Posted by: shannonc | August 3, 2010


I blame Tremaine Cooper.

Sorry Tremaine, we all know and love your work.  But why oh why did you put a coop to drop combination (separately numbered but with no physical option to approach separately) on our BN course at ENYDCTA?

My little pony’s mind is slightly blown.  He bobbled that day, but went, and ever since, he’s been very suspicious of down banks. 

Before this, he was happily cantering Novice drops with no care in the world.  Just plinking down.


Well, if he was casual before, he can become casual again…right?

I have finished my last couple of rides at SHF with the down step.  Just once or twice to try to make it ho-hum, good boy now we’re finished.  Trotting in.  He has been going, but making a huge effort the first time, then going more casually the second time, pat and dismount.

Last week when I did that, as part of a little course, we came in at trot, I’m aiming for relaxed, long rein, show him where he’s going, etc.  Instead of dropping down nbd, he danced on the edge and slipped a leg over.  He hurt himself – superficially, but he has an ugly three-inch scrape behind his knee…and I’m really concerned about his brain.

So now, not only do down banks jump out at him after perfectly innocent brown coops, but they also HURT.  Fabulous.

I can either back off this thing, totally leave it alone for a while and then revisit, or keep hammering it, and maybe try some different things.

The problem with leaving it is that he may well see another one on course this season. 

The problem with hammering it is I might make the issue worse.

I am going to work with it again this week, but keep option 1 in play.  I’m tempted to lead him down a few times…I think he would like it…however, he’s the type of snugglebug that might want to land right in my lap, and I don’t have enough body armor for that.

Maybe I can arrange to have a lead horse for him to watch.  He did a lot of watching last year and it did seem to make him more confident.

Keep your fingers crossed.  Poor pony!



  1. Mommy’s fingers crossed…twice!

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