Sunday, July 06, 2008

Make Me Think

Almost A Disaster

I went out to do the "midnight" snacks, well after midnight. The horses were at the barn. I fed Toby, then Tucker, and put Chance's feed in his stall, but instead of going around to the other side of the bard to get in, he was hanging around Tucker's door, expecting me to move Tucker over, to allow him to cross through, then cross the barn aisle to get into his stall from the inside door. It wasn't raining, so there was no reason for me to do that. Instead, I went into Tucker's stall to put the iodine in his hoof.

Chance misinterpreted that and apparently thought I'd gone in to usher him through, so he headed into the stall. Tucker took offense shoved his rump over ready to kick, and Chance, panicking, plunged through into the aisleway, knocking me aside. Fortunately, I was already leaping out of the way, so I only caught a glancing blow. It was THAT close. Had I taken one more step into the stall, I would have been trampled. My arm has a bit of scrape where I slid it past the wooden edge of the stall door, but otherwise, I am OK.

That's three. With Caroline, Claire and now me all finished with the horse accidents, perhaps we can get through a period of calm???

All three accidents are a sharp reminder of just how fragile our relationships with these large, powerful creatures can be. We must always be vigilant to view the world through their eyes when we are working with them. They are creatures of instinct bowing to our will, but ever ready to react to the world and us as their natural behavior dictates. We are the ones who need to adapt our methods and handling to them. It is something to remember in all the training we do.

Which leads me to my rides today. Nothing too special, except that it should have felt a lot cooler but the humidity was miserable. Tucker was really good, accepting trot/walk transitions with grace and good forwardness. I also worked him a little on demanding much more sensitive responses to my canter aid, but the tap of the whip made him kick out, so I will have to work on that a little too. But, as we worked, he got sharper and sharper to the aids, so I decided to try one flying change in each direction. Well. Right to left, he gave me a scrambly effort where he changed in back first and then caught up with the front. Not bad. Went left to right and nothing happened as he stayed on the counter canter. So I kept him in counter canter until the third corner and then tried again. Boingy, boingy, not too bad. Trotted a little longer and called it a day. I'd had some super shoulder in/circle/haunches in combos too, so it was a good ride.

Considering that I was soaked in sweat myself at this point, I decided to just ride Chance and leave Toby alone with a nice scratch, a carrot, and some fly spray.

Chance still feels stiff to bend on the right side, but it was much easier to correct. It is something I will need to work on regularly, I suspect, but I was really happy to find getting him on the right lead canter was much easier than the other day when I rode. Again, I have to be careful to make sure he is really straight before asking for the departure. He is still a little unsure with his head and balance at the canter, but the improvement is noticeable each time I ride. The left lead was good too, so after about five circles, I went back on the right rein, trotted a little more, asked of one more canter depart and when he gave it easily, I "purred" him to a walk and cooled him out.

When I'd fed them I decided to go for a swim myself to cool off. This was my first trip to the swim club--the one I join every year two roads north of mine. It was a little under 80F today, cloudy, with "spritzes" of rain every so often. The pool was nearly empty so I had few other swimmers to deal with when I did my laps. I managed 10 lengths of the pool...5 up and 5 back. I could have pushed myself for more, but that's a good start since I am definitely not in swimming shape right now. Then I hopped in a tube and rode around the Lazy River a couple times before calling it a night and coming home.

So, I am back in the the swim of things for the summer.


  1. ///Then I hopped in a tube and rode around the Lazy River a couple times before calling it a night and coming home. ///

    Uh????? A translation into UK English is required I think. If we hop into a tube we are in a subway train!


  2. Thought the tube would be a problem. This is a big round ring that they blow up as a floatation device. Called an "inner tube" because it is akin to the rubber innards that used to be common in car tires.