Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Look Mom, I'm NOT a Giraffe!

The last video I posted of me riding was from May 24th I believe. The good news that that we have come a long way since then, though we are not even close to being "there" yet. Red no longer cleans my ears with his, especially thanks to the addition of the running martingale I added for these last 2 rides. We are also now using the proper size bit and a Vespucci bridle with a figure-8 (thanks, Mom!). Yesterday was the first day he wasn't resisting the figure-8. So, baby steps. We are getting there slowly but surely!

As you'll see in this video compared to the previous ones, we don't throw our shoulder in as bad or as frequently, we yield to the leg a lot more than before, and we are slowly learning how to carry our head. These things are far from mastered, but they are improvements! I'm very happy with his progress. After all, he's got his first beginner novice event to attend next spring hehehe ;)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Enjoying the days of summer

Here is an example of just one of the many storms to come by this summer. What a great picture, two things I love in this world: ponies and storms :)

I hopped on Red bareback the other day while he ate grass, just to see what he would do. A pic is below. As you may have guessed, he didn't care. He wanted to go for a walk on the trail but finally relaxed and accepted the fact it was eat time, not ride time.

I also took Red all the way around the trail by himself for the first time this past weekend. He did great. He froze once when we saw several horses in a large pasture, but he got going again with a little encouragement.

But yesterday, Red and I had an exciting experience on the trail. I went with the neighbor girl and thank goodness, we had 2 out of control horses on the trail with screaming kids on them come flying by.

We heard screaming behind us and we thought it was coming from a house. Well finally cresting the hill behind us come these 2 horses at a full gallop. There are kids on them (~13 yrs old) and they are screaming, legs wrapped around the horses as hard as they can, leaning forward... all the wrong signals for "STOP". I yell to my neighbor to turn our horses around and face them, heels down, and grab mane. These guys fly by and our horses rear and spin around but that was about it. They were really good considering. So one of these kids grabs the reins of the other horse and she ends up getting pulled off her horse... what a mess. She was hurt, found out today she bruised her ribs. We walked her home where the horses were waiting. Red did not like being around those horses. We had to keep moving because he was very very nervous around them. After we got past them, he calmed right down again.

I thought "oh no" as I'm on this green TB, off the track since January, as these guys come galloping at us. But Red did well. Had I been by myself I don't think things would have gone as well so thank goodness for that.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hot Summer Nights

I went out to ride last night at 7:30 pm and it was still 84 degrees out. Good thing I don't mind the heat!

Red has been full of himself recently. I increased the amount of senior feed he was getting because his weight gain plateaued. I went out to feed yesterday morning and he was just rip roaring around the pasture. Kicking. Bucking. He was feeling good. So I knew I was going to ride that evening.

I lunged him before I rode to get some of that extra energy out of his system. As usual, he was a good boy. We just worked at the walk. I focused on my equitation, contact, getting him to carry his head right, a little bending, inside/outside leg work, etc. As a reward we went for a walk on the trail. I let him trot up the hill and it kicked his weak lil butt! He was huffing and puffing when we got to the top. Then we walked back home on a loose rein.

When I got back home, the neighbor was tacking up. I asked if she wouldn't mind if I came in with Red while she rode. Red hasn't stood in a ring yet with a horse trotting, cantering, and jumping around him. I wondered how much he could care. He fell asleep in the arena! :-D

I gave Red's mane a trim the other day. It was getting a little too long and wild. Now he looks like Lloyd Christmas from Dumb & Dumber. My poor boy. Neither of us can wait until it grows out!