Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'm Back...

Hello, bloggers.
I was never really gone...just not at all motivated to post. Not for lack of things to post about, because I had a lot of stuff I wanted to post over the last month.
Here's a short overview (that really doesn't do it any justice).
I've been riding basically only bareback or with my new Abetta endurance saddle (see above) which Jean's sister sold to me for a very very generous price (Thank you!!). I love it! It's very light; I think Daisy enjoys it as well.
I've simply been enjoying Daisy, and getting back to basics. This month included a lot of work on stopping in the snaffle bridle. I regret not doing the schooling in the snaffle; she would have been fine. She's excellent in it now. I've been trying very hard to use all my aids when I ask for the stop, and my hands and reins as a last resort. She's doing well.
I've been trail riding often as well, and have taken her just in a halter and reins numerous times. She's been not quite as good as in the snaffle, but very close. One day I meant to only trail ride, so we went without a bit, and I ended up out on the road anyway because the trail was too wet. Once I got out there, I realized I only had a halter and reins. I took the chance anyway, and she was just fine, even on the road, cantering toward home, I had her stop right there. I've been riding carefully lately to make sure everything we do is a result of me asking her for it, not simply her guessing correctly what I want. Normally, in places where we canter, Daisy knows it and I just let her choose when we start cantering and that's all there is to it.  Now, I make sure she's at a very nice, controlled walk or trot and not anticipating the canter, before I ask for it. I've successfully gotten her to walk very calm in areas where before all she'd do was jig.

Daisy's hooves have held up excellently. This was our first full season on the 'natural' barefoot trim...if I wasn't 100% convinced before, then I'm 200% convinced now. She doesn't even avoid stones now; the majority of the time she'll walk/trot/canter over gravel without a flinch. Her hooves are never bruised (except a tiny spot that we found when she was trimmed yesterday from her bars being quite long) and she's a happy camper. I use her easyboots when time allows; she loves those as well. She seems to walk extra hard on the gravel those days, just to prove how awesome they are. 
I love my mare. She makes my life complete. I can't imagine what I'd do without her. She's my go-to whenever I need a picker-upper...and she always succeeds in making my day. Some rides start out sour, but at the end of it, I look at the little things we've accomplished that day and I'm always immensely proud.

I've ridden over 60 horses in my almost 12 years of riding. There are very few moments where I am afraid on a horse. I realize however that one fear I do have, and admit to, is my fear of being run away with. I'm not sure why it's such a fear of mine. The last time it truly happened (at the trail trial, on Daisy), I wasn't really scared while she was really running; simply angry that she wasn't listening. So I guess a better way to phrase it is, a fear of being out of control. I know they're big animals and I have a lot of healthy respect, and I never let them get away with things. But if they truly want to do something, they will succeed. I feel almost constricted when I ride Ladd or Bubba, because they are truly very strong, and I feel like I lose control with each passing moment at a canter (mostly only out on the trail). I hate that feeling. I know deep down if they took off, it wouldn't be that bad, they'd eventually stop, and I can always one-rein stop. But it still scares me.
I've resolved to fix this fear, at least on Daisy. I'm going to practice letting her go all-out, and then get her back to a stop. I tried it a little today...such a silly fear. She was going full-speed, and I had her to a walk in 10 seconds, tops. It all depends on the day, though.
 My oldest brother and I shared a trail ride together at Jean's. It was a lot of fun :)
 And last Saturday I had the pleasure of visiting my friend who lives about an hour away and I went riding with her, on a delightful draft-cross named Allie. :)


Gudl said...

Very nice post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

allhorsestuff said...

Hey, so glad that5 you are back... and full of surprises too! I ever LOVE YOUR HEADER. Truly FANTASTICO! It made me giggle, as if I was the one jumping ! Love it to so typifies you and your mare have come SO FAR with her and with your knowlege.
I so admire you!

I loved seeing your pic with your brother...what great times! I adore riding with my sissy...though the mare are so sour and into each still is unbeatable, riding with a sibling!

Gosh, good news on the snaffle. I am very glad to hear that..(your mare too) ther is so much to stopping with out using so much pain and pressure. My fav is the Breath OUT and into the saddle and down the legs to heals!
yea, it's a big breath...but the mare feels me tak it in to exhale it out and before I EVEN ALLOW THE WIND TO COME FORTH..she's slowing and ready for a half halt or full halt!

Really, really awesome post, full of delights,.like how your mare goes barefooted so wonderfully. Good hooves and mantinence outowardly and inwardly(feed).
Now that we are getting the Oregon drenching ans large doses of mares barefeet have become a bit softer and tender. I am going to put the Easy Walkers back on for 6 I may train on the service roads(no mudd) but lots of sharp gravel.

So glad you shared and come back soon!!


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