My spankin' stick, just in case
Aren't the clouds pretty?
On the way back from our ride, we rode in an empty corn field that has wind blown rye growing in it. He somehow worked his lip to grab a few bits...those things are like thumbs! As we cross the road to our Lane, he starts hacking and coughing. FREAK OUT!!! I jumped out of the saddle in the middle of the road and walked him across, while he was still hacking! First thought--my horse is choking! I ripped off his bridle and stood there. What the heck do you do with a choking horse?? The Heimlik?? The only thing I could do is stand there while tears streamed down my cheecks. I can't even explain how helpless I felt. After a few more hacks and nothing coming out (horses can't regergatate), he perked up and stood there looking at me like, "what's the hold up, mom?" I gave him a big hug and walked he rest of the way home (about 1/2 mi) on foot with his bridle in my hand and just the reins around his neck.
FYI--absolutely NO EATING with a bit!!! I tell you, this horse is like one of my children. I think I cry more with him, than I do with my REAL kids! At least with my kids I can ask what's wrong.
Today our ride was smoother. I left the jumps where they were and made up patterns, no measuring strides or angles. We would have to adjust on the fly. I could feel that he was wanting to go. The power was in my hands. Sometimes it is like he wouldn't stop even if he had barbed wire in his mouth. Instead of pulling, I decided to just talk to him and see how it goes, it half worked. I wasn't so worried about the speed as I was the collection. It is hard for him to be collected going 50mph over a 2'6" vertical. Then he starts chipping and taking long spots and knocking down rails. We did a few circles to regain composure. I think he can tell when he has the elevator on we aren't doing calm collected circles. He knows we are jumping and he likes it. He likes the speed that he can get away with. Once he started focusing on whatever I put him to, we went back at the funky-strided course that has been sitting in the "arena" for awhile. He nailed the first few jumps and as we continued to the next few he started gaining speed. I let me flatten out a bit because the next jump was a mock water jump. A tarp with ground poles. Then we had a good turn to the left and up comes the mini coop. He did a good job focusing on me, he had no clue what jump was coming next. I think he realized that he had to get his crap together and that was why I was changing my seat and legs. He collected himself and nailed that jump too. He was listening and focusing! YEAH!! We did the course twice with a walk lap in between and then went out to our little 1/4mi trail (the one with the snake filled creek). He is usually cautious down the hill coming up to the creek, the one side is washed away and I think it just looks scary. Today....I made him trot it and take the creek without thinking first. By the time he was on it he was moving too fast down the hill to stop. He HAD to go over. And he did. It wasn't graceful by any means...but he didn't stutter and did what I asked. Good Boy! I pushed him to continue up the 3 or 4 hills at a hand gallop. At first he was feeling me out. Is she serious? I can just...run? Then I felt the power. I wish I would have had my GPS on, I would have like to see how fast we were going. At the end of the trail there is a HUGE hill.
Ok, so the pic doesn't make it look huge...but it is!
He slowed to a trot and went down. What happened to my insecure BigRedHorse? I now have this fearless and bold BigRedHorse. No complaints here! At the bottom of the hill we walked for a minute to recover and send some texts (lol) and then walked back up. At the top he was asking to run again. Okey-dokey! I let him go. He did slow to a nice canter to take the creek (which is no longer snake filled) and continued to canter up the no longer scary hill. Back at the lane I decided to call it a day. He had conqured alot today.
I am going to try to find time to go to a local show here in the next month or two and then it is on to the horse trials in the area.
Oh and one more thing...These are a pair of breeches that I got from a lady on e-Bay. They are the best! The full seat is deer skin and I even got a star embroidered on the butt...they are now apart of my sassy collection ;)
Don't mind my busted-up fingers!