Friday, January 9, 2009

Oh, and my truck's unstuck!

(I'm not entirely sure why I document every single ride on this blog, but I do. I guess I can look back and do some statistics and say "On average I ride 20 days a month" or something!)

Yesterday my truck was freed from the perilous mud yet again. Hopefully I will have learned something and I won't drive in the damn field in the damn rain anymore. Sigh. Anyway, K had the day off so she towed me out.

Afterward, we did a bit of road riding. The ground was still a little squishy so K wanted to go on the road, which sounded fine to me. We took Champ and Goblin, the two most levelheaded of our horses. It was more of a lesson for K than a workout for the boys, but we all had fun.

First, I helped K learn how to stop Goblin, before we even left the driveway. He was doing that thing where the horse just wants to walk slowly but doesn't want to stop, which is unnerving to a green rider. I talked her through a couple of pull-releases, then had her turn Goblin in a circle til he got bored and stopped. We repeated that several times, til she felt confident enough to head down the dead end street. I'm not sure what she wasn't doing correctly for Goblin to woah when she pulled gently on the reins (maybe nothing, he's an opinionated but kind gelding), but once she had the basic one-rein stop down she was ready to go.

We moseyed very slowly down to the end of the street, then turned and went back past the field and off into the neighborhood. We talked a lot about riding, and how you're invincible as a kid but horses are kinda scary as a grownup, and basic pressure-release stuff. She really wants to be riding Poppy by the end of the year, but she knows she needs to get her confidence up and get her timing and reflexes better. I'm gonna do my part to help by putting more miles on Poppy - I think tomorrow I'll deworm my bunch and ride Poppy and/or Promise.

I'm not a trainer, but I'm glad to be somewhat helpful. When I first got Champ and Silky, I don't think I got anything remotely as useful as a one-rein stop from the people at my barn! "Keep your heels down so you don't get dragged" and "lean forward uphill, backward downhill" was the sum total of the useful advice I got. Horse won't woah? Uhhh it'll get tired eventually, or you can saw on its mouth, or if all else fails point it at the side of a barn, it'll stop before it crashes! I really think the key to training is the release, and I'm trying to emphasize that to K. The horse thinks whatever it did the second before you released was the correct thing. Period. That's the big fundamental secret to training.

Anyway, both horses were cool as cucumbers and K had a good confidence-building ride!


  1. I think it is great that you ride so much. It has been at least a month since I have been on a horse--maybe even so long as Thanksgiving. That is appalling.

  2. Thank you :) I think it's pretty awesome that you go to the gym as often as you do!

    I think part of has to do with boarding the horses. You've got a gym membership that costs you money regardless of whether you go, so you might as well go. I'm paying for them to stand around and eat hay, so dammit they're going to amuse me!


Feel free to comment!