Monday, October 29, 2007

Taking a Chance

My house is to the left. You can seen the riding arena as a rectangle behind the barn. The pasture is to the right. The three little "beans" near the trees are probably PJ, Toby and Tucker in the pasture.

And Nearly Riding in the Dark

I had to go to the feed store after school to restock the Boy's food supply.

I was home by around five and since the time hasn't yet changed back to standard, I had daylight enough to ride.

I had a nice school with Tucker, adding a few more shoulder ins to the repertoire so I can develop the half pass. He is very responsive to everything I try, looking for the right way to go. The half pass is still a little awkward for him, but he is definitely getting the concept. I actually think it's a little better to the left which is interesting as that was his difficult direction when I taught him leg yield. Then again, I'd wager part of it is my aids and my own comfort level at moving in that direction. I need to really concentrate on how I sit so I don't confuse him and so I make clear exactly what I want.

We mixed the canter changes between trot changes and walk changes and I was quite pleased with how well the canter/walk/canters went. His whole attitude is so positive, even when he fusses a little if I use the whip, it never feels really threatening like it did before. What a good boy he is.

I saddled Chance next for a school in the ring and a plan to take a little mini-ride on the trail just behind the ring. While his head is back to kind of bouncing up and down as he shifts his balance, after about 15 minutes of work to keep him steady and get him down onto the bit, Chance seemed to have a handle on what I wanted. I cantered him just a few strides in each direction and was super pleased when he took the correct lead both times.

The right canter lead earned him a hack in the woods as a reward. He is so funny. Once more he was very clear about the fact that he wanted to head off in a new direction instead of the usual path. Trouble was, it was already getting late and dark. But, I have to admit his enthusiasm was contaigious and I ended up doing the short loop woods trail.

The light was fading fast as we came out to the edge of the cornfield, and Chance did stop, a little confused to see the "wall" of corn in front of us as the last time we were out, we went in the opposite direction. Though it was getting hard to see, we managed to make it back to the barn in fine form, with my little "trailmeister" once more pleased to have gone out into "his" woods.

Now, if I can just teach him to work to the bit properly, I am going have one super nice little hack horse and another potential dressage mount, if I decide to show him. He is one good guy.

This picture shows a distant view of where I live. The blue lake to the south is the sandpit where sand mining went on for years. All the green trees are the State Park behind my house. The last picture pulls back even more. Farmland, also State Parkland lies to the east. The roadway is the New Jersey Turnpike. And the buildings you see are the warehouses. The other blue patch to the west is another former sand mine, now restored to a natural lake in the Park. To the north is the farm we are trying to save the the flooded area is in that line of green just below it. You can kind of see a stream bed running across the farm field where that right angle of green is. That is part of the flooding.


  1. yay, google rocks! they've come out well, jean. I do reckon google needs to update your area (you can tell by the amount of clarity at the close ups, the clearer they are, the newer they are!) chance is a brave boy, can you tell him to send molly some of the same?

  2. Nice views for all to see Jean!

  3. Zip is like Chance Jean, he really loves to do a new piece of road, even if he has been nervous on a bit he already knows.


  4. Hey pics are great im going to have to get myself on and see if I can find 'us'!

    Chance sounds like a lovely boy reckon you've got some good times ahead with him.
    ...and well Tucker ,the transformation is outstanding you must be over the moon.