Monday, May 13, 2013

Horses are Also Amazing

First, I want to say congratulations to my wonderful barn owner, who got her final USDF silver medal score this weekend! Also, it was her first weekend showing Prix St. Georges. Amazing. I am so excited for her. She works incredibly hard. I am pretty sure I will never ride PSG and I have a lot of admiration for people who can ride dressage at that level. I surely don't have it in me.

My ride yesterday on Lex was hilarious. I wish someone had taped it so we could set it to circus music. She was SO good, and just wanted to streeeeeeeeeeeeetch her head all the way to the ground. I swear she was leaving nose prints in the ring sand. Maybe she was hoping to nab a stray blade of grass!

Dramatic re-enactment of her frame under saddle.
I was delighted that she wanted to trot around like that all day, because she's using her back and this way she'll learn to carry herself well and we have a shot of not having a lifetime of pulling on each other. I like a horse with a sensitive mouth, and I like leaving the reins alone as much as I can. I'm glad we're on the same page.

BUT! It is hard to ride like that! Because while she is stretching, she's kind of careening all over the place. She has a tendency to wander in off the rail at the best of times, and responds well when I move her back out with my seat and legs. However, when the horse's head and neck has disappeared and I have to work very, very hard to balance myself so that I'm not disturbing her balance, while also trying to make sure we're in a steady pace AND staying somewhere in the vicinity of the rail, it pretty much takes every ounce of concentration I have to deal. It must have looked hilarious because the mare was trotting around with her nose on the ground and her ears pricked, licking and chewing on the bit, happy as a clam. Meanwhile, her apparently barely-competent jockey is trying to control every muscle so I don't mess anything up and stay relaxed so I don't add any tension to a very nice ride.

You guys. I think I need to start doing yoga or something.

After the trotting fun, we went out into the field to try a little canter. She was totally game on the left lead, but we still don't have a right lead. We had it the first two times I cantered her, and then it disappeared. We're getting a lesson on Thursday from Chris so hopefully he can help us figure that out, or tell me to stop trying to canter for awhile, or something.

I almost forgot! Before I got on Lex, Duchess wandered into the ring. I can't decide if she was jealous or delighted that I wasn't riding her!

Checking the footing?
I love my girls. And speaking of my girls, Mom sent me a cute picture of Rocket, who is four weeks old today. Already!

Squiggle Star Realness.
No riding today - it's Lex's contractually-obligated day off, and I pulled Duchess out to ride her but she really needs her feet done and I couldn't do it until she gets them worked on.

So instead, I spent some time with this little dude!

I am the best.
This is Bubba, a very old Paso pony who is staying with us this summer. He has the most insane winter coat I've ever seen and was dying to drop some of it. I spent a good hour de-fuzzing him. Those fiberglass grooming blocks are miraculous, I tell you. I probably got 75% of the winter coat off. There were bales of it on the floor of the wash stall. He's so sweet, and only started to fidget in the last couple minutes. I love old horses, y'all. They're my favorite. Maybe someday I'll have a retirement farm for the oldies.

Today was the first day of the summer semester, and I bet it's going to be intense. Cross your fingers that my students are cooperative and that the line at the break to run reasons for absences by me isn't indicative of how the whole semester is going to go.

And now, my kitten is trying to eat my hand, so I'm going to stop typing and start defending myself. I hope everyone's week is off to a good start.


  1. Congrats to your trainer! Also love when I gotta work hard in a ride, really get all those muscles moving.

    I love the oldies as well and those shedding blocks. There was an old arab with cushings whose owner wasn't around much and every spring I'd head into his field and try to defur him so he could be comfortable.

    1. It's so satisfying, isn't it? I feel like I've really done something tangible to help a horse feel better. In Florida, the shedding season is about over, so I'm sure he's really hot. It's already warm enough to wear t-shirts even before dawn.