Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Five horses

Stolen from jumping-percheron.
1. The Intro Horse
We each came into horses in our own way, but it was always with a horse leading us. This might have been a friend’s first pony, or perhaps it was a draft horse on a farm you once visited It might have been a real-life meeting, or an imaginary one.

For me, this was an old bay Quarter horse named Tank. He had one eye, and had foundered several times by the time he came to our lesson barn. This guy was the first horse I fell for. He never spooked nor did he ever run off. He was way to big for my eighth grade self and I wish I would have known what I know now when I rode him.

2. The Experimental Horse
Once you had crossed the line between “Darn, they’re big!” and “Wow! Can I try that?” you found yourself face-to-face with the horse that would suffer through your early attempts at figuring out the whole horse experience … wherever this horse came from, he probably didn’t benefit from the encounter as much as you did…

This was a black Quarter Horse mare named Annie. She taught me everything while I experimented and learned. She taught me almost all that I know about caring for horses. If I didn't cool her out long enough the old girl wouldn't eat. I soon learned all there is to know about cooling horses out. She wouldn't pick up her feet unless you did it just right with some gumption. She made you work for everything she gave you but was a great friend and teacher.

3. The Connected Horse
The first horses we meet don’t really connect with us, nor do we with them. Those are experiences in survival and tests of endurance. The Connected Horse is the first horse you truly bond with. This is the horse that sounds a chord that lives so deep in you that you might never have heard it otherwise…
4. The Challenger
Into each horseperson’s life, a little challenge must fall. You’ll have read that one final training book, bought yourself a clicker and heading rope, and there you’ll stand, arms crossed, assessing the situation as if you actually knew what the situation was. It might be difficult to believe, as you are flying down the aisleway on the losing end of a braided cotton line, but you actually need this horse in your life…
5. Your Deepest Heart
There will come a time when you will look at yourself with a cold, appraising eye, and you’ll have to be honest about your continued ability to deal with The Challenger and other difficult horses. At that point, you’ll seek out the horse that will be your soul mate forever… You’ll have bought him the most comfortable, best fitting equipment… Maybe you’ll still go to shows and ride – brilliantly or barely – in the Alzheimer’s class. Maybe you’ll just stay home. Whatever you do, one day you’ll realize that after all the money you spent on animal communicators and trainers, you only had to stop and listen and you would have clearly heard your horse’s thoughts and desires…
Oh dearest pride matches all of these at various points in our time together. When I first met him, he challenged me on everything. He wanted to know I was capable of being the boss. He needed someone to call all his own. I became that girl and boy was I his boss. Then he became the horse I was connected with. I could pull onto the street and as soon as he saw my car, he would wander on up to the gate and wait for me. No exaggeration. That boy would come running if I whispered his name. Towards the end, he was my everything. I would have put a baby on his back and still know everything would be fine. We were devoted to each other. He was amazing.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I've been kind of worried about how my saddle fits Rally lately. There haven't been any problems at all but I want him to be happy and comfortable of course. So after reading dressagemom's blog series titled Saddle up I really decided I need to get a saddle fitter out to the barn. My English saddle is a wide or medium tree (i'm not sure because I bought it used) but it has fit a multitude of horses in the past and I've never had any problems riding any horses in it. The western saddle we borrow for Rally is a roping saddle made with full Quarter Horse bars. Rally is not a Quarter Horse. He is half Appaloosa but he is also half Arabian. I'm naturally a worrier about everything so I hope that the saddles do fit him. I'll have to look around for a fitter.
I'm thinking about taking Rally to a clinic in March. It's pretty low key and low drama type stuff but it's with my amazing trainer so I think we could learn a lot. Since I'm learning her style of riding, I'd love for Rally to master being a horse with her training. I love training and teaching Rally things because he is so intelligent and receptive. He gets things immediately. That's the Arab in him :) It reminds me of Pride.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

To you, From Rally

Hey all, Rally here. I hijacked the blog because dude's girlfriend wasn't keeping up with it.
So dude's girlfriend finally gets some money to take her lessons. She loves the lady and she's actually riding way better. I finally understand what the majority of her cues mean.
The humans have a new thought on why I am the way I am. THey think someone just got on me and didn't give me any prepatory command. Well they've been working on it I tell you. First dude's girlfriend inhales (this is supposed to be #1 notification that we will be moving soon), then she clucks twice out loud (this is known as notification #2 to get my little legs moving), then she squeezes with her big ol' legs (which is comparable to hey knucklehead get your pretty little legs moving). I love it. I don't have to be nervous the whole time waiting to get my sides kicked in. Basically prepatory commands=marvelous.
So now that dude's girlfriend and her little trainer friend figured this out, DG (dude's girlfriend) decides we are both bored and wants to experiment a little. Turns out she knows how to push the right buttons and gets a turn on the forehand and some leg yields and side passing out of me. Ta-Da silly girl I am a most knowledgeable horse being.
I am ready now for my main man to get on so I can teach him the ways of life. Main man wants a black saddle though. Apparently Dude's Girlfriend is having trouble finding the right one. It seems like I don't mind her tiny little english saddle though.
On the day to day living note- It's really MUDDY!!!! I'm glad I have such amazing feet inherited from my Arabian side of things. Dude's Girlfriend decided to try precious Pride's blanket on me. They had to let the straps out quite a bit, do you think they are trying to tell me something? Pride was a full Arabian and he was mr.buff because he liked to show off for Dude's Girlfriend. It fits lenghtwise though. HOORAY!!!! I have a wonderful blue blanket now and of course I am the most handsome horse on the farm.
Dude's Girlfriend is trying to grow my mane out. She apparently is waiting for a contraption called MTG to come in at Tractor Supply. I don't want it to be too girly though. I am a macho horse.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Rally CAN walk :)

It's been a while since my last post and if anyone is actually reading this, I'm sorry!!

So Saturday afternoon, we lunged Rally and got him to walk, trot and canter both ways which is something I didn't even try for before this. But he can do it!! Chrissy (AMAZING barn owner where Rally lives) showed us some new lunging techniques so we'll be teaching him what we learn. It's a learning process for all of us...which doesn't work for some horses but our Rally is a very patient guy and doesn't mind being in the slow learning class with us humans :)
I also got to ride SUPER calm I totally forgot what it's like to ride those big ol' Quarter Horses. His spook is like a freeze in your spot but not think about going anywhere spook. Very different from Pride's AHHH IT'S GOING TO EAT ME!! RUN AWAY!! EVERYONE!
He is so well trained...he can be steered completely with legs, no rein contact needed, which is as it should be for a well trained reining horse like himself...I'll post some pics next time I ride him. He is a western riders' dream. Chrissy would like to see him in an English saddle...which I can totally help with!
I rode Sir Rally on Monday...MUCH BETTER. He didn't even get to a canter or a fast trot...he'd break into a trot I would say ah ah in my mean LISTEN TO ME voice and he would slooooow down. Bryan actually got to get on him for his first ride on Rally boy since Bryan got broken :) HOORAY for the boys riding together.
The new farrier comes tomorrow...should go well. I'm excited to meet him. Dakota threw a shoe and might get it put back on...we'll see. I'll post again either tomorrow night or the next day...I'm getting a lesson from the lovely trainer Terry Peiper and looking forward to it :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's official...

Rally lunges!! I checked him out today and since it was so beautiful, I took him to the round pen to see what he knows. WOW, he has spent some time on that. He knows all the cues that I know and executes them very well!! I'll have to get some pictures. I decided to teach Bryan how to lunge in a spur of the moment decision, and he's not too bad at it. Bryan is a great student, and soaks up every bit on information. I'll have more tomorrow!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Welcome to my blog :)

This blog is named for a wonderful Arabian that passed on July 28th, 2009. He was fifteen years old at that time and was taken from me after five wonderful months of a partnership. It was way too soon. I rode Western before I found him and switched to English just for him. He was the sporty type of Arabian, descended from Padrone lines, and you couldn't have found a horse that was more like Padrone than this boy. He would do anything with me. By anything I mean one day we were riding along a road that happened to be busy at that moment in time, and what comes along but a lumbering big rig along this back country road. When I say lumbering, I mean this thing was clanking and jake braking and just causing a ruckus. I said to Pride before it got to us, buddy it's going to be okay if you keep your head about you and I promise you'll be fine. And it was okay, because he just poked his head up and puffed up his chest like his aggressive self and kept on marching. I said good boy and hugged him as soon as it passed. He was supposed to teach me how to jump. I had never taken a jump before in my life. I took a foot high one at a trot, and ended up hanging off his neck. He looked me like okay mom, that's not where you're supposed to be, climb back up so I can keep making us look good.
He meant the world to me and I think I was something special to him. His previous owner told me several times how he was never that nice with her and he would prance all over the place and constantly try to bit her. He would put his muzzle against my chest and would stand with me 'til the cows came hom. That gelding taught me more in five months than I learned in eleven years of horsemanship. He was not my first horse, but he was my favorite. As this blog goes on, so will the memories of Pride.
I ride a couple different horses now but haven't found that perfect one yet. I'll wait and I don't mind it one bit. My man has a horse, an Arabian and Appaloosa cross; aka- Arapaloosa (I hate these chopped up breed names). He's a handsome big guy and has already thrown the man off to get a broken collar bone and rib. That does not mean Rally is dangerous. He heard a gun shot and my man lost his balance and Rally didn't appreciate it. Rally is teaching my man all about horse ownership and I need to teach Rally that not all owners want him to just go fast. He was badly trained for either barrel racing or reining, as soon as he's in the ring he just wants to take off. I've ridden him several times and have managed to get through to him. He's a self conscious horse that thrives off of praise.
My project for the winter is a friend Reining Quarter Horse. He's for sale by the way, a big gray gelding that has a huge personality. I'll keep the blog updated as I can.