Monday, March 25, 2013

Oz Goes to School

While there are no photos to prove it, nor videos even, I've been spending a few hours in the saddle every day.  Mostly on cutters, keeping them legged up or warmed up for the Cowboy, but the past couple weeks I've been putting a bit more time into Oz as well.

Darling has been busy with Doxee and life in general, leaving me on my own to get the big moose of a mustang going solid under saddle.  We rode a few times at the riding club in the round pen, but then Oz discovered himself in the mirror.  And while the mirror is at the other end of the arena from the round pen (and not really even visible to him, in terms of his reflection) he is certain that he must spend all his time there focused on that handsome horse he is certain lives through the looking glass.

So...what to do?  He'd been working very well at home, but the round pen here was wet with rain and just a bit small to get this big lug moving into a lope, something we really were ready to do.  Down to the Cowboy's he went, then.  

Flirt stands tied at the Cowboy's barn

And home came Flirt.  She'd been just on the cusp of ready for me to climb onto her back.  In fact, I'd been on the mounting block, leaning over top while she was saddled, swinging the stirrup on the other side around, pounding and banging and patting and talking.  She had no reaction.  She was standing tied quietly and patiently in the alley way of the barn, too.  A nice, solid start for my flighty redhead.  So why not bring her home, yes?  Just let her relax with the others for a bit, then start saddling her in my smaller pens and climb on here.  So I did that.  That, being bring her home and turn her out.  Heck, she's just a baby, so no rush.  I had to start setting priorities, I decided, and Oz needed my attention before I really got serious about Flirt.

Oz is a year older and NEEDS to get going.  And going he got.  With the help of the Cowboy and a long dressage whip (which got popped at the Cowboy's side for encouragement), we finally convinced Oz that he could indeed lope a circle with a rider and stay upright.  Actually, Oz is convinced he's unable to lope without a rider most of the time.  But three times last week we rode and loped, and it was good.  So good that today I rode without the Cowboy there and managed a lope all on my own.  Both ways, too!  

I have conflicting feelings about this big boy, truth be known.  He's not my style of horse, really.  I like small and nimble.  Oz is not small.  Oz is not nimble.  But he has his good points, such as he can sidepass over a pole raised up on cones.  He doesn't spook at lambs looking at him from the other side of the arena gate.  I can ride with one hand already and ask for a leg yield and get one 75% of the time (not a pretty one, mind you, but he gives it a go just the same.)  Oz also won his in hand class at the Oregon Mt Trail Challenge last spring.  That was a big deal...he's not your ordinary horse.  He can win halter classes and trail classes, don'cha know!

But cut a cow?  Not really his deal.  So what to do with the boy?  Well, I got an email with a link to the 2013 Mt Trail Challenge, and what do you know?  There's a Mustang Only class this year!  Paint Girl...are you reading this?  We need to go!

So that's my goal, then.  I figure what the heck?  I'll have a solid 2 months training on him by then (nothing before last week was solid, trust me!), and if I can take Sandy and Steve Holt! to a makeover in 90 days, why not Oz to the trail challenge is 60?  Definitely something to sink my teeth into.  A few more solid rides at the Cowboy's place, and Oz will come home and go to trail horse school!

"You see?  I told you there was a horse in the looking glass!"


Paint Girl said...

Sounds like a good plan, for both of them! Can you email me the info and dates on the trail challenge? Thanks! I just put Chance back to work, hoping to have her ready for the Sumas Mt trail challenge in April. We are just doing ground work right now but I am planning to start riding her again at the end of this week. We have a lot to do to get ready for that in only a month! Yikes! But I think she will be good to go.

Dom said...

That first photo is just plain sexy.

Cindy D. said...

I agree with Dom- took my breath away.

kbryan said...

He is so gorgeous, I don't blame him for wanting to look at himself. Seriously, he is a very handsome boy.