Monday, September 20, 2010

Getting Ready for Conception and Rashid

October is going to be a big month around here

The first weekend is the ride to Conception. It's a ride I have a little trepidation about, since last year was such a wreck on Cibolo and now I'm going with a horse I've ridden for all of two months.

But this time I'll be riding with Sierra and we can stay at our own pace the whole time. Hopefully that will be enough to keep Smokey feeling good. He's been so calm in other situations...

I'm the one with Clydesdales in my stomach.



Then, two weeks later, I'm heading to Santa Fe for the Mark Rashid clinic. Three days of one on one with Mark Rashid? I may pass out in anticipation.

Yet...

It's a tough time for our business, the economy isn't doing any of us any favors. So this all feels ridiculously indulgent - going through with decisions (and deposits, in the case of the clinic) that were made nearly a year ago. But still, I'm going. At this point it's gas and food. We've got a free place to stay (thanks Dad!). I'd be eating if I stayed home, right?

And I know that leaving a few problems behind while I ride my wonderful horse is probably the best stress reliever of all... I can certainly use it.

------------


We rode a few times this weekend and I'm always struck by how little warm up Smokey needs. I tried ponying a rather stubborn Cody on him, which was a mess, but not as bad as I'd have thought. Smokey tries so hard to figure out what I want him to do. He knew Cody was being stubborn about moving away from the gate that as I tried to turn him the second time, Smokey went to bite Cody on the bun.

Yeah. Thanks, but no thanks, Smokey.

Then we played cow sorting to keep Cody on task. Cody thought it was lawn grazing time and kept trying to turn to the left. We had a newbie on him and she didn't have the experience to keep him straight. So we kept cutting him off. Actually Smokey really got into the herding Cody thing.

Hmmm. What if it was a little cow? Hmmm.

I rode Cody later and had a heck of a time getting him to listen. Getting away with too much with little ones maybe? He wouldn't turn to the left. And I don't mean a hairpin turn. I mean "let's go to the trail" and he says "no, I'll go the right" and I say "No, you won't" and we go from asking to demanding really quick.

By the end he was turning at the ask and we ended on a very good note. But it was pretty ... hard getting there.

Lily is also doing well, although she was limping three days ago and sent me into a panic. Fortunately I haven't seen her limp since Steph buted her that day and I didn't feel any heat or see any swelling on her legs. So we are keeping our fingers crossed. We'll do a long trail ride this weekend to make sure she's up for the big ride at Conception. The Conception ride is all at a walk, and I have some medicine to help her that she can take before the ride, but I want to make sure she's fine. The shot shouldn't have worn off yet, hopefully it was just one of those days...

15 comments:

Susan said...

Can't wait to hear about the Mark Rashid clinic.

Leah Fry said...

Have a most excellent time at the Mark Rashid clinic. Wow — 3 whole days!

Jeni said...

Good luck and have fun on the ride this weekend!!!

Kate said...

I can't wait to hear how it all goes - I'm expecting pretty well or better than that. And the clinic - can't wait to hear how it goes for you.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

You have come a long ways, baby. You are even training Cody now.
I hope Lily is well for the ride. Sounds like great times ahead.
Don't worry about the short time you've been riding Smokey. Some horses don't need a lot of wet saddle blankets to settle down. I think he'll be fine for you.

Trailrider said...

I really like reading how you are riding so many different horses and taking on challenges.

Riding a stubborn horse like Cody can really build your confidence, since you had to work him through some issues. It's amazing how quickly even a good horse like Cody, can start testing when ridden by inexperienced riders. Even a super-broke horse can get "undone" and need "freshening". I fight that all the time with my herd, as you know. It's probably more time efficient to train the riders than keep training the horses!

And isn't it hard to pony a horse? It really requires sharp focus and a good seat. You cannot let your mind wander for a moment. Especially when you don't have a rider on the ponied horse who can help much at all.

the7msn said...

I'll be at the Rashid clinic to audit (and take pictures, of course), probably on the 23rd or 24th. See you there!

morningbrayfarm said...

How totally awesome! Wonderful things in your future!

Grey Horse Matters said...

You're so lucky to be going to Sante Fe to ride with Mark Rashid. I'm sure it's something you'll never forget.

As for the ride at Conception, don't worry about it and think about what happened last time you'll only defeat yourself before you go. You're riding a completely different horse and I bet you have a great experience.

Glad you got Cody sorted out and I hope Lily is feeling better. Good luck with everything.

Crystal said...

Wow sounds like a lot of fun coming up. Dont worry about the trail ride, just treat it like any other trail ride and Im sure you and Smokey will be just ine (and have fun too:)

Melanie said...

Ooooohhhh....clinics are always fun!!! Have a great time there and on your ride. Smokey will come through for you b/c you will come through for him. : )

Jan said...

Story, What wonderful events coming up! It may be hard to get rid of all the butterflies in your stomache about the trail ride, but, like TR said, you did great with Cody- assessing what was needed and responding well- so you are at a good point! We can't wait to hear how it goes and how the clinic goes! Have fun!

Jan said...

Breathe, so sorry! I got the name mixed up (didn't mean to call you Story!!) My apologies....

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

To me it sounds like you are very ready for the the Conception ride....I bet it will be cathartic to complete the ride on Smokey. I bet you both will do fine. Smokey is not Cibolo.

You'll have to let me know when the Mark Rashid clinic is. I wonder if there are any more openings for auditing the clinic?
Did you contact WNCR for boarding?

Oh! If you will at WNCR you'll hvae to visit with Eleanor and Franklin!


~Lisa

JennyB said...

Aww everything sounds so wonderful to me! The ride sounds like a blast, I'm sure the clinic will be wonderful, and you did so good working with the horses. I'm so jealous =) Let us know how everything goes!

~~JennyB, Horsefeathers