Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Evidence that I Ride My Horse

I had another great ride on Miss Lex today AND her wonderful Aunt Cori came to see her! Cori was kind enough to take pictures and a video of our ride. The video is pretty boring because it shows a cute bay mare trotting around in a field for two and a half minutes. The scarrryyyy hot-headed racehorse myth just took another hit. I've had her for 2.5 weeks and she's trotting around like a school pony. After we trotted I just dropped the reins to the buckle and ambled around for awhile and she was totally fine.

I fed the horses this morning so I got to spend some time with her while the other horses ate (she's a porkchop so she doesn't get breakfast at the moment - if she needs it once she's in "real" work, I can always add it in). I decided to see what she thought of the cross ties, since I don't know if she's ever been on them.

Jeez, Mom. What's the big deal with cross ties?
Apparently she thought, "If I can still eat carrots from this position, we cool."

Getting to see her first thing in the morning always makes my day fantastic. I just love spending time with her. She's a cool lady to hang out with.

Then this evening, after dinner, I took advantage of having Cori there, handed her my phone, and had her take some pictures. There's a forest fire not far from us, so that's why the air looks hazy. Please forgive me for the horrible sunglasses. I have super-sensitive green eyes so if it's daylight out, I probably have sunglasses on. I have to remind myself to take them off for lessons.

Happy trotting pony!

I asked her to trot over a pole that was a little downhill. She was like, "Hmm. I'm gonna slow down and be careful." LOVE.

Makin' faces at the camera.

Big pats for a job well done. I think she looks pleased with herself.
One of the cool things about Lex is that she always walks back to the barn looking proud of herself. She is having a good time. I am not asking her to work especially hard during our rides, but at this point I see no need to. I want to bring her along slowly to prevent any soundness issues I possibly can, and she hasn't had to work - except to run on the treadmill - since she left the track three years ago. So we walk and trot for awhile and call it a day. I don't want to wear her out or shut her down. I think she's got some natural brilliance and I want to cultivate that, not work it out of her. Over time, as she develops fitness and we start educating her more about contact and connection, I'm sure we'll be working much harder. For now, she thinks riding is fun.

The other thing she thinks is fun is eating Spanish moss off the trees. There is a gorgeous live oak we walk under to and from the barn, and she always lifts her head as we walk under it. Yesterday I realized that it's because she wants to grab a snack. So on the way out to the pasture after I hosed her down (she's getting much better about that), I let her select a clump of moss as a reward. I have to get a photo of that sometime. It's the cutest thing in the world, just like everything else she does.

Here's the video of the ride, if you want to watch it. Don't judge my equitation too harshly, please - when I ride babies, I ride to stay on, not to win at Devon. Eventually we'll get the package together. :) But do feel free to make constructive suggestions!


  1. I taught my OTTB gelding about half-halts using Spanish moss. He was very resistant in the jaw, and I couldn't get him to comprehend slowing down without using the reins, so walking around under mossy drapey trees I'd do a half-halt through my back and wave a frond of moss where he could see it. Horse slows down and I'd give him the moss, munch munch. Then walk on. Half-halt, wave moss. Munch munch. Ad infinitum. It worked! Eventually we could do walk trot canter & low jumps with no bridle, just a circle of lariat rope around his neck. Happy times.

  2. That's awesome! I'll have to try that with her. I don't know if she's going to be resistant in the jaw, but she CHEWS CHEWS CHEWS on the bit, especially at the walk. I'm hoping she gets over it. Maybe I need to try a fixed cheek bit - she's in a loose ring french link snaffle right now.

  3. She is super cute! I like her. And yeah, definitely no eq prizes on babies. ;)

    1. Thanks!! I got so lucky. Apparently Afleet Alex has a great brain and passes it down to his offspring. I don't know as much about her dam - just her race record - but Lex hasn't shown signs of being a noodle about anything yet. Knock on wood!

      My dressage trainer is going to laugh at me for wearing my XC vest tomorrow, that's for sure.