Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Switcheroo!

I think I've mentioned my friend, Jan, that I ride with occasionally.  She has rode horses probably all her life, but has a disease similar to MS, so while riding is still very possible for her it can be a challenge at times.  This morning the temps were in the mid to high 20's and I had asked her to come over to ride here as I didn't have to work until the afternoon.  She has lots of trails by her house, but the snow has gotten too deep and so she's waiting for a spring thaw. 

She usually rides gaited horses and I have a couple of those, so I got the shorter one out and saddled her up for Jan.  We were having a nice ride and had went around the trails completely once and Jan asked if I wanted to go again and I was game!  As we started out again, we stopped to talk a little bit about a new logging trail near my house that I'm very excited about.  There aren't any trails that go in a complete loop.  Everything ends at a swamp.  But this new logging trail used to be an old road and we aren't positive yet, but I think I'm going to have about a 7 mile loop through the woods finally.  Possibly two trails if I get the neighbors' permission to ride on their land in the second area they're logging, when it isn't hunting season. 

Anyway, as we're sitting on the horses just chatting, all of a sudden Dixie gets it in her head that she's heading for home.  She turns very quickly and Jan gets her stopped but the saddle is sideways a little.  Jan's reflexes aren't what they used to be and her strength is diminishing unfortunately, but she managed to get the saddle upright again.  So we start out again and I suggested we just keep moving and talking.  Well, Dixie heard our other horse Kayla calling and Dixie turned for home again and the saddle was really sideways this time.  Thank goodness for breast collars, because Jan would have been upside down!  I quickly got off Corky and tried to push Jan up, but I just couldn't.  So we got Jan down and I tried to get the saddle straightened back up, which I did, but the blanket was bunched wrong.  Jan commented about this time that I had really nice horses considering all the commotion and they just stood there while I was trying to get things right again.  I knew we couldn't get back on Dixie without completely resaddling her, so I suggested to Jan that she get on Corky. 

Jan has trouble getting on and off horses because she needs a taller horse for her height, but her disability makes it hard to mount and dismount without a mounting block because of the height of the horse.  Corky is about a hand shorter than Dixie and Dixie is about 14.1 or 2, but I told Jan "I think you can get your foot in his stirrup and then I'll push you up.  You can ride him back and I'll walk Dixie back."  Corky took it all in stride and I could tell Jan wanted to keep riding, so I told her to keep going and I would see her back at the house.  As I was putting things away, Jan showed up on Corky.

Jan on Corky!
To me Corky has always had a smooth gait for being such a short horse and I thought it was either a fluke or I've also wondered if he has the Curly shuffle.  One of the first things Jan said was "He has like a running walk.  He's just awesome to ride!"  I told her I had wondered but I hadn't had anyone watch him.   So her comment kind of confirmed what I suspected.

Maybe the ride wasn't what I expected today, but you never know!  It was nice to get out with a friend!   

4 comments:

  1. How awesome is THAT!!!!!! Loved this post, Janeen, Corky to the rescue! And, he's gaited, too, how nice to know. I bet Jan will pick him to ride next time, too. If she can wrangle him away from you, that is.

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    1. Susan, Jan did kind of politely hint that it would be nice if I let her ride Corky when we do our benefit rides of 10 or 20 miles, so she can easily get off and back on. :) I definitely would need to get Rocky going then if I'm going to have any hope of winning the contest!

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  2. Wow that must have been a wonderful feel good moment for you! Great of Corky to take it all in stride too! I don't know if it's the shuffle or not but on a trail Linus does what I swear is the shuffle! It's trot fast but comfy couch smooth! Very cool!

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    1. It was a feel good moment, Donna! I'm still not sure if Corky is gaited, but my husband did see Jan riding by herself and he said Corky was going fast like our old horse Tex did, who is a gaited TWH. I've said all along that Corky and I just fit and I really enjoy riding him!

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