Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cheating Part 1

Before I get to the meat of this post, I have a question.

Why do all the Merry Go Round horses look so stressed out? I mean look at these poor things.

(Mireya keeps a loose rein, but her horse is still miserable.)

(Check them out. They are FREAKING OUT. Their ears are PINNED
What are those sculptors thinking? Relieving some crappy pony rides as children??)

oh, and I'll be interspersing some random vacation pictures just for fun during this post.

Okay here we go.

To be honest, the entire time I was on vacation I was relieved to be horse free. So much so that I was wondering if I even wanted to have horse anymore.

You know, there are a thousand reasons to get rid of your horses.

  1. They're expensive.
  2. They are a huge time commitment.
  3. They can hurt the snot out of you.
  4. They are not particularly useful.
  5. They don't pick up after themselves.
  6. They have little regard for the cost of the saddle or their shoes, and are fine scrapping them off at every opportunity.
  7. etc. etc.

I thought of all these reasons while we were gone and they all seemed very reasonable. But I knew I had committed to the clinic and it was important.

Still, I got a good deal of writing done and wondered how much more I'd do if I didn't have to mess with a horse during my limited off time. (Probably none, but I was in that kind of space, ya know.)

(the highlight of the trip. A talking trashcan at the Magic Kingdom)

We got back and my new saddle had arrived. And I didn't rush out to the stables to see how it would fit.

I was dreading riding.

For good reason, as it turned out. Went on a short afternoon trail ride and I had to turn back before the other riders because I just didn't have time for the whole ride. I hadn't even gotten to warm him up at all. Anyway at the point I decided to turn around, I got off Cibolo to lead him a ways since I figured he'd got a bit nuts seeing the rest go away and didn't want to mess with it from the saddle where are issues are simply too intense. Got on about 50 yards later. Got 3/4 of the way back and he started calling out for horses.

This annoyed me. I turned him in circles each time and he stopped. But he was agitated. Got to a field and he was acting up. So I did what I should have done in So. Texas. I got off and sent him in fast hard circles around me until I had his total attention. Then I rode him on the road - walking towards home, turning and trotting back, walking back on the road, then turning and trotting back to the starting point. Did it about 10 times and by the end he was completely listening to me.

But came home thinking of the thousand reasons to sell your horse:

  1. All their equipment is expensive.
  2. They walk in poop and get fungus in their hooves.
  3. They are total spazes if they haven't had breakfast.
  4. They can kick a hole in plywood with no regard to the hassle of replacing said plywood.

In the end there is only one reason to keep your horse.

Because you want to.

(Sierra has this "cool" thing going on. I'm loving it.
She finds a way to be rebel with mickey mouse ears)

My husband and I had a long talk. I say it's not fun. He says he's just getting into it. He asks me if I'm ticked off at him because he's having an easier time of it. I say no, it really doesn't work that way with me. He didn't ride for a year after his fall from Canyon. Which wasn't even a bad fall, more of a slide off in the round pen. Now he's on Lily and it took him months to get to the confident place he is now, comfortable to trot, canter.

And she's dead broke.

I'm trying to ride through the time that's equivalent to the time he took off from horses. And this is after I spent a year riding an unpredictable bucking horse. I'm barn sour in my own way.

While I was gone, two of the books I ordered came in - books I ordered after reading about them on Kate's blog (I've added them to my list on the side, you can find them both on Amazon (Be with Your Horse and A Horses Thought)). They gave me some ideas to try and reinforced some other things, which I'll get into later in part 2. Because this post is already way too long!

But I'll leave you with this: when I headed out today, I decided I'd cheat. Totally, completely cheat.

Ironically, it was an inspiration from Disney World. Where I escaped from horses (except for the tormented Merry Go Round ones).

(In a way, I'm doing this for her. Mommy can't give up
cuz she's chicken or she's sending this princess a real lame message.)


Veronica said...

The merry go round horses look like they're burning in the pits of hell or something. Creepy.

Cheating? I'm looking forward to reading how. I got a couple of saddles the other day for my mares (that I haven't ridden yet) and I haven't tried them on yet. I think I'm still quite a bit nervous about it.

Life at Star's Rest said...

That has always bugged me about carousel horses too and when I was little, I would look for the horse whose mouth wasn't open when I rode one.

If you think about the time in history that carousels started and the horses they were modeled on, that's probably about how most of them looked when they were being ridden or driven. I think it's time the carvers changed all of that and gave us some peaceful horses!

I'm interested to read Part II.


Cara said...

Onyl you can decided if you want to keep riding. My recomendation is to find a good trainer and ride with them for a while. Not one or two lessons, but a lesson or two a week for a few months. They will help you set goals and work toward them. You will have help in seeing your progress. Really. This is my recomendation. Then, decide.