Happy Memorial Day, everyone! Thank you to all of the vets out there. You can see Deli and RC relaxing on the holiday>>
As everyone who has ever worked with horses knows, there are no days off, so today was my first OFFICIAL day working with MD. That's right. First day. So how did I impress my boss? Well, let me tell you....
Right off the bat, I cleaned pens then I swept the stalls out, turned everyone out and gave Derringer his shot (that poor horse must be an angle, he still likes me even after I poke him full of holes) then it was lesson time.
After my first lesson with MD, I have come to one conclusion: I need to learn how to ride. I mean, I have been riding dressage for a decade, and just plain riding longer then that. So, I learned that my hips are all wrong, my hands need to change and RC needs to be much more elastic-y. Great. But on the plus side, MD thinks that my little Mr. Chompers has the potential to go all the way to Prix St Georges, although she did add that he may only score in the low sixties while a horse with natural talent would score 68's with the same level of effort. It's ok. I'll take it; it's still good enough for a silver medal. Not bad for a little backyard bred quarter horse. >
Tempi, the wonder poodle, ran around the barn all morning. During my lesson she sat on the telephone poles that make up the arena fence. It was kinda cute until she decided that she had to go keep MD company, then Tempi got a little in the way. Later, Tempi helped MD's husband do some repairs. Now there is one more member of the Tempi fan club. I was pretty surprised that she kept up with everyone all day, she didn't lie around like the other dogs on the place, she was always where the action was (which could be a little annoying). Though it just goes to show that a mini poodle can in fact keep up with barn life. And to think, some doubted her. Tsk, Tsk.
Anyway, after my lesson on RC, I got to experience some of MD's horses, all of whom are four or under. MD rode a clients horse and told me to walk Sonnet around, and that Sonnet hasn't been ridden in about a month. Great.
"Oh, and she's a little humpy" was the parting comment. I was already a little nervous, since MD had mentioned while I was getting after RC for not standing while I was getting mounted that none of hers stand. I don't like it when the horses walk off, it just seems rude and it doesn't give me time to get settled. As it turned out, a little walking away would have been the least of my problems.
I adjusted my stirrups, climbed onto the block and started to swing my leg over this little mare's back and BAM! This horse did not just buck, she bronced. All I know is that at one point I could see all of the bird poop on the top of my trailer. I lasted probably four good straight legged, head down, back humped bucks before I came off. And did it ever hurt. I landed on my feet then rolled, getting the breath knocked out of me and bruising the hell out of my backside.
Keep in mind that this was the first horse I have ridden (that I don't own) for my new boss. Great first impression. I think that my definition of "a little humpy" and MD's might differ slightly. But I prevailed. I got back on, and walked Sonnet around until her back was more relaxed and she was listening more. We even trotted some circles for good measure.
After this I rode two more horses, both of which MD worked first, so that I could watch them move. The first little mare was steady as a rock, for being a 4 year old. She was quite fun to ride, and I didn't think that she was as plain or pony like as MD said. I had a blast on that mare. After her, MD and I spent half an hour trying to catch the final horse of the day. The aptly named Diva is a whole different package from any of the other horses. Diva has had some growing issues and is, according to MD "deformed". But she sure can move under saddle. Diva looks like a totally different horse under saddle then she does at liberty. I really liked riding this mare, and I feel that she might have to most to teach me in preparation for Deli.
I didn't work with Deli until before dinner time. I was chilling in MD's pool for a few hours, in honor of Memorial day, gossiping about barns we have known and crazy horse people. Deli was her usual lovely self when I pulled her out of her pasture instead of feeding her. She stood in the wash stall, and let me brush her while everyone else ate. She was quite interested in the mastiff walking about though. MD loved her neck, she said that it was exactly what she would look for in an FEI horse. It may be a tad early in Delis career to be talking FEI, but I still liked hearing that. I then proceeded to walk Deli around the property, just like I have for the last few days. She was actually pretty good, considering that everyone else was eating dinner.
After I put Deli away, and fed both Deli and poor starving Mr. Chompers, I wondered over to MD's house where her husband made dunner for us while we watched "Much Ado About Nothing", the Keanu Reeves version. Excellent.