Monday, May 18, 2009

Riding, Riding Over the Bounding Sand

Double Trouble

I fed the Boys when I got home from school, came inside and made a casserole for dinner. Now I have something to take for lunch tomorrow too.

Then I went back outside, poo picked the arena, and headed out to the pasture to collect the first horse who came to me.

Guess who?

Chance. Once I gave him a bit of carrot, we were "assaulted" by the big Boys who insisted on their share. I gave them each a treat then had to fend them off by spinning the lead rope in their faces so I could safely lead Chance in. Otherwise they wanted to herd him away from me so they could get more attention. Typical. Don't come to me when I call, but then don't go away after they find out I have food.

Saddled Chance up and headed into the arena. I had forgotten about the evil white chair at the edge of the woods! Evil chair. Dangerous chair. This from a horse who had been turned out for two days in the arena where lurked the evil white chair. However, it's obvious the chair took on a new and far more sinister character when I was in the saddle as opposed to its simple lurking there during the day when Chance was free.

So we did the "Kenny technique" going back and forth along the side of the arena where lurked the chair until it suddenly lost all its terrifying power and we could simply ignore its presence.

Chance worked well, but I felt that little "hitch" he gets in his hind end. My vet was never able to find anything wrong and it does go away after he loosens up. We also suspect it will go away once he is legged up properly. I kept on riding, and, after I cantered, he felt much more even.

Chance does want me to sit off to the right, so I spent the bulk of the ride really concentrating on keeping my seat even by deliberately getting long on my left side every time I felt myself being pushed off to the right. Considering how few times Chance has been worked in the last two months, he was quite good and I feel he will catch on quickly to the good solid basic concept of on the bit within a few weeks of regular work.

Done with Chance, I rode Tucker next. My focus for him was making him supple. With his short back and neck, he is not "snakey" like Toby, but rather tends to not bend through his body if he can avoid it. I have an exercise where I do ten meter circles first to the right, then to the left, each time changing direction by pushing his hind end through to the new outside rein with a bit of a lateral step.

I did the same exercise at the walk and then the trot, also insisting that he not use the rein for balance in the change of direction or change of pace. Then, I worked a bit on the canter, again insisting on suppleness first. Tucker was very resistant to the right lead cue, threatening to kick out against my leg. I don't know if this was because he didn't like cantering with his right hind really under his body--a throwback to the sore hocks--or if he may be having a little ulcer problems. I planned on giving him a course of ulcer medication anyhow, so I may start tomorrow morning. Either way, he kind of settled into the exercise of repeated trot/canter/trot transitions on both rein without too much protest.

I finished up with some introductory half passes at the walk and trot. Again, because he hasn't worked a lot in the last few months, I didn't demand too much. But I was pleased that while he didn't give too much crossover, he moved relatively easily off my leg with the correct bend, so it was a good bit of remedial work to start off.

All in all, it was a good evening.


  1. Oh the carrot thing . . . I'm TERRIBLE!!! I will stand amongst the herd, boy, girl, whichever, and I will be SURROUNDED by noses trying to get a sniff of the wonderful morsels piled in the bag, trying to be 'next' . . . pick me! Pick me!
    I'll be the first to say, "Kids, don't try this at home," but guilty, guilty, guilty I am.

  2. Anonymous6:51 AM

    Back in the saddle again - like your descriptions of your sessions with the horses. The alternate circles exercise is one I'm going to try.

  3. All in all it does sound like a great evening.
    I know what you mean about being mugged for treats, it happens all the time around here.

  4. Oh I am a carrot-carrier, all the horses of the yard know it ^-^

    I am a big FAN of Chance, I love reading about him ^-^

  5. glad you were able to get back on..

  6. How interesting to read that Chance wants you to sit off to the right. Tetley wants me to sit to the left so I just substituted right for left in your description.

    Isn't it strange how they can see something everyday by themselves but with you in the saddle it somehow becomes scary!

    Now I too do the ten meter circles as you do, when I think of it.