Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Small Thing

I have only been able to fit in bits and pieces here and there of groundwork training lately, because I have been busy working to support my family and horse habit. Today I finally had a window of time. The wind was cold and strong. I grabbed the hackamore/bit combo that arrived in a goody box from Lesly last week and found AhD sunning himself on the lee side of the barn. He was so glad to see me that he did not want to stand far enough back for me to take his picture. I was thrilled to receive a new bit to try out, and I must have communicated it to AhD because he has been more than cooperative in allowing me to fiddle around with it to get it just right. In fact, a few nights ago when I was making some final adjustments during chore time, when Mister came over to check it out, AhD gave him a snake face and then bit him. I was quite flattered that my Curly was jealous over me!
I don’t have any exciting tales to tell today about a grand trail ride, but I truly enjoyed my time today with AhD. Like Denise and Reese, we have been in Back to Basics mode. We practiced standing still for mounting in just the right spot next to a big rock. AhD stood quietly even though I was, shall we say, a bit ungainly in my attempts to flop myself up onto his back. We worked a LOT on lateral flexion and backing. Most of the time, AhD was really good on the lateral flexion. Here you can see he was not giving to pressure. See the tightness in the left rein? He was paying attention to something out in the woods, getting all tensed up. Instead of allowing his tenseness to get to me, I focused on taking a photo. Taking pictures for this blog has helped me with my confidence issues, because it helps me to concentrate on the duty at hand, and my mind does not race ahead and think "What if..?" It really works for me. Who’d a thunk it? I also worked lightening my cues and felt my gloves were hampering me so I took them off, choosing frozen hands to allow more lightness of touch. I was so "into" my ride that I didn’t even notice my cold hands. Bareback allowed me to enjoy AhD’s toasty warmth and give seat and leg cues directly onto his body. The best part of this ride was AhD’s response my backup cues. He was awesome! He has learned that when I put my feet forward that I am asking for a backup. I got no pissy attitude, no head tossing, no feet stomping, no pinned ears – just an immediate few steps back!! Look at him go!It sounds like such a small thing, but it is NOT, for us. I was thrilled! We backed up a lot.
We also did figure eights around a few rocks in the paddock, working on softness and suppleness. I didn’t think I’d have a photographer, but this guy showed up (in a t-shirt and shorts, egad!!) to tell me it was time for 4H, so I took advantage of his good nature. Thank you, Ian! XXOO


  1. Must be a teenage and preteen boy thing, no time for coats lol. AhD looks great. Buck and I will be starting back with basics here if the temp ever gets over 20 F!!

  2. Ahh Tillie!!! The post I've been waiting for! You two look great together. As you are experiencing, back to the basics will make a world of difference and the goodies will help you along this journey. Glad to hear AhD likes that bit--and no one messing with his mom!

    Glove-less, you brave soul you...I don't think I will attempt that one....nor the stylin' look Ian sported!

    Yeah, continue focusing on taking those pics instead of the what if's...we all love looking at them. AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME. I am soooo happy for the two of you....

  3. GREAT JOB! No, it doesn't sound like "such a small thing!" Getting back to basics, getting a softer response and keeping from focusing on the "what if's" are all BIG things in keeping you safe and progressing! My hands are too sensitive to allow for no gloves! and my nephew, Ian, also runs in shorts and t-shirts in the winter! Maybe it is the name? What a georgeous boy AhD is! Oh and because I am clueless and curious - AhD? where did it come from?

  4. Yay!!! A post from Susan and AHD! Those tiny morsals are awesome, aren't they Susan?? GREAT job - and really neat Ahd's attitude was in check. Sure makes for a great time together. =]

    I agree with you on the photo taking. It sort of keeps you on task and not let your mind wander. I did that the other day because I started worrying about the wolves/coyotes...I decided to take my camera and focus on taking pics and enjoying the scenery...and it erased that fear that can be so distracting and crippling!

    Thanks for posting Susan!!!!

  5. Thanks, all!!! Ellen, I could talk about my horse all day long! *RCR Ah-D-Das (pronounced "Adidas") but I call him AhD or Didder, bred by Jackie Richardson of Richardson's Curly Horse Ranch in Iowa, purchased from Betsy Lirakis in Vt. Jackie told me AhD's name is a play on words from his mother's name, *CCC Audie D. His sire is *Kreskin. AhD is the same age as Denise's Reese, coming 9, and we have had him since he was 3. Thanks for asking!

  6. Susan, I didn't realize AhD was sired by Kreskin. That's really neat.


Blog Archive