Archive for September, 2008

PostHeaderIcon Sue – How Do You Do at being an Onion?

Round pen canter success!  It took poles in the round pen.  I had them about 2″ off the ground.  We clattered thru the poles at a pace and that undefined gait, we gaited horse people just love…the anti-rythym gait. We had some actual canter steps and we stopped before she broke out of the canter. I fed her a big Winnie’s cookie crumb every time she cantered. Then I decided perhaps we could go for half a circle at the canter.  It took a while for us to canter at all…and then she cantered an entire half the circle.  I immediately got off and gave her a Winnie’s cookie.  Do you think she’ll remember that it was the canter that got me off her back and a Cookie?  You be the judge!

We left the round pen.  After a short time of eating grass, I climbed back on again and we went up “canter hill”.  We went up “canter hill” several times without cantering. Oh well!

We were on our way to a wide open flat grassy 40 acre riding area! Yee haw!

 Then we spent about 2 hours in the 40 acre field.  Her emotions rise like a huge orchestrated creshendo!  She was nervous almost all the time…she got more nervous as time went on.  But we were always able to stop and eat. She was able to back up about 1-2 steps whenever we stopped.  Her body was so tense that she locked up every time we tried to back.  She tried really hard to head in the direction of the barn-worse when she got more nervous.  I did everything in the book of lateral flexion while we were going.

We probably looked like a dapple bay round ping pong ball as we zipped  up and down the field…and across the field…to the stable and away from the stable.

This is the first time that this hasn’t made me nervous.  I actually had a good time dealing with this.  In the past when Sue and I have rode in the 40 acres, I could take it for a while and then my fear would creshendo up.  The first time I rode her in the 40 acres by myself…well I thought I was lucky to make it back alive!

During the last and worst of our journey up and down the 40 acres, I felt like she could run away with me.  Then I thought…why not!  This horse doesn’t CANTER!! How bad could running away with me get?  I let her go really fast several times without asking her to stop and back too soon.  Of course she was emotional and was doing a flying pace.  She would have made any Icelandic horse proud!

Sue was ringing wet all over. She had foam on her head where the bridle goes.  Some of the wetness was emotional and some of it was exhertion. It was an 80 degree day in the Kansas City area…without humidity. We love days like this!

We did calm down enough to make it into the big ourdoor arena where I got off.  If I rode this horse everyday like this, she would be Whippet-Thin!

I’m thinking Sue is related to an onion.  You peel something off and there’s still more to puzzle about underneath.
At least she’s smooth. And she loves me.

PostHeaderIcon Sue How Do You Do trying to Canter!

The problem is that when I ask Sue to speed up enough to canter, she tightens her body in fear and we go into that wonderful gait that only gaited horse people know…the gait where every leg is out of sync with all the other legs.  It’s called anti-rhythm.

“Transitions,” I thought.  We are having a hard time with transitions…even when I ask her to speed up just with a faint higher level of energy.

First I thought that asking Sue to canter in the round pen would be the answer!  The round pen has deeper sand than the arena.  It’s easier to get the canter.

So, here we are in the round pen.  We started out and I asked her to canter. We went into our 4 legged anti-synch /rhythm stride.  “I can’t do this,” my body said.

So, we did passenger riding.  The level 1 Parelli test includes a 21 minute passenger ride task.  Sue and I couldn’t make 21 minutes the last time we tried.  She is way out of shape.

This time my strategy was different.  We would have a lot of walk, stop and speed up transitions during our passenger ride.  She would get tired, but we would have transition breaks. That’s what we need…transitions without fear.

That’s what we did.  We also spent the entire time going to the left.  We veered to the right exactly three times and went right back to the wall going to the left.  that’s interesting.

I believe we made the 21 minutes. Sue was drenched.  At the end, she had enough life left in her for a try at the canter.  We struggled and got two faint canter steps.  We stopped and I got off.  Maybe she will remember the nice outcome from cantering.

I don’t think so.

Next will be at least one pole in the round pen..We need a canter pole!

PostHeaderIcon Nova’s Notebook – The Hat

What a good time I had tonight.  I rode two horses at Pine Dell tonight.  That means I got up early enough that I could work 8 hours and still have time to trailer my horses to Pine Dell and ride. That’s a big day for me.
Good times with good people!

I came home so happy, whipped up my gormet peanut butter sandwich..after tearing the moldy corner off the bread.  I mixed the dog’s fasttrak supplement in my water bottle and had a great meal.  But enough of my great cooking discriptions to make everyone salivate with jealousy.

I was done riding tonight at Pine Dell.  I led Nova and Sue out of the arena.  I was helping another rider.  She was having a difficult time with her horse.  My favorite everyday cowboy hat in all the world was hanging on the fence. 

Then I heard the big R I P!

Nova grabbed my favorite cowboy hat in all the world off the fence.  She put it delicately on the ground, stepped on the brim and ripped the top off!  this took place in a nanosecond!

I can still wear it.  It will still keep the sun off my face and neck. I thought my favorite cowboy hat in all the world was pretty distinctive before…now there isn’t one like it in the world!  

My Favorite Hat Keeping Me Dry in the wet Celebration 2008

Above is the before picture of my wonderful hat keeping me dry.  It won’t be doing that anymore! Hat eater, Nova!

PostHeaderIcon Sue – How Do You Do -Still trying to Canter

The round pen has fairly deep sandy footing.  That’s why Sue canters in there so well.

Sue doesn’t canter in the arena with me riding.  Oh maybe a step or two now and then when I have a pole for her to lift up her front end.

When I ride her, she is still nervous when I put pressure on her to go faster.  If we are trotting and I put pressure on her to go faster, we disintegrate.  (Sue does a lot of disintegrating.) Occasionally I’ll get a couple of canter steps and then we disintegrate into every foot doing something different.

I”ll have to take a mounting stool and go into the round pen.  We must canter.

Today she was cantering in the round pen with the three beat canter.  From my middle point, I raised up my stick in front of her and she did a sliding stop.

Yes, really.  I couldn’t believe it either.  We tried the other direction and she has a nice stop.  It’s only to the left that she has a sliding stop.

I am still marveling.  It must mean she is putting that weight back on her rear end and cantering.

Ok, that’s it.  I must ride in the round pen. I hate the mounting stool.  I hate having the mounting stool being in the round pen when I’m running around.  It diverts my attention.  I do have my little peculiar oddities.  I’m not perfect.

PostHeaderIcon Sue – How Do You Do with Doggies?

Dogs are nothing to worry about. We are used to dogs.

I rode Sue today at home. We went further than we ever have before.  We were accompanied by our nice Lena dog. She’s a senior German Shepherd.  Sue and I were doing our ground games when I noticed that Lena was trying to herd Sue.  Lena has never done that before.  I yelled at her and she slunk away.

Sue and I were at the furtherest away from home than we ever have been. Lena was right besides us, circulating amoung the great smells.  Lena has never gone on one of our trail rides before.  Well, Sue and I have never been out of our property.  Evidentially, Lena has been waiting a long time for this.  She was having a great time. 

 We have a turf farm to ride on…vast vista of green grass.

Suddenly, Sue tensed up and went tight.  Her rear end bunched up.  I heard a thud and a wimper. That wretched Lena was trying to bite Sue’s back legs and Sue let loose an easy kick.  It connected and Lena learned a lesson.

My gentle Lena was trying her best to get me killed!  I do not need a dog biting Sue’s rear feet.  Good GAD!

We made it back home.  Sue was in mid right brain after that.  When she increased her speed above a flat foot walk, we turned a little circle. That made her come back into her left brain.  We really didn’t have to do this very long.  After a while, Sue was able to walk calmly.

By then, the flies had attacked.  I was starting to breathe flies.  I hate that.  We quit and had a fine ride!


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