Archive for March, 2012
We had a five day Natural Solutions Horse Camp with Tony and Jenny Vaught on 3/26 thru 3/30. We did groundskill tasks in the morning and in the afternoon, we were ready to ride. Gulp. Although I wasn’t nervous about riding Lucky Star for the first time, I was nervous. There was nothing to worry about, but it was my first time to ride him. I just wanted to get the first ride started and feel comfortable. After I get that “comfortable feeling” on a new horse, I’m ready to ride.
An uncomfortable feeling would be to feel the horse’s nervousness or sudden bursts of unasked for movement. I knew Lucky Star is a low-key, calm horse that doesn’t particularly care to move unless it’s his idea.
I saddled him up. Thankfully, I had purchased a shorter length girth, but it was very close to being to big for him. Lucky Star needs a 28″ girth. The 30″ girth almost touches the saddle in length. eeek
Jenny came over and hopped on Lucky Star. That always makes me feel much better. He’s relaxed, calm and moves slowly when asked. That was delightful to watch.
I got on him and sat for a few seconds. We slowly walked off. It took me about 30 seconds to get comfortable and then I asked for speed. We went right up into a flat foot walk and a fox trot.
ooooo What a wondrous time was the first ride day.
Lucky’s lack of impulsion made me a very confident and brave rider! I love those Missouri Fox Trotter left-brain introverted horses! This is my fourth – Sage, Velvet and JR being the first three.
Savvy means talent, mastery, skill, knack, understanding, clever, quick, etc. You learn “Savvy” when you are student with Tony and Jennifer Vaught. http://forthehorse.org
Savvy is a lifelong pursuit. Savvy is your horse journey.
OnLine- Handler plays with horse on various lengths of line from 12′ to 45′ and teaches them extraoridinary maneuvers. The Spanish Riding School believes that true respect and teaching begins on the ground. This is where extraordinary results begin.
At Liberty – The line is removed and horses and humans relate with no strings attached. Students learn how to teach their horses to follow them, connect mentally rather than just physically throught a lead rope, to circle, do lead changes, run to them.
FreeStyle – Riding with loose reins, one rein or no reins…completely bridleless! FreeStyle riding goes against most traditional forms of riding, yet it’s one of the simplest ways for developing your independent seat, feel, timing and balance. The horse learns self-carriage, impulsion, to watch were he’s going and not to change gaits or directions until asked. Horses and riders are trasnsformed through FeeStyle riding and from a spectators point of view, it’s one of the most exciting to watch.
Finesse -To ride with finesse, refinement, grace, imperceptible aids, vertical flexion, engagement and precision is a great art that very few achieve properly. Horse and people learn how to do this naturally, at the right time of development without force or artificial aids. It’s so refreshing to see flyind flying changes without swishing tails or grinding jaws. True collection is achieved only when respect, impulsion and flexion are properly combined.
Velvet was a been-there-done-that snorty horse today. You know that long rumble snort that could mean, “I’m getting ready to take the saddle and sky rocket to another universe” snort.
I don’t remember Velvet snort-rumbling in a long time. Then she became a show horse and arched her neck. Oh, I bet she and I were a gorgeous sight.
The cause – two adorable mini horses running in a pasture. Velvet and I were out alone at Pine Dell and we decided to take a stroll off the property. What cute horses they were!
I decided to become patient and let Velvet stare at the mini ponies as long as she wanted. It took her a long while to stare at them. Of course that drove one of them wild. He wanted Velvet. Velvet wasn’t certain just what he was. We stood and watched for a long time. We were even standing on a patch of grass and Velvet didn’t offer to eat any grass. She wasn’t about to lower that head!
Who needs a young green horse when you can experience nearly the same on the been there done that horse. Except, I know that Velvet would never bolt, buck, kick out or rear.
There’s a difference!
Finally the stars aligned in the sky and I was able to ride with a friend at Holden Lake Park. Turns out, it’s easy to find, pretty flat and beautiful. It’s only fifteen miles from where I live.
Velvet and I had arrived earlier and were saddled and ready to go. My friend pulled up and was busy getting her horse ready to ride. Velvet was ready to ride and I was standing beside the little gravel road in the park. A car pulls up and stops beside me. A nice woman was driving and looked like her husband in the passenger seat. I always expect people to stop and marvel over how beautiful Velvet is.
Instead she asks me, nicely, “Do you have a permit to ride here” I stuttered somewhat and said no. She started talking about permits and where to buy them…something about across from the liquor store downtown. I missed all that. Then I could tell she was going to ask my age.
I was ready to tell her I was fifteen. I figure that young minors get to ride free. Instead, she said, Oh, You’re over 60 aren’t you and permits are free for you.”
I never got a chance to tell her I was fifteen. Because we are talking about saving money, I told the truth and agreed with being over 60.
How did she know that?
Do I look like I’m over 60?
She and her husband are on the water board and the riding permit money is used for keeping up this nice park. I’m in favor of paying $10 to help keep this great riding park maintained, even though I am over the cutoff age.
After she left, my young friend came out of her trailer. She has ridden at the park for years and has heard that permits might be needed to ride. Never in all her rides at this park has she been approached about a permit.
Why Me? Do I really look like I’m over 60?
PS: Velvet and her half sister, Emmy were on the trail ride. They share the same sire, Italian Stallion. No one was on the trail to take a picture of the two black half sisters. I should have asked the woman water board person to take our picture. ha!
Karen Moulis asked me to help her out with Sheyna. Sheyna is a Missouri Fox Trotter mare that got to be owned by Pine Dell Farm when her owner couldn’t pay the board. Also Sheyna was too much horse for her green owner. We don’t think Sheyna was ever owned by anyone that understood her personality.
Sheyna is a sensitive right brain extrovert. She wants badly to please her person. She’s never been taught about slow speeds, medium speeds and fast speeds. The answer for her is to fly into the wind! She knows nothing about transitions. Her go is from standing to spinning out of control. Karen and her grandaughter Melissa had no idea what a gaited horse was supposed to feel like and that’s where I came in. The three of us are combining the ground games and riding to help her learn to relax. We are trying to get her to understand slow, medium and fast.
Riding Sheyna is a lot of fun. When she tries to spin out of control, she can be brought right back down to slower and then stop and even back.
This past Saturday, I rode her in a two plus hour clinic with Jenny Vaught. I”ve been riding her in Karen’s Wednesday night group lesson and her progress has just been amazing. At the end of the nearly three hours of clinic, I was riding Sheyna on a loose rein. She was carrying her head down and relaxed. At the start, middle and near the end of the clinic, we were still in “go fast is the answer” When she finally relaxed and was happy to walk, I wanted to scream and punch the skies with happiness. Instead, my body was the poster child of relaxed muscles.
Sunday, Melissa rode her on a trail ride with Velvet and I. Sheyna is not concerned, worried or scared of anything out there on the trail. Plus she goes right straight thru mud and puddles. She has proved to be a great trail horse. Sheyna went into a nice fast smooth gait. Velvet and I had to work to keep up. When Velvet goes up into her top notch fastest possible fox trot gait, it’s just a little rough. We did that for about 3 miles off and on…good gadness!
Half way thru the trail ride, we came upon a long flat field. I thought, why not. Melissa was telling me about how she loves to canter and gallop her Arabians. Hmph. Velvet and I started cantering through the field. The wind was in my face and I was having a great time. Melissa wasn’t screaming or anything. I could hear Sheyna’s hoofbeats right behind me. And then I heard hoofbeats next to me and the next thing I knew, Sheyna and Melissa were screaming in the wind, in an ever increasing lead! Wow! Velvet and I sped up, but I didn’t really want to gallop as fast as Roy and Trigger in the movies. I saw Sheyna and Melissa come the end of the field where the gravel road waits. Sheyna slowed right down and stopped. She was under perfect control. That’s a big wow!
yee haw Sheyna!
Melissa is now talking about being with the wind on a Missouri Fox Trotter. I was thinking about Aleve.
I need a warmish sunny day to take my first ride on Lucky Star. So far I’ve had cold and windy days with 20-40 mph days. I just don’t need that.
Lucky Star is staying at the Vaughts for at least two more weeks, maybe the month of March. We love the personality where he doesn’t want to charge forward. That kind of horse is great for me and those who don’t like horses that shoot out from under you.
But, he does need to have a good solid work ethic about going forward. That’s what Tony and Lucky Star are working on now.
My last report from Tony and Lucky Star is that they got a bunch of fox trotting done around the arena. Yee Haw and stay tuned!