Archive for August, 2006
Suzy came up to visit. She has passed the old level 2 and is a RIDER! I gave her Velvet and we rode early in the hot morning. We rode in the arena and did some fun things.
Then we rode outside. Sue and I were feeling mighty good. Suzy is good to ride with. I decided the time was right to take off on the mini trail ride towards Patty’s house and trails. We crossed the gravel road and rode past the neighbor’s horse pasture. All good and quiet. Nothing much going on at 10:00am on Sunday.
We got halfway to Patty’s driveway and heard the dreaded roar of a 4 Wheeler. We couldn’t see it. I made the decision to abandon the trail ride. Later, I thought about that 4 wheeler. They couldn’t have got into the neighbor’s horse pasture and scared us to death. It would have been fine. Oh well. I made it a lot further on the trail ride than the last time!
We rode in an organized chaos. We all rode in a straight line somewhere and first stopped and did hindquarter perfect turns. Then we trotted, stopped and did our hindquarter perfect turns. After we did that for a while, we started at the walk again and did perfect forequarter turns…and then again at a trot. How do you think Sue did with horses going every which way?
She was on the lookout, but did GREAT!
Then we rode on the rail. But this wasn’t just any plain Jane riding on the rail. Some of us rode clockwise and some of us rode counterclockwise. Us counterclockwise people rode on the inside and the clockwise people rode on the rail.
How about Sue meeting horse after horse in the arena.
No Problem! She was aware, but fine.
In fact, we even trotted. She relaxed enough to get a trot going and she kept it up for maybe one length of the arena. She was relaxed.
Then we all came into the middle of the arena. Jenny picked various horse and rider combos to go out on the rail and canter. She told my very best friend, Kari, to cut through the middle and do a flying lead change. I didn’t react very fast. I was sitting on Sue with my sore leg out of the stirrup. Kari came racing by very close to the group of horses…and Sue’s rear end. You know what that means. We spurted forward a step or two. I managed to hold my curse word to a whisper. No one heard me. I was alive and proud of my restraint.
The next horse cut through the center and I was ready. That horse dislodged a dirt clod which spooked Sue. We spurted forward a step or two. This time I didn’t even think of swearing. I was fine.
At the end we went on the rail. We were to ride collected. My new goal is to get Sue to give to the bit and become soft. She pushes on the bit like she has been taught.
Sue relaxed and started trotting. She trotted for a while and then went back into a fox trot or running walk. Then she would occasionally break into a pace. It was great.
We stopped near the middle as someone was in our way. It was nearly 8:45pm and my knee lasted all this time. Well, I told Sue to get her speed back up and she refused to move. She was tired. I reached back and touched her rear end with my hand and there was zero reaction and no movement forward. I touched her again with the same nothingness. I smacked her a little firmer with my hand and was still ignored. I ended up smacking that sensitive right rear end about 6 times before she would take a step forward.
What an amazing evening it was! We ended with my gracefull dismount from the fence. She followed me all over the arena while I collected my discared stuff.
Sue got a lot of treats at the end of this ride.
It just keeps getting better and better!
August 12, 2006 was the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Association Breed sponsored horse show.
I board with a lot of Arabian owners who love to show. I found out last week that “we were going”. So, I decided that this would be a great adventure for Sue. We could ride outside the arena and see how things went.
Well, phooey on riding outside the arena. Sue and I arrived at the Horse Park and got ready to ride. We were nice and relaxed after I got on. They were having a fun class called, “Simon Sez” in the arena.
Sue and I went into the class. Sue sped up twice when something unknown behind her was scary and that was it.
One of the Simon Sez movement was for the rider to lift their hand and touch the top of their head. Well, I snaked my hand up my chest, past my ear and found the top of my head without spook! I was really proud of Sue.
One of the Pine Dell people arrived as Sue and I were zipping around the arena. She yelled, “Is That Sue?” I yelled back, “YES!” Of course she knew it was Sue, she was just amazed at how relaxed she was.
There were a lot of Pine Dell people watching and I didn’t wave at any of them…and they all understood why!
It was a great day. Sue even relaxed a little bit and went into a fox trot. What a fantastic horse she is!