Monday, March 9, 2009

Great Horse Weekend

Despite all the guy drama going on, I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and spent an entire weekend at the barn. Saturday I got up fairly early for me, showered and dressed and packed up the dogs and headed to a busy day at the barn. The weather was a perfect 45 degrees and bright and sunny skies. Just being outside in the sun and warmer air lifted my spirits. I let Possum out to eat scraps of hay around the paddocks and went to the indoor and watched a couple lessons and visited with horse friends. I then caught Possum and tacked him up and rode in the arena for about an hour. Even though there was lots of people riding, he did really well. We did some more small course work and I set up one big jump again and worked on my spots and getting him stretching over bigger jumps again. He did really well and I was wicked happy. I then took him down the road and did a little hand gallop. I turned him around at the base of a large hill and he wanted to go so I let him fly. He was going so fast that it took my breath away. I crouched down to his neck and just watched as his front feet ate up ground and his neck bobbed out in front of him. For some reason Possum loves galloping up hills, I don't know what it is, but the power that he has is just amazing. At the top of the hill I started to slowly slow him down. We cantered a little out and then trotted until he wasn't blowing anymore. He then broke to a walk and walked the rest of the way to the barn on a loose rein.

When I got back to the barn I gave him a good grooming and put his under layer blanket on and let him out to eat loose hay again. I then decided to take the barn owners TB stallion out and work with him. His name is Aragon and I am just in love with him, always have been. He is about 15yrs old now, 15.3 hands and a hot ticket. He raced for over 8 years on the track which is basically unheard of. He has clean and perfect legs, no stiffness or soreness anywhere and is just the most fluid moving guy there is. I wish more TB's had legs like he does! Because he is such a whack job and a stallion not many people are allowed or can work with him. 2 years ago I started to work with him regularly and we were walk trot canter and jumping small courses, then show season got really busy and he moved down the road to a boarders house to chill the rest of the summer and he hasn't been touched since. I decided that it was time that he get some work and plus it would get me in shape.

That first day I only lunged him working on voice commands which came right back to him and working on cantering circles balanced, which can be hard for a one sided TB. As I has guessed he was really out of shape and was quite saweaty after the 25 min work out. I gave him a good curry and promised him that tomorrow I would ride him. I tucked Possum in for the night, packed up the dogs who were exhausted by the end of the day and we went home.

On Sunday, despite the time change I got my ass out of bed and got dressed and went to the barn. Suprisingly for a Sunday the place was buzzing with acivity. I hung out for a bit and isited and then went and got Possum and tacked him up. We worked a lot on the flat and he started to get more and more soft. We trotted some jumps for a warm-up and then did only a little bit of cantering lines. I then jumped him over the large 3'6" one a few times and he was really good. Then for the rest of the ride we just played around. I took his saddle off and did some bareback jumping. I could feel the burn in my legs which is a good thing! When I was done with Possum I out him away and when the arena was quieted down some I took Aragon out. I gave him another good grooming since he is starting to shed now and tacked him up. I have to say that he was looking mighty handsome in my tack. I lunged him for about 7 min in each direction to get his brain working and listening to cues and then brought him over to the mounting block. He was very well behaved and we started to walk around. I could beel the ball of energy under me as we were walking and was ready for anything. We started trot circles and walk some and he was really great. He kept his attention on me even when we had a mare working in the arena. When we were done I made him stand quietl for 20 seconds in the middle of the arena and then hopped off and gave him a big scratch on his head. He loved it and was so itchy that he almost ppushed me over scratching his head on me. Usually I don't let horses do this, but I had initiated it and because he did so well on his first ride back I went easy on him. I gave him lots of praise and untacked him and brushed him down. It's funny because the people left at the barn had gathered at the arena to see what would happen. My goal is to get aragon going again in regular work and then go on some trails with him. For a TB he is not spooky at all! His only issues is that he gets over thinking in his brain and just fizzles out, so as long as the rider or handler gives him something to think about he is fine.

I'm working all day today, but tomorrow is supposed to be warm and nice so I think I'll go to the barn to ride after work. Someday I hope to have an aragon foal, a colt ofcourse hehehe. Maybe when I win the lottery. Just have to find the perfect mare to breed him too also......... Below are some pics of Aragon so you can see what he looks like.


Laura said...

wow - sounds like you had a great weekend! Glad that you got two rides in on Possum and he was a good boy - sounds like he is a good boy most of the time though!

That stallion sounds very cool - although I am such a huge chicken that I wouldn't be able to handle him at all! Amazing that he raced for 8 years and has clean legs. That is what TB people *should* be breeding!!

sidetracked said...

That's exactly what I say. He earned quite a bit on the track over the years but was not outstanding and did not win any stakes races. Even though he was a stallion, he never bred any mares before coming to our farm. He is used for breeding to our Perch mare to produce sport foals. He throws great looking and sound babies. He has a two year old filly now that is an appendix and she is just lovely.

Stephanie said...

Oh the weather you had sounds lovely! Way better than mine. That is a great story about the stud - and he is pretty too!

Glad you went to the barn and had some fun though!

Stephanie said...

Oh I was going to say i love galloping up hill - when i was younger I didn't always have the most trusting of horse and I found that it is harder (but not impossible) for them to buck going up hill.... :)

Leah Fry said...

Aragon is beautiful, but no spots!

Glad you had a good weekend with Possum and Aragon.

cdncowgirl said...

My TB mare was on the track for a loooong time as well (I *think* she raced until she was 9)
And like Aragon she didn't race in any outstanding races but she did do fairly well I think.

SillyPony said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and inviting me to yours. I have a LOT of reading to do!

I loved hearing about galloping Possum up the hill. I used to do that in high school with my Arab mare and we both just LOVED it...and we're BOTH about to turn 30!
I'm not ready to let Jr. GO like that, not just yet. :)