Friday, April 10, 2009

More riding and more horses....

Yes everyone, those are my toes in the flip flops. It almost got to 60 degrees yesterday and I thought that it was time to break out the summer foot wear. Before you start picking my feet apart, let tell you that yes, my second toe is longer than my big toe on both feet. I have heard many sayings about this fact, like it means your Native American. Well I am partly, my great grandmother was a Native American. I've heard that it also means your good in bed. SO I think I'll just stick with the positive ones. Yes my feet look deformed because of this, but it still doesn't stop me from wearing my summer shoes hahaha.

Yesterday I raced to the barn after work. I watched the barn owner work the unruly stallion and then decided to go and get Possum. He was actually more than happy to come out and play with me. I spent over half an hour grooming him and shedding him out. Because it was nice and sunny yesterday a lot of the mud was drying up, but it was still a mess out in the paddocks. I especially cleaned all of his feet really well. I can't stand scratches and am always checking and cleaning his feet for them. After I got him tacked up I still didn't really have a plan for our riding that day so I walked over to the picnic table, hopped on, and decided to atleast do our warm-up down the trail. Now Possum isn't barn sour, but his motivation is sometimes lacking as he moves away from the barn. The further away we go the better he is, but it still takes a good leg to make him have a forward trot. He was actually pretty soft to my hand and was rounding nicely and pushing through the bridle. I felt like I had total control over him. We then cantered some to continue the warm-up. As we were cantering a bird suddenly came bursting out of the woods and Possum actually spooked. It is rare that he spooks at much, but he did a little scoot with his butt and went sideways. I have to admit that it startled me too, but he didn't miss a beat and continued to trot as he straightened out. The dirt road we usually take is very long and flat at one place, almost a mile of flat. I thought I'd do some some exercieses and get him supple and really listening to the aids. We picked up a collected canter and half passed the width of the road in about 4 strides. One on the edge I asked for a flying change and then we half passed over to the other side and repeated a couple more times. I couldn't believe it. We must have been channeling some dressage God or something because he was nearly perfect and moving off the leg and staying round and collected, and he was like butter in my hands. I could feel his hind end supporting himself, it was a good feeling. After we turned around at the end of the dirt road I decided to work on some endurance stuff. We trotted for 4 minutes and then walked for 2, then we cantered for 4 min and then walked for 2, then one more canter set. I let him walk out a little on a long rein because our gallop spot was coming up and I wanted him to catch his breath. Sure enough, soon as he saw the turn and the hill, he burst into a gallop. We rounded the turn like a BMX bike and powered up the hill. His neck was tense as he stretched out and his ears were pressed back against his head. I urged him on by throwing my crosses (a racing term) and hissed at him asking for all he had. He threw it into another gear and as we crested the hill he was still pouring it on. I stood in my stirrups and talked to him asking him to slow and telling him he was a good boy. He eased up and then started trotting. I let him trot out a bit and then we walked the rest of the way home. I gave him lots of pats and put my face against his neck as he walked along with purpose. He is such a good horse and will do anything that I ask of him. After untacking back at the barn I gave him an extra scoop of grain since we've been riding a lot lately and put his blanket back on since it was turning dark and getting quite chilly. I after I turned him out I just stood there for a ehile watching him. He stood and just watched me. He had a sparkle in his eye and his head was help high (it was also almost feeding time) We just stood there looking at each other for a few minutes and then turned and went our seperate way.

I;ve been reading a new book, Chosen By a Horse, by Susan Richards. It's pretty good. Kinda slow moving, but emotional and has to not only with horses, but also relationships that she has had in the past and her seemingly inability to love a man again. This I can relate to. But one of the things that bothers me is the fact that she is such a passive horse person. She has a very dominant morgan mare who literally rules the farm. This woman feels guilty patting or doting on any of her other horses when this mare is around. I hate to say it, but this mare has the woman trained, hook, line and sinker. She wants so much to have a relationship with all of her horses and especially the rescued STB mare, but she is very passive and almost mysical in her thinking. Like the way I used to think of horses when I was like 6. I was thinking yesterday of all the ways Possum would take advantage of me if I just gave complete control over to him. He would be a monster, unmanageable and most likely dangerous. I love horses, but I also have expectations for the horses that I not only ride but work with. Safety is number one and then close behind is respect. If a horse doesn't respect you it could be a disaster. Hence why this 4yo stallion that had nothing done with him is such an asshole that is in fr training at the farm. Having and working with horses is a partnership. Possum and I do so well together because he understands that I am boss, but that I would never ask him to do anything that I didn't think he could do, or what would put him in danger. In turn, he trusts me and I take of him. Sure he can add his opinion and two cents worth and I will listen. It's not a dictatorship. Horses are similiar to children in the way that you give an inch they take a mile. No sensible adult would ever let a child make all the decisions in a household, why? because they are not mature or mentally capable of doing this. They need the structure, guidance and even discipline from their parents or a tusted adult figure. The same is true with horses. I guess I'm just ranting, but I can't stand to see people, and especially women let a horse who they love and care for very much walk all over them. Horses are not on the same level intellectually as us. I do believe that they are tremendously emotional creatures that may be equal to us, but on the mental scale they are not, so stop treating them like they are. Horses will love and care and respect you more when you show them the way, show them that you know what is best for them, establish trust and a working partnership. Anyways, that's it for today. my brain hurts.

As for the guy thing, eckkk, not too much to say. Saw Greg at our house yesterday as he was getting the hearse, he was with his co-worker and we all chatted for a few, nothing big. My focus needs to be on riding and getting in shape right now. It's Friday and it's another beautiful day. I have plans to hit the barn again tonight and just being with my Possum makes me happy.


Stephanie said...

That's ok - I have deformed feet too. I have actually stubbed my little toes so much starting when I was really young that I actually damaged the growth plates in my little pinkie toes on both feet and I have litter miniature pinkie toes.

My middle toe is also longer than my big toe. Go figure. Would be nice if the whole "good in bed" thing were true.

I find alot to be lacking in most horse books - or I will find one I like and then discover the author is a Hippocratic b!$#h. But I did just read The Hearts of Horses and liked it - can't remember if you said you read that one or not. But I really enjoyed it.

Oh if we were near each other we would have such fun at shows!

Mickey said...

sounds like a perfect horse day, on your sweet boy. Glad you had a wonderful ride. Keep focusing on the positive, and stay upbeat and cheerful. You are leading a great life. Glad you're happy, and your weather is nice. Woo-hoo!! :o)

Leah Fry said...

My son and I joke that we have Fred Flintstone feet. All our toes are exactly the same size, making our feet look like we should be wearing the boxes. We have prehensile toes -- we could climb trees or dial an old-fashioned phone with these babies. Truly UGLY feet.

I appreciate your critique on that book. Like everyone else, I do dote on my horses. Jaz never abuses it, but I have to always be on my guard with Poco, just as you do with Possum. It ought to be interesting today. We are going to set up some barrels just for fun. I haven't been on Poco in probably 2 months, and want to ride bareback because it helps me with balance, especially after so long.

Happy Easter and have fun!