Monday, June 20, 2011

A "Quickie" on Horseback...

As we all know, yesterday was Father's Day, which meant I was out at my folks place most of the afternoon celebrating. While I love my dad to bits, I did wish I could get one more ride on Moon, so we'd have some improvement (maybe...hopefully) for our next lesson. I lucked out, as everyone headed out by 8 pm, and since Moon is so close to their place, I thought I'd stop by before going home. The sun isn't setting until just after 9 pm now, so I knew I'd get a couple minutes in. Even if just to groom him.

Managed to get to the barn by 8:30, and knew I was now in a rush. Pulled on my rubber riding boots because they were the FASTEST thing I could get on! Grabbed a hoofpick, finishing brush and his bridle...and a couple treats. Didn't bother with a halter or saddle!

Grabbed him from the field, took him straight to the ring, ran brush and pick over him, while he stood in his bridle...Since I was right there, I wasn't worried about him running off and getting hurt.

Took him over to the block to mount, and he moved off just as I got on. No biggie...until I realized that in all of my rushing to get a ride in, I now sat on him helmet-less! AURGH! No need for another busted head on me...jumped down, wondering what I should do since my helmet was in my car WAAAY across the yard, and he was in his bridle. So I just removed his reins, ran to the tack shed, grabbed an old helmet I had brought for the girls, and was back on him in no time.

This time he stood awesome at the mounting block and I loved him up. He rides SOO different bareback, almost more responsive, moving of my leg beautifully. My seat SUCKS without a saddle, and W is right...I tend to grip with my thighs when I get unsteady, pretty much bouncing me off of my horse.

So we worked at a walk mostly, but he was moving nicely to my outside rein pressure coupled a little inside leg, moving him out on the circle. Once in awhile we'd wind up trotting, but in no time I'd be clasping his mane and praying to stay on. Thankfully, he always seemed to be able to tell when I was completely out of position, and would come to a nice stop and wait for me to get realigned.

I tried some conscious trotting, but I SUCK without a saddle, and didn't want to be accidentally hauling on his mouth whenever I lost my balance.

So for half an hour, we just mainly walked a big loop, sometimes switching to a figure 8. He wasn't perfect, but going counter-clockwise I felt like he was really improving. He's really changing each week. I know that my 1/2 hour of walking probably isn't going to make a huge change, but I figure every moment must count, even if it's just a quickie ride.

When our little ride ended, he didn't want to step out of the ring, which was curious. Maybe it had something to do with the cool weather making schooling less of an irritation to him? Who knows, he's a funny one.

I should add, that when I got back to my car and looked in the mirror, I had a HUGE black line across my forehead! Apparently the old foam on that helmet I wore had started to disintegrate, leaving black dust all over my forehead! Good thing no one was around to see me! Next time, I'll use my good helmet!

Lastly, I NEED to book his teeth float; not sure if they're that bad or not, but I'm fairly certain they haven't been done in the last year. And while I'm fairly certain it won't make any difference for his open-mouthedness, maybe, maybe it'll help a little? At least he can finally get a solid vet check-up, as I don't know if he has any health concerns I should be worrying about, as I'm popping him over 1'9" fences...and hopefully eventually higher!

Two Q's my readers:
1) Ever get REALLY nervous about getting your horse checked-up, as thought finding out about an issue will suddenly make it affect them?
2) At what jump height should I be schooling him, so we're ready to start some low level hunters?

Happy Monday everyone!

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