Monday, October 10, 2011

A Message From Jessie

Saturday afternoon we went to our newest favorite spot. An exercise that has dogged us for a time is the rollbacks in the fence. I gave Ranae notice we were going to be working on this until we got some good ones and it might take awhile. We found one good spot near the fence and first had to do a little desensitizing. It was a chain link fence with privacy slats and on the other side were some trees with birds. It spooked Jessie a little, but once we did the follow-the-fence exercise a couple of times, the birds were gone and the fence was all ours.

One of the mistakes I had made in the past was not riding close enough to the fence on the circles we did NOT rollback on. That gave Jessie a cue I didn't intend. We had to go back to doing circles that got us near fence on every revolution. Once that was established I could then try rolling back. She quickly started anticipating and would try to jet past the rollback point whether we were doing one or not, especially circling to the left. Sometimes she would break down into a trot and I let her because I considered this a new "concept" lesson.

About ten minutes in she was done with me. She wanted to stop and we hadn't really gotten much of a rollback. She was flying around the circle so quick it was difficult for me to do my job (sit, say whoa, tip her nose, and apply the outside leg). I suggested we keep working on and she kicked up a bit. Right after the kick up she really got fast and I skipped the rollback portion for a bit as we loped circle after circle. When she realized she wasn't going to escape, she slowed down and we got back to work. My goal was to get her to listen to me instead of trying to fly past the rollback point. Finally we got an excellent rollback. One. Not exactly sure how long we worked on this, maybe 30 minutes, but when I stopped to give her a breather she was soaking wet. I can't remember the last time I had gotten her this lathered up. I let her get some air and then we did some loping through some cones and then continued on our ride.

Sunday, we found a different fence and started in again. It still took about twenty minutes before we were able to get a good rollback in each direction. She was shiny. We did a few other exercises we had been working on such as side-passing with no fence and two tracking. We're still working on bending at the walk. That one is just not as good as I think it should be. The weather was in the low 80's and perfect for riding. It was nice to get some good work under our belts.

Jessie is a bit confused about why the sudden increase in work load. When I explained the advice about "asking more" I had been getting she had a little something to say.

I transcibed this short message from Jessie (Yes, of course she talks. She has a voice reminescent of Archie Bunker and when she is mimicing other voices, it's a bit like Edith). I toned down the language just a bit. She can swear like a drunken sailor sometimes.

Dear People (you know who you are),

We appreciate getting horse advice from you...sometimes. Let's limit it to types of treats, feed blends, and things that will make me beautiful...stuff I like. Let's shut the #$%^ up about this "not working hard enough" bull$*;!%. I have worked hard. Hard at building a relationship with John that worked for both of us. Then you a$$holes come along and encourage him to work me harder. WTF! I don't come by your house and tell your husband/wife you're really not putting in the effort. Why don't you mind your own beeswax. I swear, if I meet up with any of you, you're going to get a hoof up side the head. The "wet" look does NOT become me! Go "ask more" of your own @%$#%*ing horses.

Yours truly,


Don't worry. She'll get over it!
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