The normal round pen where Emma does her ground work with Meggie was really wet and slippery, so we headed out to a spot that was a bit more dry.
Unfortunately, it also happened to be near some tasty grass that Meggie just couldn't resist. Emma did her best to try and get Meggie away from the grass, but I had to step in and help (despite my personal vow to butt out and let her do it).
A minute later, Meggie ripped the lead line out of Emma's hand and headed back to the grass. Emma used her big muscles to drag Meggie away.
A minute later, Meggie was right back at the grass, dragging Emma behind her. Literally. Poor kid. She wasn't hurt, but she was SO frustrated.
E- "I CAN'T DO IT!" accompanied the frustrated tears.
M- "Yes, you can, but you need to stop saying that you can't."
She settled down pretty quick.
Then Meggie did it again. This time Emma was right next to Meggie when Meggie knocked Emma down and almost stepped on her. Emma ended up underneath Meggie for a few seconds, but Jill was over there quick to help her get up.
I really wasn't worried, as Meggie wasn't moving except for her mouth chomping on the grass. But I knew what was coming.
Lots of tears, and even more, "I CAN'T DO IT"'s. I really try not to baby her when she gets like this, but I also try not to be a big jerk. I hugged her for a second, both Jill and I tried to talk to her to calm her down (I let Jill do more talking thinking maybe, maybe, Emma would actually listen). After about 5 minutes of tears and, "I Can't"'s, and Jill and I trying to get her to calm down, I finally just grabbed her hand and walked her to the middle of the arena.
E- "I want to be done. I don't want to do my lesson anymore."
M- "That's not an option. If you had fallen off your pony, you would have gotten right back on. This is no different."
*we talk often about what would happen if Emma fell off the pony. She knows she would be put right back in the saddle and expected to keep riding. It really isn't a matter of if she falls off, but when.*
E- "I just want to be done."
M- "Too bad. We are going back over to Meggie and your going to continue your lesson even if you cry the entire time."
I think that might have surprised her enough, or she just realized that she might as well make the best of it. Whatever the reason, she was done crying by the time we got back to Jill and Meggie.
For the next 10-15 minutes, Jill talked to Emma about being the boss, and how to let the pony know who's in charge. I think it was a great lesson for Emma to learn. All we did was hang out close enough to the grass that Meggie could reach it, but Emma just gave a yank on the lead line every time Meggie tried for it.
Then Emma worked Meggie, lunging her, making sure to correct Meggie each time she even thought about heading for the grass. Thankfully, Meggie seemed to get the message.
Anyway, the rest of the lesson was, for the most part, uneventful. Here are some pictures.
That's a lot of Meggie hair!
Meggie's first run for the grass
There she goes again!
After all the tears and upset. Can you see the dirt on her pants?
Back to lunging
Wow this is a great picture! You can see that Emma is giving Meggie a corrective yank.
Practicing putting the bit in without Mama butting in.
Emma rode for a bit off the lead line as well, but I forgot to take photos. Meggie was being a stinker for a while with Emma riding, but Emma got her under control.
The rest of the lesson went well, and Emma actually had fun. She also ended up learning a few good lessons. One, you need to make sure the horse knows you are boss. Two, never give up.