Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday drivers

The next time I go to the barn on the weekend and the place is crowded I am just going to leave.  Normally if I wait until after about 1pm the place is cleared out.  Today I got into the arena at about 2pm and it was a zoo.  I don't mind (too much) adjusting for the little kids with no steering.  Generally those horses are on a set trajectory and they aren't too hard to dodge.  And the adults with no steering aren't too bad, more annoying perhaps.  But I found myself riding with one of the teenagers with little steering, NO idea that there is anyone else around and the bad habit of ripping her horse to a halt anytime he does something she doesn't like without being aware of who else is close by.  She cut across my path and slammed on the brakes twice today, leaving me no option but to stop, there wasn't time to go around.  The first time Nina was really pissed.  The second time she snaked that long neck out and was about to take a big bite out of the other horse - yes, we were that close - I caught her in time to stop her, barely. 
Some of the problem is that being a big TB and being asked to go forward, she covers more ground and with a lot more power at a trot that most of the little Quarter Horses do at a lope.  Most of those riders don't realize that if they cut right in front of her and don't leave her a way out she is willing to power right over top of them.  But mostly this is just people riding staring down at their horse's mane and oblivious to anyone else in the world.  They probably drive their car the same way.
Earlier in the week I found myself in a crowd in the arena with more experienced riders and it was so pleasant to be able to work around each other with no effort.  *sigh* 
On the other hand, we have had several days of perfect riding weather and Nina has been great, working hard and really paying attention.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

They are promising better weather today...

whoever 'they' are.  I haven't ridden all week.  I will ride in the heat, the cold, rain, even snow, but I will not ride with the icy wind blasting down off the mountain at 30-40 mph.  Gusts of wind that knock you sideways outside and rattle the roof, slam the doors and deafen you inside.  Nina's shed, out of the wind and in the sun was quite warm and peaceful.  We spent some time there. 
Today... back to work.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Icy icy wind

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  Nina and I both decided to have an early dinner and skip the riding stuff.

Friday, October 22, 2010

time to act like a big girl

I had a good ride on Nina today and I introduced her to spurs.  I am tired of kicking this horse.  It's not like she doesn't understand and needs encouragement.  When I touch her with my leg she either goes forward or pins her ears and gets all stuck and nasty.  Kicking only works when she gets tired of me annoying her.  That was originally the idea but she is willing to go on with this longer than I am.  So today I put some spurs on.  She was highly displeased.  It is much harder to ignore someone poking you in the ribs with a spur.  After a few pissy moments she decided to go along with the program and she was fine, better than fine.
I do have to be very careful not to touch her with the spur accidentally but I am used to that when wearing a spur on a TB anyway.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

my obligatory 5 minute ride

When Nina has been off for a few days she is a pig, no other word for it.  She apparently thinks that it was her idea to get the time off and if she is enough of a pig she will get more time off.  I used to get into a big fight with her and then the second day she would be fine.  After a while I realized that it did not matter one bit what I did the first day, she was going to be a jerk and the second day she would be fine.  So now I sidestep all the aggravation of getting into a fight with her and the first day after a break I just get on for five minutes and get off.  I only get on so that we can move things along and get to the second day. 
Today was no different.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

found it!

Well, I didn't find it, but somebody did and hung it on the fence where the farriers work.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

need a metal detector

I am 99% sure that the shoe is in the round pen.  Unfortunately for shoe hunting, the round pen is very deep in sand, which makes for good rolling and trotting, not so much for finding a shoe.  Just to be sure I have walked over every inch of ground that we covered yesterday and thoroughly searched her pen and shed.  I really hate to have to pay to have a new shoe fitted and put on ($40) instead of having the old shoe tacked back on ($5).
I am going to give it one more day to turn up.  I really don't have $40 to throw away.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

fabulous ride today

When Nina decides to be cooperative, gets out in front of my leg and uses herself, it is like riding on air.  She is just fabulous.  And she is becoming adjustable.  We trotted around like a metronome, avoiding the reiners and the riders with limited steering.  Bend, shorten, lengthen.  She gets pissy about being asked to change anything once she gets going, but she does it and without resistance... if you ignore the ears pinned back.  Hard work for about 25 minutes, about 40 minutes total ride.  That's pretty good for her.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

dressage experiment

Well, the new dressage instructor experiment is over.  I had one lesson that I was less than impressed with, but thought to be fair that I needed to give her a little time to get to know us.  And my second lesson.... she didn't show up.  She sent out an email the night before canceling but it was after I had turned the computer off for the day.  She wants at least 24 hour notice if a student cancels a lesson, well so do I.  It costs me time and money to get to the barn on time.  She didn't call or try to make sure I knew my lesson was canceled. How rude.  She canceled because one of the riders canceled at the last minute and so she didn't have her required number.  Sometimes when your schedule becomes inconvenient you just have to suck it up so you don't screw the people who are paying you.   That's two young trainers in a row who say they want to build a clientele but just don't get it that they need to treat their clients with some courtesy.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

first cold windy day

Miserable day, cold with a steady cold wind blowing. Nina was sucked back, on her forehand, disenchanted with the whole idea of working. *sigh* Sometimes it's two steps forward and one step back.

Monday, October 4, 2010

free jumping

I set up a chute today to free jump a little appendix mare and see what she thought of it.  While we had the chute built I decided to run Nina through it.  She hasn't free jumped since we left Seabreeze.  She nearly tore my arm off when I led her up to it by the halter.  Then she jumped through it a few times while I raised the jumps and tried not to get run over.  She was jumping in perfect form, then she got bored and started bouncing it.... an 18 foot one-stride.  After a couple of times of that I knocked the poles down so she would stop but  she went through it and did the broad jump over the scattered poles.  I had to pull all of the poles completely out of the chute before she quit running through it.  Then she followed me around while I put the stuff away.  Man, can this mare jump!
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