Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chicken Poop


The round pen at Curt's has eight solid sides, and they are eight feet high. The width is just 36' across, which gives enough room to move, but not enough for a horse to get completely out of control. When I see people with 60' round pens, I wonder how they start colts in them. They tell me their colts can't lope in something smaller...and I'm pretty sure they're wrong. Those colts simply haven't learned how to use their bodies effectively.

Inside Curt's round pen today, Tika and I took ride four. Yesterday was better than the day before, but today was better than yesterday, which is, of course, the way it should be. Yesterday had more of the lurching and jerking, and Curt hollering at me, telling me I was chicken poop. But not poop. Another word that meant poop.

It began like this: "I thought you'd have Darling here photographing this."

Darling was indeed there, but after 2.5 hours on the back of Doxee, she'd opted to stay somewhere warm rather than stand on the block of wood outside of the round pen photographing me. Which was fine, because "I didn't think it wise to have her leaning over the wall above our heads," I explained.

"Chicken poop!"

"Yes, that's right, I am."

And off we went in circles, left and right, turn and stop and left and right. And then Tika did something, and I'm not really sure what, but we felt suddenly out of control. I was holding on, saying 'easy', while Curt was laughing and telling me I was okay. "I am not okay!" I hollered back. I'm not sure what I was, to be honest, except not in my seat. Curt was still laughing as he stepped back a bit, taking off the pressure, and Tika immediately dropped to a trot and then a walk.

Curt then decides that I need to make her walk toward him. Tika does not like forward motion such as this, and despite my following orders and bumping her with my legs, she is not budging an inch.

"Spank her," says the cowboy, matter of factly.

"I can't!"

"Spank her."

"I'm chicken poop!"

"Spank her or I quit!"

Deep breath, eyes squinting, I gingerly reach back and wiggle the end of my reins towards Tika's hiney. Jump! Lurch! Halt! Okay, breath again. Open eyes. Cowboy still standing in front of us, shaking his head. "Chicken Poop."


Justaplainsam said...

LOL Im with you!! Your brave though, Id still be save and sound on the ground at this point :)

Michelle said...

LMAO! You go girl!

Dom said...

I want that round pen. Holy cow.

Mikey said...

Lol, you're doing so great with her! I know what you mean about horses not using their bodies correctly. I lunge horses frequently here (my round pen is divided up with visiting horses) and I see the difference in who can do a small circle and who can't. It's amazing the difference in how they carry themselves and how it feels.

MyShilohRanch said...

LMBsoOff! You paint a hilarious picture of you and Tika! It won't be long ... you two will rock the trails! btw: I can so relate to chicken "poop" ... especially the older I get! hahahaha

Tracey said...

With age comes fear...that's all I can say! Self preservation has begun to kick in, thanks to Lefty. Not sure how many colts I have left in me, but I'm happy to get Tika going!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Gah! I hate being ordered to whip my horse. I have a 40' round pen that I extended to 50', but my instructor, the same one who ordered me to whip my horse, told me never to lope my biggest horse in there because it's too hard on his muscles and joints. I took his word for it.

Anonymous said...

Glad Tika is doing well!

That would have so annoyed me, being told to spank her! I can understand the reasoning but still.

Karen C. said...

LOL!!! I have not been called chicken poop to my face, but I have been told "You are okay" and I have yelled back "I AM NOT OKAY!!!!!" Ha ha! And I totally understand the not wanting to 'spank' them to get them moving.....I agree with the age, fear, self preservation thing. Ugh! It sucks! You and Tika are doing great! Keep up the good work. Love that round pen.

Shirley said...

Poppin' them with the reins makes me nervous too; you just know they're going to lurch forward, and it's so hard not to flop around when they do that- which sets off a chain reaction.... I wish I had someone like Curt to help me with Chickory. I got 9 rides on her last year, and we're ready for the next step, but I'd sure like to have a few sessions on the lunge line before I head out into the arena with her.