at all lol

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. Thanks for coming out to support, we appreciate you so much!

      Delete
  4. Yay Cinna! She was awesome! Really like your matchy-matchy grab strap BTW.;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My matchy matchy grab strap is the bomb dot com 😉😎😍

      Delete
  5. It's called they hand out treats and don't make them work... but it's good to have a hubby that is good with the ponies. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm going to start making him lunge her or something haha. I was SO mad at him. And her... lol. But yes, love that he's so good with them!

      Delete
  6. Ha! DH is a horse whisperer. She must love ear scratches. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He sure thinks he is! 😂 Jokes on him, that method didn't work at all the rest of the weekend 😉 lol

      Delete
  7. My horses do better with a neutral person who doesn't have so much invested in them. It's like they sense the fact that the new person doesn't care so much and react to it. Irritates the hell out of me lol. Now I just try to exude a feeling of IDGAF when I need something major to happen lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Logically I totally understand this concept and whenever I start something with her I'm like "I'm so zen!" and then like 5 minutes later I'm ready to kill her haha. I am the worst young horse trainer ever. Thank God this isn't my day job! 😎

      Delete
  8. ahahahaha the trailering thing is cracking me up. DH needs to be there the next time Leo has to get off of a trailer, he needs some sort of miracle worker.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was sooooo pissed haha. Maybe he'll be at the next show we're both at! 😉

      Delete
  9. Ha, does DH wanna come convince Charlie my tiny trailer is actually just fine?!? He LOVES ear scratches!!! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I mean, it would be quite a road trip, but I'm game! 😉

      Delete