Sunday, August 29, 2010

Headset, schmedset; Mireya and Cody in love; Sierra cantering like a wild child

Okay, here's how things are:

Jill is right. What the heck am I worrying about?

I mean, I know where all this "worry" stems from. I've had two bad experiences. But those experiences had nothing to do with headset. They had to do with:
A. horse too bucky for me to fix,
B. Leadership on a testy horse.

I'm understandably concerned since now I'm on a young horse, which was never the plan.

And yet, I get the feeling that this is remarkable the right horse - he's gentle enough that I don't worry, yet he requires me to know what the heck I'm doing because otherwise he's going to go all over the place.

And he does test, but like a toddler, really. Well within my capability to handle.

At this point, Smokey and I have two things to really accomplish over the next few months: leadership and miles.

Plus I have one thing I need to learn - better and more consistency in my three aids.

So that will be my focus. And if I feel it fading at any point, I'll call on D to help me fix it quick.

Next lesson will be coming in a few weeks (back to school killed the budget around here). I'm working on reins and legs and the combination of both, and based on our efforts in the arena today, I'd say we were making it happen. Every ride we start pretty catty wumpus, but within 10 minutes we have it all sorted out. I know it's me, I'm still getting my hands together, but there's a little of a "really? Can't we just go stand in the shade?" from Smokey too.

Anywho, today, after watching way too many Chris Irwin videos at State Line Tack, I got Smokey into a canter - with ONLY my seat!

Seriously! I wanted to high five someone. Instead I stopped my horse (with an exhale, no less) tossed my reins and gave him the biggest neck hug ever. He seemed darn glad we got that sorted out. Then we walked it out, quite pleased with ourselves.


Mireya is in serious love with Cody. She wants to ride him forever and ever. Remember, this is the kid that had a huge meltdown less than a month ago when she was just SITTING on him. Today she had reins and after a lesson on rein basics (which I'm still learning myself - so much of motherhood is that way, isn't it?), we headed out into the drive way area.

"This is kind of like a trail ride, right Mommy?" she asked me, beaming from atop "her" horse.

"Absolutely," I said, holding Cody's green lead rope. "Now slide your hand down the rein and gently pull to your pocket."

She did. He turned. She lit up the entire sky over Texas with happiness.


Sierra is back to cantering on Lily. That horse loves that kid. I wish you could see how Lily acts with her. She bits up best with Sierra - the rest of us have to cajole. She's stopped doing the rushing canter (no doubt a combo of light requests and just getting in shape).

Sierra sits beautifully and I think of the lessons she's had. She's a natural athlete (which she got from her dad), but those lessons gave her a great foundation.

I gotta get me some of those lessons. :)

Hope your weekend was equine filled...


Anonymous said...

Sounds really good, and like all is going well with the horses! He does sounds right for you, and your trust in him will take you a long way.

Carol said...

Cantering from just your seat - very impressive! You set the bar high. All of your horses / riders are doing so well. Congratulations.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Sounds fabulous! Better watch out, your herd may grow soon...

Susan said...

I'm so glad everything is going so well with the new horse and sending him into a canter with just your seat is so cool!

restoration42 said...

What a wonderful post to end my day.

Crystal said...

Sounds like a pretty good weekend, and you and Smokey sound like a pretty good team.

jacksonsgrrl said...

OH MY GOSH! I leave to deal with a move and come back to a new horse! Sounds like things are going well, and you are making the right choices on what you need to work on. For some reason, now that we are no longer in Texas, jumping and cantering are lovely fun, no major problems (yet!)...funny that. I think part of it is me, just letting things "happen", and the other is the "real" facilities we now have at our fingertips/hooves. Round pens, arenas with jumps to actually set a grid up in are just what we needed! We have a Morgan here, he's small, but I like Morgans. He is a cool horse. I hope this is the fit you are dreaming of! I guess I just got lucky with Jackson....What do you mean by cantering with just your seat? I mean, that is the only way I know how. Is there some Western thing that is really different? Cause let me tell you, there are a few Westerny things I was educated on yesterday, peanut backed and spur blocked in the show world were two (and don't laugh if I got that wrong!) so I wonder what else is different. Not that either of those two things I just mentioned are desireable or correct, I have been informed by new instructor. (and she is from Austria and does Western, dressage, and jumping!)I LIKE! Most all of my riding is done with my seat and legs with the reins as an additional aid (preferably with him on the bit), but it all starts in the torso and seat and the energy flows in a big circuit, legs and hands and bit...But it all starts with ahhh, my booty and legs....that is if I'm doing it correctly that day! BWAHHAHAHA!

jill said...

Yippee! Keep having fun with your awesome guy. If you give him the time he needs, it will be incredible one day!
I'm so glad my comment didn't come out wrong.
You got lots and lots more fun to come with him. :-)

smazourek said...

Aren't those Chris Irwin videos great? I've learned so much from them myself. You and Smokey are only going to get better and better.

Wolfie said...

You got him to canter using your only your seat?!! Wow! Something to aspire to. Good work!

lytha said...

thanks for sharing the chris irwin videos, they are really good! i enjoyed the food aggression ones and as an experiment, blocked my horse from eating his grain with my body. but since we were in the field, he just circled around me for access, which i also blocked. then he stood there puzzled and stretched his face to me (both ears up curiously) and said, "please?" and i let him have it. he does not have food agression so i guess i'll have to keep watching...


morningbrayfarm said...

It was equine filled, indeed. :D Had my second riding lesson on Saturday and felt muscles I haven't felt in a loooong, loooong time on Sunday. :)

John and Regina Zdravich said...

Good for you! Very good for you in fact... Sounds like real progress.

Once Upon an Equine said...

Sounds like a lot of good riding going on. Very nice that you all are progressing and smiling and having a good time with your horses. That's what it is all about.