Two weeks ago I had a dressage lesson with Nilla where she basically went unhinged. She’s been getting progressively worse about going on the contact. Or rather, she’s always been bad about it, but her reactions are getting worse.
At our May 3rd lesson, her reaction was to Giraffe and swish her tail. She was also doing a lot of barging through the reins and ignoring me.
The draw reins definitely got some respect.
When she finally went around like a non asshole, she got pet and was done. It was a long lesson. And it wasn’t any fun. For any of us. I called the chiropractor the next morning. He came out the next week so we didn’t have a lesson that week. This Tuesday was our first lesson since the chiropractor. She’s been really good since, but we haven’t done any hard dressage. And she did pull out the rearing trick at the xc clinic, so she’s certainly not reformed. Though, to be fair, that’s not a new trick.
This week, we had another lesson: our first since the chiropractor. She also had dental the day before so no excuses. This time we started off with the draw reins.
And she felt really good. Like amazingly good. And I don’t think it was because of the draw reins. She was lit from the moment I got on her. She marched up the driveway to the arena like she was on a mission. And she felt really smooth and not like her usual stiff self. I don’t know what did it, but I have to imagine the chiro helped.
But we were not done with the temper tantrums. Once we went to the canter, the attitude returned.
Like major attitude.
Despite how dramatic this looks, that was the end of it. She decided to canter like a nice mule after that and we even managed some nice transitions.
She was so good she even got ear scratches from our trainer.
I’m hoping we can remove the draw reins and have the same success next time.