Dealing with a naughty horse in winter.

There’s something about the cold weather. Or maybe it’s the fact that I haven’t been able to ride that much recently . . . but Freedom has just been naughty.

The last time the stars aligned so that I could ride was Saturday. The snow was nice and while it was cold it wasn’t bone chilling.

But Freedom didn’t want to play. First he started to suck back. Then he tried bucking. Then he ran through my outside rein instead of staying on a circle.

At first I thought it was the saddle. It’s a saddle I bought for Kroni. But it’s an expensive saddle — I know I’ll never find another one at a price than I can afford — so before it hits eBay I wanted to give it a few rides. It certainly fits him better (he’s bulked up over the past year) and seemed fine in it when I rode him earlier in the week.

But not on Saturday. So, I took him back to the barn and swapped out the saddle.

It didn’t make much of a difference.

I had been riding him bitless since we were hacking in our field, so I took him back to the barn and put him in his favorite snaffle.

It made a small difference.

Basically, he and I just weren’t in sync. It happens. And when it does, there’s a conundrum. Do you try to push your horse through it? Or call it a day.

On Saturday, I took a middle path because I also knew that he could benefit from burning off some energy and stretching. So I backed off doing anything hard and worked on getting him into a rhythm. Like many TBs, his preferred gait is a canter. So we cantered.  A lot. We cantered in big, easy circles and up and down a few small hills. We did some very easy leg yields. And we did a few time out one-rein stops. If I’d had more time I would have gone on a long, loose rein hack. But I’d spent most of my time changing tack!

Chalk it up to the weather and better luck next time!

One thought on “Dealing with a naughty horse in winter.

  1. Yeah, I agree. We’ve had some bad weather here too, and it’s resulted in some really irregular riding. When we do get to ride, Tiny is really fresh and I’m not finding my rhythm. I’ve just resorted to exercising her and not doing any demanding work until I can get on a regular schedule.

Leave a Reply