Saturday, April 27, 2013

Groundwork Day

I'm proud of myself for not getting on the little mare today. I said I'd give her two days off, so two days off she gets. We did do groundwork, but before we get to that...

Sneak Preview!

Did y'all watch the Rolex cross-country? Ho-ly crap, what a good day. I mean, I almost cried when Becky Holder fell off. Every time someone fell off or retired on course I was like, "SHIT SHIT SHIT!!!" (which scared my dog) because I know how much that sucks (although I'm ancient enough to remember when you were allowed to get back on after you fell off, but if you fell off again you were donesies). That said, everyone who did fall off appeared to be fine, and the horses were all okay. That is remarkable.

But seriously, what a well-designed, nicely-riding course. It seemed set up to court run-outs more than refusals, which is so much safer.  Serious props to the course designer and to all the riders, who did a great job. There was a lot of terrific riding today. In fact, there weren't any riders who made me go "oh dammit, why are you out there?" Fantastic. And of course, I loved every horse, and couldn't pick a favorite rider if you paid me. Anyway, I watched the whole thing and got no work done today at all. But Rolex XC day is like Christmas. It comes but once a year. I'll try to catch the jumping tomorrow, but that's only a couple hours, not the bulk of the day, so I'll feel less guilty.

Congrats to Andrew Nicholson and Quimbo, who are in the lead going into the jumping tomorrow.
Photo from the Practical Horseman Facebook page.

Like I said yesterday, watching other people ride just makes me want to get on my horse - or any horse, really. (This is going to be a problem now that I'm teaching!) But my knees hurt, and we're on a schedule, so today was Groundwork Day. I brought Lex in and let her eat dinner, while I got Duchess's stall ready because she is coming back tomorrow and I am soooooo exciteddddddd. Then it was off to the ring to improve her ground manners. I bought her a rope halter when I got her because they're useful for this kind of work, but we hardly use it, because her ground manners are usually pretty good - except for Thursday, of course, when Sharon was here.

My little cow pony.
 We went out to the ring to work and she was totally great. She'd go wherever I pointed, yield her hindquarters when I asked even lightly, stand while I tossed the rope around her legs and over her back, drop her head to poll pressure... all of it was fine. It took me weeks to get there with TJ. The only thing she was a little "eh" about was flexing her nose back toward her shoulder. Her neck isn't all that bendy yet - we can work on that - but to the left especially she seemed like she'd rather just turn around than stand there with her neck bent. We got there eventually. Then I walked her up to the mounting block and leaned on her and asked her to stand still, and she was pretty good with that, too. It's a good thing I didn't have my helmet on or I'd probably have just decided to ride her bareback, because she was being so quiet.

I'm cute. Give me carrots.
So, I guess we can call that a success, even though I don't feel like I accomplished much since she was so well-behaved from the start. I think I was right, she just needed some time off. Duly noted, red mare.

What do you do to hit the reset button when your horse starts acting weird?

1 comment:

  1. Was soooooo sad when Becky fell off! I just out them up and try another day to reset :)