Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Another Ride!

My younger and less broken friend came over today to help me with Nine! Nine was doing his act of half buck, half jump as we try to get on - it's becoming more frequent which means we need to stop letting him know that he will get away with it! Anywho, he was doing that yesterday when I tried briefly to mount him, and it freaked me out more, and then we ran out of time. So today we tried again; me, MiL and Casie, the younger less broken type. Casie lived through Nine's antics twice before he would let her get all the way up on him. She followed my routine and got all her weight on him once or twice before swinging the other leg over. Unfortunately she has a blister on her heel and her boot broke it open again (ouch)! So I traded with her and took over from there - Nine was perfect! MiL was - as usual - on Ashley acting as a rock for Nine as well as for me (and Casie this time too). But MiL had to leave for work so I only had 20 minutes to work with him - I got on and we ponied around the round pen for a few minutes, then I got off. Nine spooked when I came off, so I got back on and dismounted again; that time he was good. We could have ridden some more, but I wanted help from MiL putting the saddles away and such.

Tomorrow Casie is going to have her Senior pictures taken with Nine, 'cause he's the most gorgeous thing in existence and all that. I had mine with Hammar so it's turning into a tradition - high school pictures and wild horses, hehe! Afterward we might have time to work with Nine and riding again, then I need to haul a goat to her new home. I sold little Thelma for $60, so now I have some gas money to haul Hammar and Ashley to the County Fair horse show, yay! Ashley's just coming along for the ride and so Casie and MiL have a horse to muck about with; Hammar and I will compete in English Bareback (equitation class on the flat), Hunter Hack over fences 2'6" (only to jumps, but I think we will be the only ones in the ring at a time), Hunt Seat Equitation over Fences 2'6" (this is more than 2 jumps; like 6 or 8 I think), and Working Hunter over Fences 2'6" (at least 8 jumps). I should be fun!

Well goodnight everyone; I'm off to Dream Land for the night.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hammar and Ashley

Sorry for the lack of updates; I have done almost nothing with Nine except leading him from one pen to another and putting fly spray on him... But Hammar and Ashley have been being worked.

There is a loop of road that goes around Saddle Crater; I thought it was about 3 miles, but it takes Hammar 2 hours to trot it; I KNOW he's going more that 1.5 miles per hour... So I figure the loop must be more than 3 miles. Anyways, Ashley can do it alternating walk to trot back to walk every 20 seconds; Hammar can do it at a trot almost the whole way - I let him walk for 20 seconds every time he wanted to slow down but he only needed 3 breaks like this the whole way.

Yesterday Ashley got a fairly hard lesson in right leads. Some days she changes leads just fine, some days... well, not so fine. She very rarely does flying lead changes, but yesterday she was being especially tough. So I let her run for 1/2 mile or so, then we cantered some circles. It took many many tries before she got on her right lead. She only did it then, I think, because she had gotten SO frustrated with me... She bolted when I asked her to move in to a lope. BUT - she was on the right lead when she did it! So I kept her going in a circle to the right, and had her canter as long as she would. Then it was only about 500 tries again before she got the right lead again, hehe.

Today my mother in law and I rode out across the road. We had a very nice run through a cinder pit until Ashley broke the brush she was tied to while MiL took a pee. My MiL estimates we went at least 10 miles, and Ashley has really shown a huge improvement in her stamina. She still has energy left over, even though she has been worked fairly hard (for her) twice this week. Hammar was being rather callus in that he kept scraping my knee on Ash's flank, and ignoring my leg cues. But he showed his worth on the cinder pit, running like the wind! He has barely broken a sweat this entire week, even through the unknown length trot, and even through the cinder run he had to catch his breath (he is rarely worked hard enough to be breathing hard - he just doesn't run out of wind!) he still was only sweaty under the saddle. Ashley has - both days - has sweat on all parts of her body, but she is feeling great and looking awesome! Her hindquarters are really filling out, finally. She's half quarter horse but you'd never know it looking at pictures of her minuscule hindquarters!

Starting Tuesday Elayne goes back to the sitter's and I can start back up again.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Scaredy Cat!

Today the plan was to ride Nine with my mom as well as my mother in law along. Well, the winds and rain (if you can call that sprinkling "rain") have been coming in earlier in the day so it was already breezy when we got out there. Then the Grandmas started very subtly trying to best each other in every aspect imaginable... The tension got to Nine and I. Nine hasn't been ridden in at least a week, and he was, well, spirited today, which didn't help at all. I was getting extremely nervous and I just had a terrible feeling about riding him. Last time I actually got on a horse acting like that when I felt like that, I got bucked off Hammar. So I worked with Nine until he would stand for my weight in the stirrup then called it done.

Me (safe on Hammar) and my mom rode to the wash, maybe 2 1/2 miles away, and we got some pictures:

Then back home we posed for more photos:

Friday, July 3, 2009

Rode Again

I'm sorry, no pictures today... Fiance was sleeping because he has to work tonight, so we didn't have a photographer. But my dad took Elayne while me and the MiL worked with Nine. This time I got on without anyone holding Nine, and I rode him around the round pen for a while and got him used to the crop - he's really quite lazy! Then we opened the gate and followed Ashley off the property! Nine tried to eat once we got near the grass, and he was really quite diligent about it too, so I had to hand the lead rope to MiL so we could pull Nine off the grass. He wasn't pulling hard on the bit, but he wouldn't raise his head or move his feet either. My dad rode by three times on his Harley (yes, he had my 2 year old daughter on the motorcycle - they stay very slow and never go near pavement, and Elayne loves it) and Nine just looked at the bike as if he was wondering how his baby got up there... We went back onto the property and I took full control of Nine again. We stepped over the few obstacles I have around the place, mostly jumps that have fallen down and two halves of a barrel that was cut "hotdog style" with the sides laid end to end. Nine took it all in stride and even trotted a little bit for me. I was able to turn him away from his mare, and he spotted the chickens too. He was not at all concerned about the chickens; he was more interested in the hay they were pecking at!

Then we met back up with Ashley and MiL to try to trot again before I put Nine away. Well, MiL was using the end of her lead rope as a whip for Lazy Ash, and the end of it got pretty close to Nine's nose and brought him up short. Then I applied the crop, and he gave one jump, stopped, bucked and took off at actually a very nice high-headed canter, but strait for the garden fence! I was pulling on the right rein like I usually do when Hammar pulls crazy moves on me. But Nine responds better so far to the left rein. But Nine finally saw the garden and turned right - towards the corrals. Then I released the rein pressure as he slowed to a walk. I have a small scrape on my arm and I had a bunch of juniper tree in my mouth, but I was otherwise unharmed and I still had my seat. Then I tried to walk Nine until my heat slowed, but he kept scraping me in the trees and "spooking" when the branches touch his flanks! It was like was trying to find an excuse to "play" some more! So we went back into the round pen and walked around twice each direction, stopped, backed up two steps (his record so far) and walked forward half the radius of the pen, then stopped again. He was perfect as I dismounted and lead him to the inner tube to tie and unsaddle him. As I walked away with the saddle Nine gave me an almost pleading look as if to say, "please don't go! I'll be good, I promise!" But there is a storm brewing and I was starving to death so away I went.

Soon the baby sitter will be able to watch Elayne again (she's been away with her family) and I can get more rides on Nine. Wish me luck!

Pictures this time, yay!

I rode Nine again, this time outside the round pen but still with my mother in law holding the lead rope (more for my comfort than for control of Nine). This has been helping my confidence so much! Nine has really been enjoying it too, I think. He has been much more friendly. He was never "cold" towards me or anyone, but he's turning into a puppy dog these days, licking our hands and following us around. Here are some pictures from yesterday after we got back on the property.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I did it, I did it!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I rode Nine. We had an hour or two while Elayne napped and after Paul got home, so I and my mother in law went out to work with Nine. He remembered everything like we did it yesterday, not nearly two weeks ago. I quickly was on him, then we ponied him from Ashley around the round pen for a while. Then MiL got off and tied the lead rope to Nine's saddle and we rode around unconnected, so to speak. All in all, I was on Nine about half an hour! We didn't trot, but Nine soon relaxed and settled into a nice swinging walk. Tomorrow morning we will hopefully be able to take him on a short ride outside the pen before we're off to town to buy groceries.