Lest you think Willow is a darling girl all the time, I thought I'd post about tonight's ride. Now, thinking back on my last few rides, I see clearly that she was building up to an extreme bout of naughtiness. Tonight when I got on, all she would do is throw up her head and threaten to rear. It got dangerous pretty fast, and I was at the barn alone, so I decided not to engage in the fight from the saddle. I hopped off, hooked up the side reins, and proceeded to lunge the snot out of her instead. I made as big of an oval as I could and galloped her 'til she was pooped. Then I got back on and galloped her for another ten minutes. Then I made her trot really big for another ten minutes. She's not stupid; she realized I was furious and was utterly obedient under saddle the second time around. I praised her up and down and then walked her for twenty minutes until she wasn't blowing. She was a steamy mare.
I gave her some bute, and sore or not, she's getting galloped again tomorrow! I let her build up to thinking she's running the show; time to remind her who's in charge. Alpha mare that she is, she's always testing me. It's actually part of the reason I love mares. You have to earn every inch with them.