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.