Monday, July 20, 2009

I'm sure you guys are getting thoroughly bored about reading about nothing. But, truly not a lot has been happening. If you want me to write a blog about anything specific please feel free to ask. Happily, we have had some beautiful days lately and I have managed to get some riding in. Also, luckily for me (but not for Kim) Rascal is still lame so both Connie and Kate have been getting worked.

I think for the first ride I just cruised around the farm on Kate and happened to find a loose cow that I had to gallop past or otherwise end up driving her all the way home. Silly Cow had crossed the drain. Kate does quite enjoy herself some galloping. no I lie that was the second ride, the first one Kim and I took Connie and Kate out around the farm and had a good ride. It's the first proper ride Kim has had on Connie and she said lots of nice things about her so I was pleased. I love how retentive Connie is. Obviously she isn't very fit or strong but you put leg on her and she just softens on the bit and really starts to swing that back. I love that. She is so far ahead of any of the other horses now that Fred is gone. Fred was actually really really well schooled if you could break through his bullshit.

So anyway, in a fit of desperation to bring Kate's schooling up to where I want it, I found a tiny piece of ground that wasn't sopping wet. It was in the quarry. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, it was flat rock with a layer of dirt on the top and was an oval maybe 20m by 30m. Anyway, as I was only planning to walk it wasn't a big deal. Holy cow, Kate was not convinced she wanted any part6 in this. she was so busy ogling other things. But eventually i got through to her and she figured out that soft means a nice release on the inside rein and an easing of the inside leg. She is pretty quick, she even gave me a lovely soft trot coming home from the quarry.

The next day Kim and I went on an epic adventure ride through the hills around our farm. It wouldn't really have been epic apart from the fact that Connie was a tool. I rode her and for future reference when I take her out on the hills I'm putting her in the frenchlink. She is mostly really good in the rubber straight bar but every so often she just blows through the bit. She also cracks me up because she seems so surprised when we climb a hill and suddenly there is a new horizon.

We started with a nice road ride and then in the first paddock there was a drain. admittedly not a pretty entrance but Connie is good with water. Or not such that it was. But we learned some things. I learned that when you use the crop Connie gets dog quick, but if you growl her with your voice she is more inclined to take part. What was funny is that after going down the bank she stepped through the water no issues, it was all a big put on on her behalf she wasn't remotely worried.

So we played in the creek for a bit and then we went walking up the creek for a bit when connie decided to bail. It would have been nice to have more stop at this point but I didn't. Stupid mare leaps up onto the bank (This was a lot harder than what we were doing- just meandering up the creek. Of course with all the rain the bank collapses under her hindlegs and she is laying down in front with her hindlegs hanging off of the bank. I swear I have never been in a situation like this before. It was really bizarre. she sort of lay there for a bit and then I urged her forward and she climbed out. She seemed fine after we checked her out but was careful to do a decent jump back over the creek.

Still after all those dramaz she set off back down the creek happy as and stopped to have an epic splash. Now I'm a chicken rider in the open now, and now my sister is the bold one it used to be the other way around, so we ended up going out of our way to cross a culvert over a dam- eep steep!, pas some pigs. One of them bit something and it cracked and Connies legs nearly collapsed but she was pretty good for never having seen a pig before. No about this time the yak like mare (Need to get my clipper blades sharpened) was starting to get a little tired. We went down this hill and there was this tiny little stream crossing the track- it was like a foot. She balked and I hit her. She should go forward right. Yea that didn't thrill her she leapt up onto the hill side, and kinda ran sideways along the hill before I could turn her back down the hill. Like doing a skate bowl but on a horse. Then when turned around she went straight across it like it wasn't there. She was, however, very good at doing gates for me even if at one point I got an insanely bad cramp in my shoulder and had to get off.

We had one climb left before we were able to descend down back towards home and Connie just roared up the first part (Yea i would have preferred the frenchlink here too, I thought she would be tired by now) She even passed Kate which is a big shock, Kate being bigger and fitter and faster. It didn't last though, I got really 20 strides max of the fast canter, 10 of the slow, 2 of the trot and when Kim stopped at the top to see where I was we were meandering our way very slowly to the top. So a hilarious ride, but rather bumpy. Connie seems fine after all her adventures though.

Last ride I have had I schooled Kate in the house paddock which was thankfully dry enough for walk/trot/little bit of canter (was a bit slippery) and
I was really impressed with how much she had retained from the quarry ride. She is really going to be quite quick to bring up to sped. We were just cruising around at the trot changing direction and so forth and she was keeping the softness nicely. Got strong on the straights but nothing that can't be fixed. So I was over the moon. I must say it's actually easier schooling older horses.

And today? Well today it's raining again :)


  1. Ah, she hasn't been washed away! I know, it is horrendous even in the Bay and we are all sick of it. We can only ride in the indoor and that is soooooooo boring. All the competitions have been postponed or cancelled and I want to get out there!
    Anyway, enough whinging.
    Could you do a post on getting horses fit for competition? And I would be interested in how you get ready to travel away for shows. Do you have a check list so you don't forget anything? I always seem to forget something...
    And the other thing I have always wondered is how do you learn to see a stride? Can it be taught or is it an instinct?

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