Above Threshold

It turned cold. The wind has been blowing. The temps getting up into the thirties. Maybe forties. It had rained the night before leaving the ground muddy and slick and the horses chilly. Harvey has been energetic to say the least. The sum and total of our efforts has been trying to keep him calm.
While not purposely bringing a horse above threshold is a grand plan in horse training it is not always possible. Often we have nothing to do with making them nervous, they do it all on their own. Ether by feeling really good like Rusty has been lately, or just up, spooky, jumpy, and energetic, like Harvey for this go.
This is where all our work on being calm, head lowering and the like, comes in. Can I say it was completely successful? No, not entirely. He didn’t magically become a calm steady horse in these cold windy conditions. On the other hand nobody died! I always consider that to be a success. Really though it was a pretty good session. He left calmer than he started. It wasn’t a day to leave the safety of the fence, instead we worked on giving to the reins and making sure he was ok with me moving all around and touching his hindquarters.
I have been working on getting up the courage to dismount on his right side. There’s no reason to think it wont be just fine. On the other hand it has never been just right to do so. I’m not as young as I used to be, I no longer bounce as well, I would prefer to get conditions just right for all these things. From getting off on a new side to riding there’s no reason not to take your time and make sure everyone is perfectly comfortable. Today besides the slick mud and energetic spooky horse we were not positioned just right. He was too close to the fence with his left side. I want a horse to have somewhere away from me to go if they spook. Once again I chickened out and got off the usual way. It’s as good for us and our saddles as it is for the horse to keep it mixed up. Our legs and the stirrup leathers need to get stretched out equally.
Unfortunately the video is too long to fit here. You can find it here though: https://www.facebook.com/309985332692651/videos/2215522075390884/

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