Roy and I and Legacy in her "red harness pads"Just one of those days I suppose....training horses often does not go in a straight line....we often go forward making good progress, and then just when you think you and your horse have "got it" you take a mighty step backwards. This was the week for just that...here is how it went.
When Legacy was at Trainer Roy's , Roy put harness pads on her harness for her. She just seemed more comfortable with harness pads, and after all, horses are all about comfort. The harness pads he had, were red, and he warned me that "red" was not an acceptable color for showing in any class. He told me about the harness pads, the maker and where to find them to order the acceptable color of black. I did not need encouragement, as I think black is much more suited to Legacy anyway. The Red pads are great for Christmas time, but I really prefer black for the rest of the year.
Now...when I bought my harness, it came with some pads....black neoprene pads....so, my brain got to thinking, and though the pads were not near the quality of the red ones, why not cover them with Sherpa fleece for a suitable pad...seemed logical right? HA!
I got busy, covered the neoprene pads with black sherpa and put them on my harness. Legacy noticed the difference right away. She fussed and wiggled and let her opinion be know. Since we had a good couple weeks off, because I was ill, I figured it was just the lay off time. We harnessed, hitched and off we went.
Second hitch with the black pads went fairly easy...but it was becoming clear to me that there was a whole lot of fussing going on....Legacy began refusing the bridle, and frankly, when a 15.3HH refuses the bridle, there is not a whole lot you can do.
Before the third hitch with the pads I decided I must go back to the red pads. I now, have on order, the black pads from LaSalle Harness....these pads have much more padding than what I have seen in other places, and we already know Legacy likes them, as that is the brand of her red one.
So....I put the red pads back on, and attempted to harness and hitch. Harnessing went better, Legacy showed a little more relaxation when it came to the point of bridling her.....we long linning around a bit and I deemed she was ready to hitch.
Hitching alone is a challenge, but it does, in fact, allow you to really listen to what your horse is telling you, if you bother to listen that is. Legacy was not convinced that I had switched back to the red pads. I would get her in perfect position, but when I brought the shafts up over her back, she would wiggle and squiggle and move just enough to be out of position. We did this dance for well over an hour. I never lost my temper ( hey, I can grow as a person! ) and I made sure that we both stayed safe. Finally I placed her in a different spot in the arena, something grabbed her attention and she stood like a rock for me to hitch her up....victory!!! course, by now I am nearly beat!
I rewarded her with about a 5 minute drive, checked all systems as I watched her turn and make her corners and then gave her a big reward with a job well done and turned her out.
I am happy to say, the next day went a bit easier. We hitched on the second attempt, and I suspect that our future hitches will go even smoother yet. and PLEASE ...no one tell her when I switch from the red to the black..they should arrive this week......