My Partner is Delight

My Partner is Delight
Heading into the great unknown

Monday, February 21, 2011


Star and Tacki waiting to be saddled up

I am going to training today. This month Nancy has been riding Lyn's horses so I have just been grooming and warming up. That has given me a nice chunk of time to work on my own horse. So I have been trying to get Star legged up.

Nancy climbed on Star for me that day and has coached me a couple of times since and things are going much better. I don't know what I would do without her help.
It really helps having Lyn ringside encouraging me on. My friend Courtney also gave me some great ideas to work on, and a lot of encouragement too. I guess it takes a village to raise a rider!

I know this arena work is sooo important. It is also very hard! I can't wait till the weather turns and I get to hit the trails.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Beginnings of AOF

When I was a kid I had no fear. I rode whatever people would let me climb aboard, including sitting two horses for the first time. I remember being bucked off by one and landing on a car hood. I thought it was great fun!

I had two horses, one I did quite well on at the state level in 4H with my horse "Babe". The second, "Spooky," I started and was soon riding around town on by myself. Then my parents sold my horses (out from under me) and I took a 20+ year break. College and a family and a non horsey husband were my new life. I never dreamed I would ever have a horse again.

My husband bought me my first horses 6 years ago.

Five years ago I took a nasty fall at a canter when my mare ducked out from under me. It was in an arena setting. I hit my head hard and messed up my back. It started a very deep root of AOF in me.

Funny thing is in the last 5 years I have successfully started 5 different horses. I have had to pass each one off once we got to the canter stage. Isn't it crazy to not be afraid to back all of those greenies for the first time, yet still have serious AOF about cantering? But I did.

It took me a year or so to canter again on Delight and even then I had to talk myself into it and I rode stiff and grabbing her mouth. She actually used to "pop the trunk" on me quite often at a canter while my Tom and kids rode her with no problems. I know that I was causing her bucking by asking her to go with my legs and holding her back with my hands, but I couldn't do anything about it!

Since then I have been riding several horses for Blue Note Arabians, done two endurance rides and been to several shows. I still deal with AOF sometimes, but I have made tremendous strides against it.

I am hoping to share some tips here on how I am overcoming this monster with the hopes it will help someone else. Maybe someone else will grow in confidence to beat It too.