Happiness is owning a chestnut mare.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Angelic Tots

Well, it was as if the Gods opened up the clouds an sent me an angel today. She was in a fabulous mood. I think it was the sun and the 60 degree weather. I set up 4 poles in a 20m circle in the middle of the ring. She was so good and it helped keep her from dropping her shoulder to the left like she loves to do. We also worked on some shoulder in because she LOVES to trot around with her head to the outside. We walked it first and she picked it up the second time around. We tried trotting down the long side and she was pretty good. Definitely the best that she ever has been. I was super proud of her.

We also worked on some canter transitions. I started to the right because that is the direction that she is better going in. Her transitions are horrible, which is completely understandable since we have only cantered under saddle a few times since she came off the track. I tried squeezing harder and making a more definite "ask" but that resulted in a more definite crazy trot to canter GO. I think I am going to try a halt, back up, canter approach like Melanie Smith Taylor suggested in an article that I can no longer find but for some reason remember.

Cantering right was going great until my saddle sore randomly appeared. It was my own fault, I was wearing my wool lined boots (yes in April, I am obsessed with them and would wear them in July if I wouldn't die) and I was stupidly not wearing knee socks. So we did about 4-5 canter transitions to the right, then I turn around, and as soon as she departs into the canter to the left my skin literally rips open. I held on for one circle, then one full lap around the ring and I had to pull up because the pain was HORRIBLE. I screamed out "G.D. Mr.Fr" (you understand the profanity). My friend that I was riding with laughed, but I could not. I undid my boot and my sore was so bad that it was actually bleeding. I decided I had to suck it up. I did 4-5 transitions to the right, I needed to do at least 3 to the right. So I did. and it hurt. a lot. When I stopped her the last time I could not even keep my leg on her side and it bumped her a few times..she didn't love it, but she stayed calm...probably because she could hear me screaming profanities on her back.

Then, since  I love to torture myself, I had her trot for a few more minutes in each direction. My goal is to let her know that just because we were cantering, it doesn't mean canter every time I put my leg on her post-cantering. She needs to learn the different leg cues to go along with her verbal cues (which might I add she picked up very quickly and is now fluent in horse english: trot!, caaant-ER, Ouuuuuut, aaaand walk, and of course whoa).

After we finished a perfect ride (minus my bleeding leg) we walked around in front of the barn a bit before I got off. Larry (our resident cowboy who I refer to as the BM in the thread) looked at my western saddle for me and then Jennifer decided to take Penny on a trail ride. It was their first trail ride together, so Larry was going to go along on foot to make sure nothing went wrong. I decided to go along on foot as well with Taters (my leg was screaming at me to not get back on again).

So anyway, we took the back way around the trails and the hill was freaking HUGE!!!!!! I thought I was going to die, I don't know how those horses do it! I am going to be so flipping sore tomorrow. On the plus side Taters was SO HAPPY walking through the trails in the sun. I really do think that even though she is spooky sometimes, that I have found myself a girl who loves the outdoors and loves to experience nature on the trails (Taters and I are very similar in that weather severely affects our mood for the day).

Taters on her trail walk

After we got back I took my time grooming her and just had a great time spending time ON THE CROSSTIES with my QUIET mare. ha. People always comment on how shiny she is and how good she looks. Her perfect weight is due to my BO being AMAZING and providing high quality hay and grain. As far as her perfectly clean coat? I always respond with, "She better be, I groom her for almost an hour 6 days a week!"

I know it sounds silly, but I take a lot of pride in her appearance. I like her to look perfect before I ride, and I like her to look perfect before I put her away. That means a lot of grooming. Hopefully she does not get a princess complex.

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