Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Happy trails to you... but now we need to work.

As the title indicates, it’s time for the ponies to get back to work. They have been mostly trail horses since I’ve been here as Mom has been showing me the property boundaries here at Ray’s as well as the other ‘family holdings’. It’s nice to have so much space to explore, and 100 acres of hills will really get those ponies into shape (other than round), but they have reached the point where they require a little more structure in their day.

It all started out well enough. I went to work, then went home and collapsed for an hour long nap-that’s the nice thing about it being light until 10pm, there’s time for that post work nap without worrying about running out of daylight- then took the ponies out for a ride. Mom showed me the 20 acres behind Rays, where we found some surprise logging, which is another issue that will have to be addressed, but not here and not by me. The plus side is that the logging trails made a nice little path for the horses to use. My first hint that today was not going as I would have hoped was Delight’s leap over a small creek. She didn’t just jump it, she cleared it by probably 10’. I, on the other hand was left clinging to her side awkwardly; not my proudest moment in the saddle.

The rest of the trailride through the logging paths was less eventful, until we headed home. We had to cross the little creek again. This time Delight jumped it like a deer; back humped, straight up and straight down kind of jump. She nearly lost me… and I saw a light bulb go off in her head. Damn.

Anyone who has ever ridden a young horse knows that when they start thinking on their own, nothing good can come of it. And true to form, the rest of the ride was far from a pleasure ride. I tried to canter Deli along some of the hills in the field, and mom took RC off a little ways to stay out of my way. As it would turn out, that was less helpful than it could have been (though not anyone’s fault but Delight’s). It only took Delight one stride to go from grumpy but compliant to whirling dervish. She pulled a canter-to-buck transition that a PRCA bronc would have been proud of. And as Wayne noted about her sister Kiwi, she was “damn quick”. I managed to stop the broncing before she lost me totally, but she decided that since she was already in trouble she could just go full monty. She then reverted to a rear-spin maneuver, often seen in moves where the horse then falls down. She didn’t fall… But she made me awfully mad.

Off to my makeshift arena down the road; 3 acres of gentle hills. We then worked at the trot until she was a sweaty mess. Medium trot, working trot, leg yield, change bend. Anything to get her focus off of RC, who was happily cantering around with Mom, and keep it on me and what I was asking her to do.

Young horses… sheesh.

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