Monday, February 4, 2008

The "On" Switch

Even the best of horses tends to get a bit lazy once in a while. They don't want to listen, they don't want to move out, and they just turn off.

At that point, it's handy to know what your horse's "on" switch is. Whether it's a certain tone of voice, taking two trips around the arena at a dead run, or even a specific phrase, like "lets go!"

Monkey's "on" switch is quite simple. All I have to do is pick up the trailing end of my rein in my right hand.

The little fart didn't do bad today, but I wanted to work on pivots while everyone else did the class time thing, and he just wasn't wanting to do it. So I shortened my reins up, picked up the "on" switch, laid the reins over his neck and gave him leg pressure, and I'll be damned if he didn't spin around like a pro. To the right that is. He's still got issues to the left. But we side passed and pivoted and backed halfway down the arena, once he realized that yes, he really did have to do it. But that is his on switch, the signal that he recognizes that turns on the "yes mommy" portion of his brain instead of the Bart Simpson portion. He has fun when he turns on, too, he just has to try the brat side first.

It's not like I beat the horse, I can sit relaxed on his back and swing the end of that same rein around until it whoops and he doesn't twitch. That's just the signal that he understands that yes, he really does have to do what I'm asking for.

In other news, the goober was convinced that a piece of paper was going to eat him today. We were trotting on the rail and he spotted it, dropped his head to look at it, decided it was dangerous, and jumped it. Surprised me a bit, but I was ready for him the next time.

At the same time, while I was trying to get him to extend his trot a bit rather than get choppier, he decided to lope instead. A nice, rocking chair gait, only slightly faster than the horses who were actually doing the long trot. If I could get him to do that when I ask for the lope, I'll be the most comfortable rider in the class. Of course, when I tried for it later, he wouldn't give it to me.

Silly horse. We'll keep working on it.

Soon as I can make it back home....

I'm kidnapping Eldest Nephew. Then I'm hitting the Loaf and buying some scratch cards.

Farmmom won the halftime and third quarter pots last night. Too bad both teams had to be peckers and score after that, or she'd have won everything but the first quarter, and come up with an even larger chunk of change.

Otherwise, I was amused at the fact that they had to clear the field to finish the game with one second on the clock. What can I say it made me giggle that the officials had to poke and prod everyone off the field. And that the Patriots' coach had a quiet hissy fit and left for the locker room.

Sadly enough the thing that amused me the most was the way that Doug Williams clutched the Vince Lombardi trophy to himself, cuddling it against his cheek like a favorite teddy bear.

Is it just me, or did he give anyone else the impression that if he'd let go with one hand his thumb would have flown to his mouth?

What can I say, I'm easily amused.....