Sunday, April 27, 2008
Star's first saddling was today. We imprinted her as a foal, and we have been sacking her out all along. So, she took to her first saddling like a champ. No bucking or silliness at all.
She just turned two this month so it will be a while before we actually ride her. By the time she is big enough to ride she will already have been bridled and saddled and taken out on the trail.
Then, when it is time to ride all we will have to do is climb on.
Well, at least that is the plan!
Thursday, April 24, 2008
It reminded me of when I was a kid positioning the animals around the manger scene at Christmas time. The camel always went behind the donkey, nestled right next to one another, looking at the Christ child.
I love looking out my kitchen window at the horses. I often see things I wish were immortalized in a picture. Speedy and Spinner (and Star) often are out there playing happily. It's ironic that our two "rescue" horses are the most playful, isn't it? They rear up on their back legs like wild mustangs, teeth flashing and manes flying. I know by the time I got out there with a camera they would stop their hyjinks and come trotting up to me looking for a treat, so I don't even try. Wish I had a picture of that!
The day Star was born I took gobs of pictures. Some of the most precious were ones of my oldest son (who was there for the birth) with her before she even got up. There were pictures of her very first efforts to stand, and her first attempts at nursing. I uploaded the pictures to my laptop, deleted the card on the camera and took more pictures. A week later - you guessed it- my laptop crashed and I lost all of my pictures. I wish I had those pictures!
One day last summer we took the kids and their horses to a show. Luckily it was a local show because our beloved hen Caddie decided to stow away in the tack compartment of the trailer! I have so many stories about this little red hen that I could devote a whole blog to her adventures. When we arrived at the show and opened the door, there she was sitting on a saddle blanket. Not a feather ruffled. I just know she was thinking, "What? Did you think you were just going to leave me behind??"
We had to unhook the trailer and taxi her back home in the truck. Wish I had a picture of that!
Here is a picture from last winter. It was taken at night. Amelia was following me around (as usual) and Star nearly got a hold of her tail! Wouldn't be the first time though. A few years ago Ted actually did grab her by the tail! He swung her side to side before she was able to scramble free! Now that is a sight that I wish I had a picture of! Crazy cat... you would think she would learn!
Spring is heating up here and I am spending more time outside. My card reader is lost and I can't upload my new pictures... ummm can't think of any more excuses for not keeping my blog updated!
So here is a picture of the Horse and his Boy. Cody had his first lesson on Speedy last week. You would never ever know that this horse only has 3 months of sporadic riding under his belt and that his rider is a novice. They are a really great team!
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Yesterday at my riding lesson I cantered more then I have since I was 16 years old. I also made a significant progress in conquering my AOF. As I was riding my horse, I was actually having a dream at the same time. I was an animal that was part bird and part lion. I was soaring high above all the horse barns of the world looking for deprived, skinny horses. But to no avail, all I could find was an Arabian horse farm. What a sad sight. I wish I could help, but couldn’t. So I called for my side kick, D. She came in a whoosh and fed all those Arabians and they instantly became nice and plump like all horses should be. Then, I awoke and found my self on my own plump horse Delight. What a dream.
Friday, April 11, 2008
At my last riding lesson I cantered a little bit, but not much. My usual canter consists of about 100 yards or about one lap around the arena. By that time I am usually so tense that I start bouncing all out of sync with my horse and have to stop or I will come right off. A few years ago I had a wreck while I was cantering. As much as I know that the fear is all in my head, it is almost impossible for me to just relax and canter.
I made the mistake of telling my trainer that I wanted to get over this fear.
So yesterday she had me trotting. And trotting. And trotting. Over cavaletti, in figure eights, while leg yielding, around and across the arena I trotted. I tend to drop my head and shoulder in when I go around a curve, kinda like you do when you are riding a motorcycle. I have been really working on it, but when I am scared I do it without thinking. I must have been nervous because I could not keep my shoulder up. So I trotted some more.
“Do it again”, “And again”, “You dropped your shoulder”, “Watch your head, you’re tilting it in again”.
She must have gotten tired of reminding me.
Finally it was time.
“Okay, lets canter.”
So I cantered, and cantered…and cantered. I was so tense my shoulders started to ache, so I cantered some more. When I changed directions I had a flashback of my wreck, so… I cantered some more.
Finally my mind cleared and I started to relax.
“Slow her down Char.”
I didn’t even realize I was going fast.
Now, understand that Delight doesn’t have a “slow down”. I had to really concentrate on asking her to slow and keeping her going at the same time. No more room in my brain for fear… pick up the reins, squeeze with the legs, push her with your seat, don’t lean in around the corner…
Suddenly I was flying! I was free! No fear! My muscles were remembering what I taught them 25 years ago! How exhilarating!
Afterwards I gave Delight the full spa treatment. I brushed her mane, tail, everything. She did such a great job teaching me how to ride again. I love my Lil’ Red Sports Car!
I think my trainer earned her keep too.
Here is a picture of Delight and I riding into the horizon last summer. I agree with whoever it was that said, "The world looks best when framed by my horses ears."
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Their 4H club had their annual Play Day fun show. It was the Blazer's big debut. Katy also took her horse Tawshi.
Spinner took everything in stride. He was "IncrediPony" and his rider was "WonderGirl"! Cherish couldn't get him going much faster than a trot, but he tried so hard for her! She was riding him all over the place with the other kids - in a halter! He acted like he was a broke horse.
Cherish had a permanent grin on her face.
Katy and Tawshi did a great job too. They even won 3rd place in the Keyhole event! Katy also did a lot of things that she might have been scared to do last year like riding up and down the steep hill to the arena . Yay Katy!
At first Speedy was a little bit buddy sour and opinionated about which direction he wanted to go, but he was just acting the green horse that he is. Tom led the pair in the first few classes but by the end, Cody was riding alone! Good job Cody and Speed Devil!
At one point in the day Cody and Cherish took off with a couple of friends to the lower arena. I held my breath, stayed where I was and watched from a distance. Before I knew it they were both LOPING on their horses! First lope for both of the kids on their horses!!
After the show a bunch of kids untacked and rode around the arena bareback. Cherish and Katy joined them, and before I knew it Cody wanted to try too. Here is the proof!
Oh, and this is the first bareback ride for both the Blazer Boys too!
(Yes Cherish put a helmet on right after this picture) These girls were *trotting* all around bareback!
Cody didn't trot bareback for as long, in fact Speedy loped a few strides with him so he decided to hop off. But, I couldn't be prouder of my "Dash" and his pony Speed Devil!