Take a Crack at It.

As I enjoy receiving a paycheck and benefits, I try not to complain too much about being employed.  Also, no one gives a shit if I'm discontent at my job - everyone, to some degree, is.  But... waaahhh.. work has been hard lately and it's taken a chunk out of my brain.

I had all the best intentions of riding on Friday and making it a flat day.  But my father was coming to town today and wanted to see the house, which meant that the hubs and I had to do some serious straightening up.  Just enough to make it look like we weren't slobs, but that he was still family.  You know.

So I rode Saturday after the Kid had two days off.  We've been doing a shit ton of jumping lately - the three rides prior had all had baby fences.  I have to pepper my enthusiasm for this rediscovered interest with some moderate work.  Pony can't jump every day.  As my father was kind enough to remind me, Archie isn't young anymore.


I've taken the spurs off my boots and I carried a crop briefly.  I had plans for the crop, so after lugging it around uselessly, I set it on the rail and focused on getting him more responsive to my leg.  We had a few temper tantrums and some pissed off pony ears, but we achieved more of the pace and impulsion that I've had in my lessons with T3.  (I miss you, T3.)  Our canter had more oomph, but balance is still an issue.  And yet, I felt so much more secure in the saddle when I was trying to actively engage him.

After working him for a while, we went on a trail ride.  Since the Dude has been able to meander, ears pinned, behind other horses, his solo trail rides have begun to suffer.  I think it started at the old barn, but he's gotten into the nasty habit of slamming on the brakes, backing, and then spinning a 180.  I've normally taken his momentum from spinning and forced him in the same direction 180 degrees and kicked him on to wherever we were going.  This takes several seconds and it was getting to the point where I was having to push him like this four or five times in a ten minute trail ride.

The antennae of Bold Archer.
So Saturday, I carried a crop.

While trying to cross the little ditch, Archie slammed on the brakes and started to pace backwards.  I already had pressure with my calves, so I popped him.  He bumped forward and kept going, swiveling an ear at me.

There was another point a little ways away that he slammed on the brakes again, so I popped him one more time.

And, really, in risk of putting human thoughts in my horse's behavior, I felt like he gave a deep sigh and just.. enjoyed the walk.  Once we made it to where we would normally cut in to the woods to cross the road, I turned him around and asked him for a canter.

So, yeah, cantered the pony on a dirty road by our lonesome.

He had cocky pony syndrome afterwards and pranced back to the barn - fortunately, this wasn't prancing racehorse, just a longer stride and a bulging neck.

Pretty decent sweat for my winter pony.

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  1. I love the "sigh of acceptance" :)

  2. You have no idea how much i miss being able to just go out on the trail alone if i want to. I envy you.

  3. You tell that Bold Archer ! :P I also don't like that you've beenw roking so much >:[ no chatty cathy time.

  4. My mare loves to do what I call the "Drop and Spin" - when something startles her (butterfly, leaf, grasshopper, a cloud) she brakes by splaying out her front feet then shifts her weight back on her haunches and spins somewhere from 90 to 180 degrees. Usually 180 unless we are headed home and then it's closer to 90. We used to board at this awesome facility that had amazing trails (superlatives for the win!) and she would be fine on the trails but getting down to them was a nightmare. She would rear, spin, buck, etc., as we went through this clearing and then would be a doll the rest of the ride. We had quite a few soaked saddle pads there. And we did that solo. Finding a riding partner is unbelievably difficult! I think I just end up at barns where the majority of the riders are arena-philes and the others I would not want to trail ride with (unsafe riding).

    I bet he was absolutely adorable in cocky-pony mode!

  5. I just want to know when I get to be independently wealthy.

  6. They are such funny bunnies horses, Kika was an angel for trail ride on Sunday with her buddy O. Come Monday where K hacked with Nancy, she decided to take upon herself the mama-mare mantle and make sure EVERYWHERE was safe...however N couldn't care less whereas K worked herself up into a shitfit and got into a fight with the Guru for ignoring leg aids...ah horses