Anyone that knows me knows I truly despise cold weather with every fiber of my being. I imagine hell to be mounds of snow, not fire and brimstone but who am I to question the bible? Anyway… since we decided to pull Fiz’s shoes and it’s gotten colder outside, we have not really been doing a whole lot, but we have still been learning and overcoming obstacles. Or running through them, whatever your definition of the word “overcome” encompasses.
So in this post I’m going to talk about the water obstacle. Following our big successes lately with tarp training, I got this brilliant idea that Fizzy should learn to go through water calmly at home under controlled conditions rather than out on a trail in the middle of nowhere. Well, what I learned is that no matter how much “control” you think you can have in the comforts of “home” and an indoor arena, you simply cannot control a horse’s reaction to things they have not done before.
Let me give you a little back story. This horse is a pig. And by that I mean he will find the ONLY wet spot in the pasture to roll around in or stomp around in as to get himself as dirty as possible. But god forbid you ask him to step in the only puddle around if you’re leading him. He will avoid it like the plague and even more so if you’re saddled up and riding. WHAT IS THIS NONSENSE???? How much sense does that actually make?? Horses…
Anyway, so I got permission from the barn owner to set this contraption up in the indoor arena and I went forth with confidence that my execution couldn’t have been better in building this obstacle. I brought Fizzy to the arena to introduce him to my handiwork only to find that he was not nearly as impressed as I was with my ingenious build. We couldn’t even walk near it, Fizzy snubbed it completely. It was complete garbage, and he was above acknowledging its existence. I was so disappointed that he didn’t find it as glorious as I did. I am also disappointed that I did not snap any photos of my incredibly awesome obstacle in all its glory. Here’s the jist of what it looked like and how it was made:
Anyway, my Momma didn’t raise a quitter, so I just kept at it and finally Fizzy decided to try and shut me up by stepping in. You would have thought I had asked him to step into shark infested waters, because he went flying backwards at the splash of water that his hoof produced and proceeded to snort and blow in that direction for the next several minutes.
Since I had put a saddle on him prior to bringing him into the arena, with the intent of eventually riding him (calmly, you know, walking like a sane normal horse) through the water obstacle, I decided maybe I could better encourage him from his back. Yeah… well, he had other ideas about what was appropriate. My encouragement produced a horse that charged through the water obstacle like he was riding into a war zone. I mean, REALLY? Is that necessary? Whatever makes you happy Fizzy. But at the end of the day, he DID do what I asked and he went through the obstacle. Not with the calmness I would have liked, but he went in his own way, and he did it because I asked him to. I can’t ask for anything more than that.
After all was said and done, he was still a happy horse in his new trail riding gear, which I did get a photo of.