Sunday, August 8, 2010

Nine's Progress

Since my last post, I have ridden Nine three more times, all out in the open. Kate and I trailered to the same spot and rode home from there. Nine didn't buck or bolt and was pretty much an angel. The next day we rode out from the house. Nine was good until I asked him to trot in a large circle. He tested me and tried to bolt, but I wouldn't let him and he bucked instead. I came off, but I held tight to the lead rope and he stopped. I have to resaddle him because the lead ended up UNDER the saddle, but after that we was fine.

Then he had a few days off, until today my mom and I rode again. We went out from the house and didn't go far. Nine was very hyper, however, and bolted - twice - when I asked him to trot. But this time I let him go for a few strides before I very firmly but steadily asked - no, told - him to slow down and turn. I think he's figured it out! Riding = pleasure! Below is a good picture my mom took today. See my Facebook for a video.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Nine again

Wow! Long time, no post! Haven't really had anything to post, I suppose.

Well, I do now. My mom and I tried to work with Nine yesterday, but he was being very flighty. I rode him in the round pen a bit, but he was very tense so I didn't want to ride him in the open, which was our goal for the day. So, instead, I rode Ashley and, ponying Nine, we trotted a loop around Saddle Crater (about 7 miles). We trotted about half that distance, walked the rest. When we got back Nine was dragging at the lead rope and he had an even sheen of sweat, so it seems we definitely took the edge off his energy!

Today we trailered Nine and Ash a few miles out to a spot I know where there is a stretch of sand clear of brush. It's about 1/2 mile from the road to the sand, so you can imagine I was disappointed when Nine dropped me at the trailer. He was fine when I mounted, and when I asked him to flex his head each way, but then he tried to walk off so I pulled his head back around and told him to "whoa", but he just started spinning! Wow, can he spin! My mom said I made it about three spins, and I was off. After about 10 minutes of hiking around before I caught him, I lead him all the way to the sand so if he tried that again, I would have a softer landing and he would have to work harder to get me off.

Well, it worked, mostly. He kept scooting away when I tried to get on, trying to take off, but after he realized all that earned him was a jerk to the mouth from the bit, he stopped and let me get on. He was a perfect angel until we started trotting. He did about four or five strides just fine, but then decided he was done, so he turned 100 degrees and started bucking. I stuck it though, barely. After he stopped, I rearranged his mess of a mane (which is ridiculously long and thick now) and we went back to my mom. Then he was fine again. We trotted again and he was a dream. He was perfect back to the trailer, but again didn't want to stand still. And when I insisted, off he went, crow-hopping, then he bolted. But he turned when I asked, about ran into a dead tree, bucked again, then planted his rear into a tree, haha! When I asked, he got out of the tree, returned to the trailer and stood while I started to get off. He had one moment of sideways as I dismounted, but he stopped as soon as he felt that rein tighten. He loaded like an angel and the ride home went smooth, other than the fact that we had to unload the horses to get the truck and trailer up a steep bit of hill, then reload them! :P

Yay! I rode him out in the open!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Trick Training

Paul and I went on a nice little ride yesterday. Paul is quite sick and I am getting there (just a sore throat and possible sinus infection, but it does make one feel like crap) so it wasn't a long ride, but it was productive. Ashley likes to really test her rider - she was trying to eat, trying to turn off the road, changing gaits, all sorts of stuff; but Paul really stepped up and didn't let her get away with it, but he didn't loose his temper either (which is impressive because he is sick - we all know how our tempers are when we are not feeling well). Hammer was awesome - he hasn't been ridden in a couple weeks, and I could tell he REALLY wanted to let loose and GO! He gets very annoyed at Ashley's slow Quarter Horse pace :P But he held himself back. It was hard for both of us, but we did it. :P We even canter some circles, showing Paul some tricks to keep Ashley in a consistent diameter (how to make circle smaller or larger, and how to keep the horse where you put it, basically). But then Hammer calmed back down and we walked home at a mostly calm and reasonable pace! I swear, that horse MUST be gaited because he can do some sort of "walk" that feels sooo nice (not exactly smooth, but rolling) and he can do it as fast as Ashley does a working trot - that's right, WORKING trot, not collected trot or jog! Then again, Hammer can trot (definitely NOT smoothly at this speed!) as fast as Ashley canters. He's just fast at all gaits :P

Anyways, both horses got in some good training. Ashley got work with going where she's told and staying in that direction, plus keeping her mouth off the grass, and I even rode her for a minute at the corrals, showing Paul how to get her to side-pass (she doesn't do it yet very well - in fact yesterday was the first time she got a real lesson). So now he knows how to ask for it and she knows what he is asking for. Hammer got a lesson in calming down because I will let him move, I promise! He just has to chill out while we do it :D

Then later than afternoon I worked with hammer on the ground. I got him bowing a lot better - as in, he stays on the ground for more than a split millisecond :P I even got him to stay bowed while I got on, then got him to bow again with me on him. We did that a couple times, then i got off while he was bowed. Very cool :P Not yet very graceful with the dismount because the ground wasn't exactly where I thought it was, but it was still cool. Then I worked with nine on the same thing, but he isn't nearly as far along as Hammer. I got one good bow out of Nine, though. That was the first time he had gotten his knee all the way to the ground. He is starting to trust that I won't kill him while he is down :P

And today I am even more sick! So even though it is a fairly nice day, I am stuck inside resting and down (yuck) homework.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I rode Nine!

This will be short, but in a nutshell - Yesterday we ponied Nine about 9 miles, with me on him. This did wonders for my confidence! Today I rode Nine alone, in the large pen (because I don't have an arena). It was only 20 minutes or so, but it was great. I would love to say that I will ride him tomorrow outside the pen after I get out of class, but I would be lying. You see, I hopped on Hammer to chase some frisky donkeys back into the pen, and didn't realize how frisky he was himself. He tossed me, not once, but twice! Well geez, now my ankle is sprained.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Riding with Kristi

My friend Kristi spent the night Friday and we went riding Saturday. It was a little cold but we were fine and the horses fresh. It was a good time. Here are some pictures.

Catching Hammer:

Kristi on Ashley:

Me and Kristi posing with my daughter (Elayne and my mom met up with us near the end of the driveway):

By the end of the ride Kristi was feeling pretty confident! Not bad since this was her first time on a horse in several years. Good girl!

Friday, January 15, 2010


On Wednesday Paul and I went riding, but on our way out the gate we heard Nine whinnying up a storm! I felt terrible so I went back and threw a halter on him so he could come riding too! Well, we didn't make it far before he spooked at something, and I couldn't hold him and Hammer at the same time, so I let Nine go. But Paul went back and got him, and he was perfect the rest of the ride. We saw some cows, which for some odd freaked all three horses out, even though Hammer and Ashley have both worked cows before... Silly ponies! But Nine just stuck by Ashley and Paul didn't have any trouble with them (I, meanwhile, was busy trying to calm Hammer down - he was running circles so I tried to keep him away from Nine so Nine didn't start trying to bolt). But after that, everyone was calm and relaxed, and we had a really nice ride. Paul even trotted Ash and Nine, and while Hammer got over-excited, Nine did not. We plan to keep taking him with us on rides. Next time I want him saddled. Soon I hope to have a chance to take him to the cinders and put a good ride on him.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Winter Braids

My mother in law suggested (last year) that I put the horses' manes and tails into braids for the winter so they have lush, full, beautiful hair come spring. Well, I finally got around to it today. I did Nine's mane, laughed about how silly he looks, then I had to go inside to switch the laundry to the dryer, and when I came back out he was standing fine. But then my daughter and the dog spooked him. Apparently the knot was loose, because when I looked, after getting Elayne away from the horse, he had reached the end of the lead, which suddenly caught and whipped him around. His head hit the end of a pole. I put Elayne against the wall and told her not to move, and when I got to Nine he was working his jaw, which worried me a lot because I feared he had broken his jaw. Luckily he did not, but he did knock a tooth loose. I got some pliers and yanked it the rest of the way out. Nine drank some water so I didn't need to splash his mouth clean. So I took a look, and the tooth that came out was a baby tooth. The adult tooth is already through, so I don't think we have much to worry about. It looks like his mouth was open when it hit the pole and he has a cut in his gums. I will keep an eye open for infection.

Later Elayne took a nap so I went back out and did Nine's tail and Hammer's mane. Hammer did not enjoy it at all! He keeps giving me dirty looks. Nine doesn't seem to mind, even though he looks like a Rastafarian. He feelin' groovy mon.