Monday, March 11, 2013

Sneaking a ride in before dark!

Today the weather was very mixed, it had rained the last few days and there were reports of thunder storms to the west of us. All of our snow has melted, and these big yellow-dark clouds threatened hail! But, in between there were breaks of sunshine that warmed us. My helper and I were busy mucking out stalls, and chatting, and afterwards we warmed up with a tea, I said, let's go ride. I wanted to get Diamond going again. I rode her the other day without a saddle, as that is how she was trained, but it was time to really get her going again. So, we started brushing. The horses had rolled in the mud, and there was dry dust flying in big thick puffs everywhere. The Curlies have started to really shed now, and so piles of fluffly hair were forming with flying waifs all around. The weather was cold enough that we shouldn't bath, so we settled for getting the dried mud off, and combing out the loose hair. They looked rather good.

Saddling the mares, we headed for the roundpen, it was not at its driest but we really needed to warm the ladies up and lunge them before mounting. I double lunge horses all the time, sometime even three at a time, to warm them up, let them settle especially after a long winter, or when they've been in the box. So, we started to lunge (saddled and bridled) boy were the girls full of vinegar! A few bucks there, a challenge here, it was like watching rodeo horses! Well, their getting enough nutrients. Diamond, who is kept in the mare herd, calmed right down, however Lark who is kept in the box and gets turn out every day really had some power, it took her a few more rounds to settle.

We left the roundpen to mount. I first rode Lark to see that she was really settled down, and she was, and so my helper was up in a flash, and I mounted Diamond. Diamond has an interesting history, she was trained only with a rope halter and it was said she couldn't be ridden with a bit. Now, I believe in bits, as it was told me that once Diamond took off with a rider at one point. Diamond you see was bred at our farm, and is a fantastic horse. She wasn't trained though by us, and so we are working on certain parts, filling out Diamond's training, and one of those is to use a bit. She's been with us for a while now, and has really gotten settled with the bridle and bit.

We started with lunging her with a bridle and bit without reins last year. And, I started riding her initially with the rope halter and lead line as control while she got used to no pressure at all on the bridle and bit. Over time, a four rein system (like with a borsal where one uses the borsal and a bit to get the horse used to the feel) helped Diamond to understand what was being asked of her. She's much better now, and so today we restarted where we left off, light flexions to the right, to the left, giving by flexing in briefly, each time my hands offering a release within a second of her responding. Work in the walk and then the trot. It went well, and she was very concentrated on the work. Diamond is a bit of comic so she can often get distracted, so I was really proud of her. This is the first time in several months that she had been ridden except for a couple f rounds in the roundpen at the walk a few days before. Last year, we worked with her all summer to get her trail riding. I'm very happy with the results. My helper also did a great job riding Lark, she has spent a time away from riding, and is now really getting the hang of it again. We finished up just as it was getting dark!

Sadly, we forgot the camera :( I'll try to remember next time, it is just things happen so fast here, that sometimes I don't know that I'm going to ride until the last minute when the weather says, go for it!

1 comment:

  1. In the US, we just had daylight savings time, so shortly I will be able to have time to ride after work, because our evenings just lengthened by an hour.

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