Friday, November 18, 2011

It's My Job!

Not quite a week ago, we moved Steve Holt! down to the Cowboy's place so that we'd have a dry place to ride him on a regular basis. Since I drive down anyway to work Kitty, it only made sense to have him there as well so that I wasn't rushed to get home, load him up into a trailer and haul him somewhere dry.

With quite a bit of time off this past year, we started slow. He was lunged for 5-10 minutes, then Darling would climb on and I'd lunge him with her aboard for a few more minutes. That was followed by her riding at one end of the arena only, doing a lot of circles, keeping him rounded up, nose down where it belonged, but mostly his youthful self focused on what she wanted him to do...which was relax.

Steve Holt! thought we were crazy. He'd sigh big, heavy sighs, and obediently go about what we asked of him. Darling, too, it seems, thought I was crazy for taking so many precautions. But, I told her, I'm the mother and allowed to worry, fret, and make unreasonable requests in an effort to keep all involved safe. If Darling could roll her eyes, she would have...instead she groaned, and I think Steve Holt! rolled his for her.

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After a few consecutive days in the saddle, Darling informed me that I didn't need to lunge her today, that all would be fine. I nodded, said yes, and told her she probably didn't even need to lunge him first. I'd ridden him the day before, wind blowing and rattling all sorts of arena bits, without him taking one misstep, so I was sure he'd do just fine.

I got busy helping the Cowboy, who was ripping out old carpet and getting ready for some new stuff this weekend. I peeked out after a few minutes and the two were doing quite well. Darling had the camera and wanted some video, so I obliged. Steve Holt! was working so well with two hands...slow (for him), consistent, head low, neck level...that I began wondering how he'd do with just one hand on the reins.

Darling switched to one hand when she was walking, which of course was not abnormal, and as he walked nice and relaxed, I suggested maybe she ask for a jog and see what happens? So she did...and though she had to pick up the second rein to let him know not to trot off in an english trot, she was able to drop back to one hand and make several laps around the arena with just the occasional check on speed.

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There was a big ol' smile on my girl's face when they finished up. Both directions, and he'd maintained the slower pace, worked off her leg when she asked him to, and very little second hand action. No, he's not ready to take on a rail class, but it sure installs confidence when putting a horse up for sale to know that after a lengthy time off, and a full year of english/jumping before that, he's able to transition so well into a relaxed arena ride. And I don't know why that should surprise me, but hey, I'm the mom, and I'm supposed to worry and fret. It's my job!

6 comments:

Cheyenne said...

She looks relaxed, but then young`uns have no fear!

Shirley said...

I think Steve Holt! would be a great horse for a 4H family. I do hope he finds a great home.

Jeni said...

*sigh* He'd be perfect for my family. But alas, this country girl is stuck in the city, and I'm already boarding two.

If I was in a different place in life I'd be heading for a visit and a ride. I do ride both Dressage and Western Pleasure.

Linda said...

I'm with you. I've embraced my job, too. In fact, looking at Darling reminds me of my daughter--they have the same boots.

Dom said...

He's such a handsome horse.

Tracey said...

Ain't that the truth, Cheyenne? Old biddies like me tend to get all tight...the Cowboy is always on my case about that with young horses!

Shirley, I think he'd be terrific in a 4-H home as well. I have someone who called the other night that is looking for a trail horse for mom, barrel horse for son. Could work...

Jeni, I'll join you in that sigh...~sigh~.

The same boots, you don't say, Linda? Good to hear you've embraced your job as well. Now if only we could convince our daughters that they're not alone :)

Thank you, Dom. I think so,too!