Multiple Personality Mare

Really it’s only the two personalities, but multiple sounds better next to mare.

Last night I rode in my arena for the first time, and Vintage decided to pull out crazy mare. Crazy mare usually happens when she hasn’t been ridden in a while, and she will become hot and excitable, taking every aid as MORE ENERGY!! Since I actually rode her a few days before, I’m thinking maybe she was just as excited as I was about the new ring. Deep down, she probably loves the exercise.

Full speed ahead!
Full speed ahead!

She doesn’t become uncontrollable the way freight train Berry does. In fact, when you ask her to slow down, she promptly slams on the breaks. What, that’s what you wanted wasn’t it?!

It can make for a fun ride, but at the same time, it can be very frustrating, because all I wanted to do was work on myself, and instead I have mare who has two speeds, dead halt and as fast as she possibly can go.

When the situation is completely normal, she’s in her element, and she’s in regular work, she’s completely well behaved.

I used to ride her in a field, so this is incredibly boring to her.

She’s a pleasure to ride, quiet but still forward. She’s responsive, and it makes for an easy ride. She’s the horse I want to ride when I just want to relax.

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I call this: “farm hand chic”

But when she’s acting like a maniac, like last night, her sensitivity is way over the top. It’s like she frazzled herself, and can’t remember what certain aids mean, so she just tries everything at once. I ask her to bend on a circle, she starts cantering. I ask her to go back to the trot, she slams on the breaks. I can almost see the literal confusion in her head. Half halt?! Better just stop to be safe. Oh, move forward? CANTER AWAY!!

I try to soothe her little mind by doing our go-to calming exercise, circles. My entire ride becomes circles, and I try some spiraling to liven it up, and she’s like, “lol, CANTER!” or “OVER THE TOP LEG YIELD!!”

After I get dizzy, I feel like the main thing is just to leave on a note of “can you walk a straight line without cantering? Well done, mare. Let’s end on that.”

She gets excited easily. She likes doing fun things. Other than lots of cantering, she also enjoys jumping, and her enthusiasm (speed)  scares me.

Vintage, away!

I find it odd that I feel safer jumping green bean Berry than I do jumping the mare I’ve owned for 9/10 years (whatever it is now). But I’m getting better! For a while I was scared of jumping all horses, but after many lessons, now I’m just scared of jumping Vintage.

The good news is, likely when I ride her tonight, she’ll be fine. At least I hope so. I’m trying to be positive, I have a dressage lesson on Sunday, and I don’t want to look foolish. Maybe this is why she’s choosing now to act like this? She senses a little bit of pressure, and it winds her up. I just have to find my zen, and also her zen, and then we’ll be all calm together.

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  1. She sounds like a fun, but sometimes frustrating ride! I like to try to do just a simple Serpentine, at least 3 times in a row, changing direction, then 3 times the other way. Just simple posting trot, regulating the tempo trying to keep it even. Sometimes it helps 🙂

  2. I think its the weather too. Paige is always steady and slow but lately she’s been a lot more easy to encourage into fast paced work, sometimes even trying to make the executive decision to transition upward on her own. 😉

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