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Wizard: Sessions 12 & 13… Lazy rider, lazy horse

November 24, 2008


I’ve read that cribbing is a sign of equine intelligence. That sounds about right to me. Whenever I take Wizard out into the arena without a plan, he thinks one up for us. He’s a naturally quiet and laid-back horse and he’s also quite deliberate. During Session 13, we quietly stood while I watched Mary being longed. While we waited, Wizard fiddled with the lead rope and eventually had about two feet of it in his mouth and chewed it like a piece of Big League Chew.

Session 12 was similar to Session 11, but with a little spice. Wizard heard something on the other side of the arena and did a few laps around the longe line with his tail flagged, trotting like he was in training for the Spanish Riding School. But he always stops on a dime when I ask. Wizard has plenty of WHOAH and a lot less GO.

Session 13 was quick and a little poorly-planned. We stood quietly in the arena while horses worked and then I longed him. I was lazy and did not tack him up- he just had a halter and a longe line. He behaved as always but he also stopped several times on the longe. There were lots of horses at the barn for team sorting so I think that Wizard was a little out of his comfort zone. And when he’s out of his comfort zone, he stops. But he got back to longeing every time I asked- it was my fault for being so casual about a training session.

Back to business for Session 14!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 24, 2008 11:22 am


    I enjoy reading about your sessions with Wizard. They are entertaining and as of recently, I can relate! Oddly, my muscle bound man who normally has a lot of “go” is now full of “whoa” due to boredom of doing circles in the indoor arena. Too much snow for us to be outdoors now.

    The “i’m-really-bored-and-don’t-want-to-go” mode is affectionately referred to as “thigh master day.” The “woo-hoo-I’m-having-fun” mode is known as “ab-master day.” Either way I’m getting a good workout! 🙂

  2. November 24, 2008 2:47 pm

    I have a tendency to be too casual too. It’s been the hardest adjustment in riding now compared to riding even a year ago. It’s been helping me to see how much better Sophie does with structure (now that she has accepted me as boss mare!) and I just tell her repeatedly as I tack her up that she gets to do whatever she wants for 22 hours of the days I ride, and she can be a good girl for me for 2 hours. I think the amount of treats she gets helps her adjust. It’s also helped that because we’re trying to be so exacting in working with her that as soon as she’s done really good work we call it a day and stop there.

    But I think that it was important to not become too demanding until I’d established more of a bond with her on the ground, lots of walking and grooming and treats, just general visiting. She was very bonded to her first owner and I can’t help but think that my relationship with her is why she’s so much better for me under saddle than she is my instructor, even though she’s the one that turns her out and feeds her.

    Have you considered long lining Wizard? He might enjoy it and I think it’d be a lot of fun to learn. I’m considering it for when I’m too big to ride, but we’ll see, I’m secretly hoping that I can ride up until a couple of weeks before the baby is born and then a few weeks after.

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