That's my impersonation of Greta when she's just going into heat.... she get's over it after a while. TBH She's really only bad when she's in that annual breeding heat. But any other time she is as placid as a gelding or just a little bit more alert.
So when she's more alert, it can make riding a challenge. She knows to focus on me, but instinctively she wants to REALLY focus on her surroundings. I've kind of voice-keyed her to the word "Focus!" when I really want her attention, and just "Greta" any other time. You can tell when she's not listening to me because her ears are straight forward, or occasionally flicking back to me for a second, then flicking forward. That's great when she's out in the pasture being a horse, but when I'm riding her I kind of want us to work as a team, not her still in "pasture mode" and me really being the only one who's doing all the "work." So I tell her "focus!" and she snaps back into riding mode and things seem to go along better.
If there's nobody around and Greta begins to get a little ancy, I'll sing to her. I've done this with all of the horses I've had and it seems to calm them down. But I'll only do it when nobody's around, because it gets kind of embarrassing otherwise and I don't want to play up "I'm a horse whisperer. Horses love me cuz I sing to them" and that la-tee-dah crap. Cuz I am far from a horse whisperer!
All of the horses have seemed to like Bob Marley songs so far. Greta likes "Three Little Birds" in particular (singing don't worry, about a thing, cuz every little thing is gonna be all right!)
So I was pleasantly surprised to see some of my little "secrets" in a lecture by Jane Savoie - though I thought that the sound of my voice relaxed the horses, but apparently it could also do with your breathing rate and thus your brain waves and overall stress rate. I don't get to go to clinics all that much, and Jane Savoie is the only pro dressage rider out there that has a YouTube. Easy access! She looks like a good horsewoman too. Far from a Sjef Janssen......
Wish I could've attended that.
And on a final note: I haven't touched on this all but a few scant times in the blog because I didn't want to make a big deal about it. But.... we are officially moving Greta, not just considering it! It is of no offense to where she was being kept before, but my family decided it would be more logical for Greta to be boarded at a facility with an actual dressage ring than at a handicapped riding center:
- Big green pasture with lots of trees and moderation of horses
- one covered arena with lights (thank GOD!)
- an uncovered arena with lights (both arenas are unobstructed)
- two round pens (one with lights)
- a semi-private tack room for pasture horses (so I know longer have to lug tack back and forth in the poor little SmartCar)
- Lots of trails and near a state park that also has horse trails and creeks so we can go swimming!
- Tacking up area
- Grooming area
- Farrier station (and they use our farrier too!)
- Vet stockade (not like Greta will need that......)
- Warm water wash rack indoors
- Cold water wash rack outdoors
- Very sensible manager (and a very thorough contract)
- Very well-kept, sociable, sane horses (which shows everyone gets attention!)
- Coded gate with a super fancy gate design (wish I had a picture!)
- and the list goes on and on......
And lastly, Snoop Dog attempts to feed a horse. Cute. And I mean that sarcastically.