I love my horse, I love my horse, I love my horse!

Just had to say it. I am so fortunate. I am grateful every day to have this absolutely wonderful VLC that is just sensible and reasonable and sweet and wants to do the right things. He is the easiest personality I currently have to deal with in my life – horse or human. We’re starting to lope now and it couldn’t be easier. He’s got this perfect little soft, smooth lope. He doesn’t try to speed up. He has never tried to buck. He has absolutely no problem being collected even though he’s totally green…he’s not on his forehand, he’s not leaning, he’s just not doing anything wrong. It is mindblowing to me.

(I mentioned this in the comments, but the breeder is downsizing and the VLC’s dam and his full sister – weanling buttermilk buckskin filly – need a home. The prices are right to a good home and terms are possible. Email me if you have an interest. The filly will be as nice as he is, guaranteed. I’d be happy to break out the mare if desired, n/c except board/feed.)

Now I have to work on the feet again. I admit I put it off. I get to the end of the evening, which is when I should do it – when he’s been ridden and he’s tired. But the end of the evening lately has been between 10 and 11 PM and I have to be up at 5 AM. I just haven’t had the energy. No matter how motivated you are, we can all only run so fast and so far and I’m feeling it. Last night I meant to get four horses worked, and I got two. I am trying to get on that staggered schedule but some evenings I am just toast after doing chores and can’t summon up the energy to ride. I was thinking back mournfully to the days when I used to ride 8-12 a day, no problem…and then I remembered, that was my job then. It wasn’t that I had to go to work from 7 AM to 5 PM, and then do chores and start riding. Heck, most of that time, the horses were boarded or I worked for people who had barn help. I didn’t have stalls to clean or hay to throw or buckets to dump and scrub. So it’s not just that I’m double the age I was then – there really is more actual work to do. I need to stop beating myself up over my perceived lack of accomplishment. I am doing the best I can, and that’s all I can do. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way…we all need to stop trashing on ourselves for not being superhuman.

I did ride both the VLC and the Small Spotted Gelding last night. This was ride #6 for the SSG. He is funny. He started out really, really well but when I asked him to circle through the middle, he discovered he could grow roots.

SSG: Trot trot trot…balk
Me: *squeezes and clucks*
SSG: I’m ignoring youuuuuuuuuu…you can’t maaaaake me
Me: *boot boot boot* *growl*
SSG: Ha, I am part draft, I didn’t even feel that.
Me: (pulls pony nose to side, attempting to disengage shoulders and “unlock” rooted legs)
SSG: (turns pony nose perfectly around to touch my foot. Legs stay rooted. Torso does not even flex. Damn noodle necked pony.)
Me: Flexible little bastard, aren’t you?
SSG: What are you going to do now? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Me: (both legs out from sides) WHOMP
SSG: *oooof* OK fine, I’m going, I’m going

It took the installation of the SSG’s mom at a crucial point in the circle to threaten his little pony butt from the ground to accomplish the perfect trotting circle before we quit. I believe next time we will be using the long cord reins with the little leather ponybeaters on the end so that I have some artillery.

This is a good time to mention that I hate spurs. I just hate them. The only thing I’ve ever ridden in them was my old show horse who would run out of steam and 4-beat if you didn’t wear them to show in the heat. But that was different, as he was a highly trained horse and I never did more than squeeze his sides. I have never felt comfortable with the idea of installing points on my heels when I may need to use really obvious leg aids on a green horse. I prefer to whomp with a nice flat surface that isn’t painful and just sends a message. I’ll carry a whip, but honestly, my favorite are the long reins. You can use them as gently or as firmly as you wish – a lot of times all I do is swish them back to the butt to encourage forward motion. And they are convenient – always there without carrying something extra!

I think the SSG is doing fine. Honestly, I think he has just figured out that riding is something that is going to happen all the time and that it wasn’t just a crazy idea Josie and I came up with when we were drunk – and now he is not so sure that he wants to work for a living. After all, for 3 years all he’s done is ground work and be a big pet. But the nice thing is that he doesn’t seem to have a buck or a spook, either, so he will make a great project pony for someone.

Tonight I really do intend to work with the TB mares. I need to get Lucy in a stall so she just gets handled more – she has so many symptoms of broodmareitis, where someone catches them once a year to breed and occasionally to do the feet on and other than that, they run wild like mustangs. Lucy needs someone to just pet on her – she doesn’t know what treats are, she’s scared you’re going to do something mean to her. (If anybody in the Seattle area wants to just come and spend time and love on this poor mare, hit me up – she really needs it and I do not have the time. Or if you’re a bit further but want to foster, better still. My feeling is that she needs a month of just being handled, ground work, loved on, groomed and learn about treats before we try to ride. If that’s stuff that you love to do, let me know. She is fine with other horses and easy to handle except for being hard to catch.). Honey the Hottie (in more ways than one) needs to get worked as well. I just need to get my spine installed and give her a serious ride and find out if the stuff she does loose happens under saddle. With many horses, it doesn’t, but you don’t know until you try and I’ve been feeling tired and wimpy the last few days. She spooks at the pinpoints of sunlight coming into the indoor from holes in the wall. She spooks at the horses in the field. She spooks at things happening in the parking lot. She does great, big, twisting bucks when she’s turned out. There’s a 99% chance she will be fine under saddle, but I keep thinking about what a bad, bad time in my life this would be to get hurt – and wanting a nice pair of chaps or sticky breeches! Anybody got some medium size schooling chaps for sale or a small pair of Kerrits sit tights?

P.S. A special thank you to my reader Dana who set me up with this awesome, wonderful adjustable tree Wintec for the VLC. FINALLY, an english saddle that FITS him! It’s actually broad enough for his broad shoulders and it’s super comfortable to ride in. I am sure he is grateful and I know I am. You rock.

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Published in: on June 21, 2008 at 5:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

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