Saturday, November 14, 2009

Out Jumping Trees

Today was one of those weird, raining then sunning, then raining again sort of days. Brandon stayed home from work today, so after dragging him out of bed for tea and toast (flu seems to be going around again, not fun) I asked if he might like to get a little fresh air and take a couple pics for me, "pretty please", I know, I'm shameless. I wanted to ride Rhys and maybe even hop over a couple of jumps, but upon heading to his paddock, he was gimpy on his left front, not sure if it's a stone bruise or what, I couldn't find anything specific and no heat or swelling, so we'll see how he is tomorrow.
The other horse I wanted to get out and pictured today was, of course, my other handsome devil, Sandor. He was practically begging at his gate to come out (he is usually begging at his gate actually, such the socialite, loves to come out and play). So I went in, scrubbed him down, tossed on a pair of front boots and out we came to hop over some fences too. I really wanted to see if Brandon could catch Sandor in a freeze frame over a jump. He did. I can't even begin to express how happy I am. As some of you may or may not know, Sandor hails from Shelly White's in Canada and is sired by the exceptional Sporthorse curly stud, Sandman's Magic and out of a lovely, fluid moving Arab/Dutch Warmblood mare, Legacy. One of my hopes with Sandor is that in addition to being a fabulous stud horse helping to improve the quality of future Curly horse generations, he will also be one of my eventing horses. Watching him jump, I can't help but think he will excel in eventing. His movement is superb for the dressage phases, but his jumping!, fantastic form over fences, and he's fearless!! I'm just thrilled to pieces with him!! And no, I don't actually like to jump my youngsters very often, like maybe three times as yearlings, kind of not often, it's hard on their joints. I like to see if they have any natural affinity for it, we do trot poles, but no I don't jump my babies. Although you wouldn't know that this week. I also want them wearing front leg tendon protection in some form, I think it's important, should they over reach, that they don't injure their tendons, I was surprised that Rhys's boots fit Sandor already. Anyway, just like for us, proper protection for your horse is really important.

After a couple little jumps, we moved over to a novel item, a tarp. It was starting to really cloud over by this time. First I tried getting Sandor to walk over the tarp; he jumped it instead.

Smoothed it out completely and walked onto it myself and he just followed right on.

Then I picked part of it up and rubbed him with it some, he wasn't thrilled about it, but put up with it. Then I put the tarp over his back and we walked around with it. A couple of times the wind gathered the tarp up some, which Sandor started at for a split moment, then settled again, licking and chewing. Finally, I pulled the tarp up his neck and over his head and we both stood under the tarp. Not sure if you can see it, but I'm not holding Sandor there, he is staying of his own volition.

As I said, he's fearless. He really trusts that if I put him in a place, if I'm there with him and asking it of him, he's safe to do it. Such a good boy! I'm happy Brandon was able to step outside with me for a little to take the pics. I was over the top proud of Sandor today and so glad it was caught for prosperity.
So why a tarp? Well, you never know when your horse will get caught out with someone's kid needing a good game of hide and seek...(kidding) or when it will start pouring rain on you and it would be nice to be able to duck under a tarp with your horse, or... well the list of usefulness for tarps involving you and your horse is virtually endless, so it's just plain nice for them to be comfortable with them, not to mention the times I've walked or ridden by a pile of hay covered by a tarp and been glad my horse didn't come unglued when the wind ruffled it some, it's just one of those things I think youngsters should learn to be ok with.
All in all, I was happy with another fantastic ground training session with my dashing boy. Will see what we accomplish tomorrow. :-)


  1. It's wonderful to read about your training with Sandor. He really trusts you!

  2. Wow, I'm impressed with the reaction to the tarp!

  3. Thanks Angie and Dolly, I was pretty happy with his trust in me regarding that tarp too, I didn't expect to get that far our first time working on it! :-) I really enjoy working with Sandor, his trust in me, makes a lot of things a lot easier than I anticipate, which is a nice change, usually everything takes a lot longer and is a lot harder than I imagine, ever the optimist, I am.

  4. I was wondering if i could use the 1st photo for one of my Gimp manipulations????