Friday, July 19, 2013

Back in a Saddle

In a strange twist of fate due to having awesome friends, I got to ride two(!!) horses today. First up is a lovely bay mare that ran at the ** level eventing, but had to be retired due to soundness issues. She belongs to a cool local breeding farm now and is set to have her first baby next year. She's super out of shape, but has a great mind and OMG SO MANY BUTTONS!

Me on Gracie, Lins on cool dressage horse 
She's long and lean like Cuna, but oh so flexible and light. Even though she has no muscle tone, she tried really hard and gave me some super nice work. I kept it to walk/trot out of respect for her condition, but we had snappy leg yields, shoulder in, transitions within the gaits, and a niiiiice stretchy walk. I informed redheadlins (who got me the ride in the first place) that we should all have ** horses. They are quite nice.

After a series of adventures involving the power company, we were off to ride at the next barn. I was reunited with Gunner, the cool little appendix gelding.

Trotting around
He is a good boy, but he does like to curl up behind the bit and I do like an artificially soft horse. I decided to ride more forward and flat and take very little contact and see if I could reduce the amount of curling we did for the duration of the ride.

It went very well. We warmed up on a loose rein, walking and trotting until he relaxed and went forward.

Still ahead of the vertical
Lots of trotting.

As he relaxed, I was able to pick up some contact and start asking him to do more interesting things. He was having a bit of a spooky day, so I tried to be more interesting than the surroundings and he settled right in.

I have a terrible habit that is fostered by my love of forward horses--I like to give really imprecise canter cues and not really ride the transition. Gunner doesn't let me get away with it because he has such a lovely lengthen trot that he just rolls right in to. Today, I sat up, held the contact, and asked precisely. Wouldn't you know, he picked up a lovely canter and didn't even try to drop to trot.

 And then, since redheadlins is playing with a fancy new phone, I bring you sweet time lapse (maybe?) photos.

And super cool jumping shot:
Yeah Gunner!

It's not my best equitation ever, but for not having jumped an actual jump since April, it's not bad. Maybe I'll get brave next time and you know, jump a vertical or something crazy. We'll see. 


  1. I firmly believe that mares that are in foal should be worked, not hard but enough to keep good muscle on them, until the day they give birth. Makes total sense, they will have the muscles to push that baby out and the likelihood of them getting hurt is cut down because they are in shape. He is super cute!!!

  2. So glad to hear you are getting to ride. I'm sure it is good for you in many many ways!

  3. The water was finally back on tonight with some breaker flipping involved!

  4. Glad you're getting to ride :-)

  5. Wooow, I wanna ride the ** mare! Too bad you can't adopt her. ;)

    And the time lapse photo is cool... except the ghost ears at the bottom are a leetle bit freaky.

    1. The ears kindof freaked me out too, and I'm the one who took the pick:/

  6. Nice to see you in the saddle. It's great having different horses to ride and to find out that you can actually ride them!! Great confidence builder.

  7. Yahoo!!! And i love the lapsed pictures!!!


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