Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hold Onto the Horn!


Because life isn't crazy enough...
I've taken on a bottle baby!


Rides five and six are done. Jay came back Tuesday and spent a bit more time with Sandy while I stayed on the ground. Got him moving out with a nice, light step and even encouraged him into a lope! That's something I've not been able to get him to do in the round pen. The footing is a bit too slick and hard for Sandy to really get comfortable, and I tend to wear out before accomplishing much. Jay, however, seems to be able to keep up the pace and Sandy got to booking!

Along with the lope, Jay encouraged some pretty quick, catty turns out of my former dead footed mustang! We all three nearly dropped over when my boy started getting under himself and using his body.


Sandy's first week




Once the edge was worked off, it was time for me to climb on. Sandy's been shifting a bit to the right the past few times I've mounted, but Tuesday he stood still. He'd been working quietly and responding well to my legs and the reins, moving at a nice trot when Curt began talking about loping. Didn't say I had to do it, but I think he was implying that I ought not be just hanging out in the saddle like some kid who'd paid for a pony ride, so I began working Sandy into a faster and faster trot. So fast, I was sure we'd turn into butter as we were circling Jay in the center. But lope? Well...
Six weeks later, a much prettier face!

I'm not really sure what happened, to be honest. One minute I felt like there's no way we could go any faster and the next I was being bounced all over the flippin' place! The right hand that'd been hanging onto the horn (to keep me from using too much hand on his light mouth) was now hanging on to the reins. I could feel myself falling back behind my center of gravity and saw the wall of the round pen spin past and recall thinking how lucky it was I had a helmet on. I've no clue what Jay was saying...I could hear his voice but not words. Curt, however, broke through my daze as he hollered at me to grab the horn!

How I was supposed to do that I had a hard time processing. I was leaning back and had to pull myself upright before letting go of the reins with my right hand. Once I had it back on the horn and my balance back in the center, I managed to drop my left hand and relieve the pressure on Sandy's mouth. He stopped instantly!

To hear Jay tell it (or at least my somewhat scrambled memory's version), Sandy's butt dropped down as he tried to scramble into a lope with me on him. That drop threw me off, which then spooked him and sent him rushing. Never bucked, though, I was told. I'll take his word for it. It honestly all happened so fast I don't really remember anything.

We went straight back to work, but by now Sandy was too pooped to even think about loping. We trotted some more just so he'd end on a positive note.

Today Jay and I decided loping in the round pen probably wasn't going to work. Instead we concentrated on Sandy's directional skills. Jay's still got the lead , but stands at the end and is only there for emergencies (like yesterday.) Sandy worked into doing tight little serpentines and figure 8's at the trot. He's getting quite good about following his nose. Tomorrow if all goes well the plan is to do a little riding in the arena!

10 comments:

jtjedi said...

YEEEEEE HAAAAA!! lol

Hold on girl!

Congrats on the rides!!

Jamie

Katee said...

I'm glad that you stayed on, Tracey. Hitting the dirt is never fun. I'm also glad that you had people there to dial 911. After falling off last summer and knocking myself out cold when I hit the ground (yep, I was wearing a helmet) I am a firm believer in having someone around to call 911.

Tracey said...

Katee, ouch! I walked home and missed an hour of my life at 16 and was hoping the helmet would prevent that in the future.

Thanks, Jamie!

Callie said...

Glad you were able to stay on and glad Sandy didn't haul off and go bucking. I think we all know how difficult it is to regain that confidence after a crash! glad you wear a helmet!

Kathy M said...

It's amazing how fast these guys can move! Glad you were able to hear Curt, and that Sandy was sensible.

I'm happy to just walk/jog at this point in my life. ;D but I still wear a helmet.

Rising Rainbow said...

You LOPED!!!!! OMG even if it was short and maybe not so sweet, you still LOPED!!!!!!! Congratulations!! From someone riding unbroke horses right now, I KNOW how big a deal this is. You guys are rocking!

Christy said...

Well just imagine how far back you'd be if you had fallen off. Sandy would have picked up on that right away. Glad you held on!

Tracey said...

Christy, you're right, lol! I guess I wasn't that far back...

M~there's a question in my mind as to whether or not I can call it a lope, but whatever it is I'm thankful it's in the past!

Yes, Kathy...quick is an understatement sometimes, isn't it?

Callie, you're so right about the confidence. I hoped on another green horse when I was done with him and felt just a tad shaken. Thankfully Sandy's not really a bucker or I'd have been in a world of hurt!

Janet and Chato said...

Tracey, I'm glad to hear you hung on. At our age it hurts to hit the ground. I'm a believer in helmets also. Is anyone going to wear one at the challenge? I think I was the only one wearing one at the extreme cowboy challenge. Janet and Chato

Tracey said...

Janet, yes, there will be others with helmets. Or if not, it'll just be you and me, girlfriend!!!