Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Have I said lately how amazing my horse is?

Probably but I will say it again.  I have not been riding much.  Ever since I was saying how lovely the weather was to ride in, I have either been too busy, too sick, or the weather too crappy to ride, figures.  So I would say I have been riding once or twice a week for a few weeks now.

I had about an hour and a half yesterday and the weather was crappy, the footing in my pasture(where I ride) is awful and anything more than a walk or trotting large circles was out of the question.  I thought it the perfect opportunity to go use that indoor arena down the street that has been so graciously offered to me(for free I might add, yay, I love free!).   It went a little like this:

Run grab my saddle, bridle, helmet and grooming box and throw it in the truck.  Tell my daughter to get in the truck.  Hurry and get Steady's halter and lead rope, grab him walk over to the trailer and then stand there for 20 minutes helping him decide to get into the trailer.  Oh this horse and my trailer frustrate me to no end but I am happy with how we now deal with it and it always ends with him in the trailer.  There is never any anger or rushing, it is all just patience and persistence and time.  Ugh time was what we were short on yesterday but I was not going to let that effect how I handled the situation.  Even when he pretended he was the black stallion and stood straight up on his back legs right in my face.  Trick with him is to not fall for that crap.  He by no means is out of control, he is in complete control and it is all just theatricals(that used to work on me BTW) that have worked in the past with others I am sure but now I know if I just pretend it was nothing and keep at it he gives that crap up fast.  I know that there are a million tricks and methods to loading a horse into a trailer and trust me I have exhausted all of them.  I have loaded him a thousand times and he is a million times better than a year ago but still unpredictable about it.  Once he will walk on no problem and the next time he will stand there with his feet planted looking at me like 'yeah right b---- I gettin' in there'.  But it usually never takes more than 30 minutes now and I know to plan for extra time.  Though today I was in a rush I decided that if he drug it out too long then I guess I would just call it a loading lesson instead of go ride.  But after about 20 minutes he got on and we made the long 1 1/2 minute drive down the road.  He took a look around once there, there were horses in a pasture just 15 feet from us running around and excited to see him.  But like the old race horse he is, those things are just not problems for him.  I kept his name Steady for a reason, the guy is just steady and takes everything in stride.

I quickly thew on the saddle and went to the arena.  I let him walk around the entire ring and look at anything that might be interesting, the gator and spreader at one end, the calf simulating machine in a a corner a big heater in another and the gate at the opposite end of the arena that you could see through to the pasture with the cattle in it.  Once again Steady was, well,  steady.  He looks at everything but never in a hesitant spooky manner, just a what is that, what does it smell like, ok that's boring way.

The whole ride lasted 30 minutes because I wanted to leave time in case we had loading issues again.  Quick warm up, make sure he is moving off my leg.  I am first so happy to find that even after almost a month of very light riding he has not forgotten what it means to move off my leg.  I LOVE his mind!  It is like once he gets it he will never forget it, love it.  I asked for leg yields off both legs and he is better to the right on leg yields but he is stiffer bend to the right on circles(reference, octoberfest dressage test, he moves like that to the right regularly).  I know I could just resort to pulling on the inside rein and get "bend" but that is not correct and I don't want to do that, but I don't have a tool in my arsenal to know how to work on this.  He is a little harder to leg yield down the long side to the left but on circles he bends beautifully to the left.  We even did shoulder in, in both directions.  I was very impressed.  See, I ride in a pasture and I have some semblance of an arena shape I go in but without walls to work off of training those types of movements can be a huge challenge.  We work on them but without a straight wall to work off of it is very hard to tell how effective any of it is.  But yesterday I saw that with the work we have been doing has been effective it was just harder for me to gauge.  Then the canter, OH the canter, yes his canter.  His canter is so amazing and the most fun to ride.  It has all those fancy words that all you DQ's out there use to describe good movement that I don't know the meaning of half of them.  Like on the bit, uphill, impulsion, cadence those kind of words, that was him, oooooh it feels so amazing.  I even leg yielded at the canter for few strides just to see if he would/could(never tried it before) and once again he proves how awesome he is and does it no problem. Over all he just felt GREAT!!!

I rushed to untack load up the truck and attempt to load Steady.  Thankfully he only took 10 minutes to load this time and after minorly jackknifing the trailer into my truck because I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing(good thing is I only traded about a speck of paint, but still felt like an idiot) I backed out and pulled in the driveway with enough time to unload Steady put him in the pasture and about that time the bus dropped the girls off from school.  Phew, that was close.


  1. yay Steady!! Hampton is more difficult to bend to the right as well. So I feel your pain. :)

  2. So happy that you have use of an indoor for the winter! By Spring, you and Steady will be moving up in the Eventing world.

  3. Karen got any tips on ways of fixing it?

    Kelly thanks, otherwise winter is just a long break but now we can hopefully make some progress instead.

  4. What a super ride! I'm right with you on shying away from dressage terminology-I use words like "awesome" and "lovely" a lot:) As far as the trailering thing goes...hey, every horse has their quirk. Steady sounds like a gem of an OTTB.


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