Monday, March 9, 2009

Private lessons & horses we love hopelessly

My first private lesson ride saw me riding Humphrey again. Not a bad ride, lots of serpentines and Laura yelling at me to keep my toes forward and not drop my inside shoulder. Also Humphrey was getting kinda...something. Very head-tossey, though Laura said if he wasn't doing anything else to just push him through it and ignore him so that's basically what I did. Otherwise, it wasn't too exciting.

My second lesson was done mostly without stirrups on Jezzie. Jezz is a Morgan cross with a very smooth trot and canter. It weirds me out because I'm used to bigger gaits on bigger horses. They don't feel like real gaits to me.

Anyway, because she's so smooth, Laura had me working on her posting down the long sides and sitting on the short ones. But I still had to keep my calf on her to keep her moving. Can I say ow? I was definitely saying it then. Ow. I need to work on strengthening my legs, I think.

The third lesson was last Saturday and I was on Caladhin. 18.1 hands, approaching 2000 poounds, lazy, gorgeous Percheron horse. Plus, the far end of the arena is scary to him so he really likes to cut corners there. Soooo...lots of leg to keep him moving and on the rail. Got to keep my stirrups this time (thank God) but it was still a lot of work. By the end, though, got a few nice circles on him trotting where it felt like I wasn't having to fight him to make things work.

There've been a few other riding experiences in there.

Saturday, I also rode Molly out in one of the fields. She's pretty lazy in the ring and I wanted to see if that carried over outside. Luckily, it doesn't, so we spent a lot of time walking and trotting around. The field is a bit hilly and I wanted to work on getting her more fit that way.

Of course, the first time I asked her to trot up the hill she surprised me by breaking into a canter. I didn't know she had it in her! :) We came back down after a few strides and that was that. I don't really want to actually canter her until she gains some more weight/muscle. (she came to GG with probable EPSM and then she had a colic episode for nearly a week and dropped weight from that).

Also rode my first spook on her. She spooks sideways. Nothing too hard to handle but I hope she doesn't make a habit of it because I'm not sure if the lady who is supposed to be adopting her can sit it. I have a sneaking suspicion lady in question liked her better when she'd hardly trot at all.

But now she's recovering and feeling better so I think she'll be perking up even more as time goes on. I have a terrible kind of hope that lady decides she doesn't want her after all because I really, really want to make her mine.

Oh! We also took Molly on her first big trail ride yesterday in a group of seven or so horses. Just walking (but she wanted to trot for the first half. By the end she was pretty pooped even though it wasn't an overly long ride) but still fun and nice scenery. No spooks (save for a little jolt when another horse tried to make a break for home near the end). And then at the end we sat out with the horses and hand-grazed them. Very peaceful.

On a not-riding subject, the Belgian foal at GG jammed my ring finger on my right hand somehow while I was leading her yesterday. Didn't want to go through a door way and she pulled back. Not sure how she got my finger but it's swollen and bruised and hurts if pressure is put on it. Not broken, thank goodness, but it makes typing interesting. Or much of anything, because I'm right-handed. Never realised how much I use my ring finger for stuff. Ow.

That happened before the trail ride. Had to ride Molly with the reins between my middle and ring finger instead of ring finger and pinky. Probably would have been easier if she (and I) neck-reined, lol.

GG went up to New Holland today. I want to go peek up there this evening and see if they brought back anything new.