And now for a little variety!

VLC = Easy, fairly lazy
SSG = Easy, really lazy
Beautiful Thoroughbred Mare = Not gonna be lazy at all. LOL!

I got home late last night and still got three horses ridden. Woo hoo me! (I didn’t get back in the house until 10:45 and I’m swilling coffee now to stay awake, but hey, I was productive!)

First off, the VLC. Boy was he good tonight. I did turn him out with the SSG first and made sure they did some running as he’s been feistier than normal on the ground lately. The BTM arrived a few days ago, and he is in love. He cannot have her, and this has been explained to him, but she is in heat and lives three stalls down so he moons over her and tries to whinny and put on a show for her when I lead him past. He is normally really good about ignoring mares – this one is just, apparently, super sexy. However, she has aborted her previous foals at 10 months due to placentitis, so her breeding career is officially over forever at age 8. Anyway, I turned the boys out and they played before we worked them. They are getting along great, which makes me very happy. Stallions need friends, but the VLC couldn’t fit into the big stallion/gelding herd where I live because there’s an APHA stallion that wants to eat him for lunch. And the VLC wants to eat his little brother, the BGY, for lunch, so they can’t go out together. Fortunately, the SSG is the perfect match and they run around and have a great time together.

I was tired and I knew it, so I just had Josie hold everybody for mounting tonight. Better to wimp out than to be too slow on the reaction and have a stupid accident. Mounting remains the only difficult part of riding the VLC. Some days he’s good, some days he’s still very fidgety about it. Once I am up, it is easy from there on out. So last night I just had Josie hold him, up I went and off we went.

Well, last night he just did not put a foot wrong. He gave me the pretty, soft trot from the very beginning. We did a little bit of lope both directions and he was perfect. It is all so natural for him. He needs to tip his nose in a bit for the show ring, but other than that? The darn horse is practically ready to go. He goes naturally level with his neck, and I can’t say enough excited things about what that lope is like to ride. I was saying last night that I’ve mostly ridden open show quality pleasure horses – the kind that want to drag themselves around by their forelegs. To show them, you glue your leg on them, drive with your seat and basically work your ass off to try to get some semblance of a pretty lope. My old Two Eyed Jack/Sugar Bars bred gelding was a fabulous show horse, but his natural gait was the four-beat. He was 15.3, built like a brick shithouse, and a lot of work to show. Positively exhausting, some days. Great trot, very hard to hold together at the lope. The VLC? Heck, he was born with that show ring lope. I’ve said before that I’ve never owned a horse this good – and now that I think about it, I do not think I have ever ridden a horse this good. Just amazing, the difference. Every day, I see more and more how much natural talent matters – and how rare it is. The same would go for anything. I’ll bet in whatever discipline you ride, you’ve found that one horse to whom it just comes easy.

Those are the horses we need to breed more of. This is way more fun than trying to shove a square peg into a round hole, as I now realize I have done a lot of in the past. The Two Eyed Jack gelding was a wonderful show horse, but he’d probably have been much happier roping or something. He loved to run. I did let him run barrels and poles at the open shows for fun!

Moving on to the Small Spotted Gelding…good grief, this one makes the VLC look hard to break. He is SO EASY. Ride #5 and we walk on the wall both directions and trot both directions. No spook, no buck, no rubbernecking. Nothing. We hung a bit in his mouth tonight and he didn’t care (see that, you silly VLC who thinks I am killing him?)The only thing that needs work is the “ho,” but as Josie pointed out, that isn’t something his previous ground work has focused on. He’s learned all about moving forward and away from pressure and yielding his hindquarters, but “stop and glue your feet to the ground,” not so much. So I have just employed one of my old OTTB tricks…I say ho twice (at the walk) and ask for it with seat and hands, and if he ignores me, I turn his nose into the wall. Of course that stops him, and then I pet him and tell him how good he is. He is catching on. He has a very different neck than the VLC – upright and almost like a gaited horse – so pulling on him is not such a good idea. I want him to stop off of seat so he doesn’t pop his head. We are also continuing to work on bending, but I’m pleased to see he can and will relax and put his head down. I think that will continue to improve with work. I told Josie he’ll be ready to make a sale video in two weeks, and I don’t think I am exaggerating.

Finally, it was time to put a ride on the BTM, who arrived here Friday night. I believe the BTM went to the track but did not race (Karen, is that right?). She is eight years old, not going to be a broodmare, and needs to do something else. I turned her out in the arena to start. We always sit here going “wow, the VLC is soooo fast,” because he likes to gallop in the indoor but…sheesh. The VLC is a turtle compared to this mare. This mare is FAST. FAST FAST FAST. Loves to run, and can throw some interesting looking bucks and twisty turns in the air into the mix as well.

Karen had warned me she was cinchy so we went slow with saddling. The only thing she did was look a little cranky when I went around and dropped the off side stirrup down after putting the saddle on her back. She was fine for the actual cinch, but I did go slow with it. (Well, I always do. Even on a non-cinchy horse, you don’t want to just crank ’em up like you’re tightening a corset. That annoys even the best tempered horse.)

I got on and could immediately tell there was a lot of horse there. A lot. This one is not going to be naturally slow, ha ha. She is going to be the type that needs a job and needs to be kept mentally busy to perform well. However – again, really can’t complain. She was very forward at the walk but never tried to break into a trot, a pleasant surprise. I got her busy walking circles and figure 8’s and she did very well, but she’s going to be very different than the boys. She is naturally quick – very light on her feet. Would make a fabulous polo pony. Would be nothing to teach a rollback to. It did occur to me that if there is a spook here, it is going to be one hell of a spook and it would probably be best to invest in a pair of chaps! However, she didn’t spook last night, or even look at anything funny, even though it was dark out and our arena is poorly lit. The tail was swishy but she is in raging heat so I assume that was most of it. She’s probably a mare who is not very physically comfortable in heat, but if the worst she will do is swish her tail, I can’t complain a bit. She is a big, strong mare, but she is kind and intelligent and I like her a lot. We’ll just have to find something for her to do so she does not get bored and start looking for trouble!

That’s the horse report for today. Off to get more coffee…

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Published in: on June 17, 2008 at 2:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

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