Sunday, November 7, 2010

Riding straight

I am getting more confident with trotting. We learn to ride straight with subtle shifts to make turns.

Zwarte is such a good boy.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Camp Robinson Special Use Area

I trailered Zwarte to a nearby Camp Robinson SUA (5,000 acres with a fence around the perimeter and no traffic) and met up with some very experienced trail riders, Trudy and Charlie Kincade.

I benefited from their vast knowledge while Zwarte benefited from the calming effect of their experienced horses. Perhaps Trudy and Charlie benefited (a little bit anyway) from having me along to identify birds and plants and who works for the agency that owns and
manages the land where we were riding. My agency provides, for free, camping areas with electricity, barns with stalls, kennels, outdoor pens, wash stalls, etc. Pretty good deal for horse people and they want to keep it that way.

Little Zwarte was so excited. He fell in love with the Trudy's mare, Dusty, and flirted with her. He saw running deer and gave them a long look but didn't bolt. He decided that since the gelding in front of him could walk through water, so could he. He gave scary culverts a long look but didn't bolt.

We were pestered by horseflies and 2 times, Zwarte tried to rid himself of them by bucking. I hung on.

When it came time to leave, Zwarte didn't want to leave his marefriend and ran off to be with her, with me flapping along behind on the leadline.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Words don't convey

Today I realized during our ride that so much communication betwixt rider and horse cannot be communicated by words. Tiny movements. Consistency. Balance. All these things are the currency of communication.

We are doing better every day. We sure have a great Whoa. And getting the trot is far less effort. This little horse has a good attitude. He tries. I adore him.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Zwarte would rather not do this.

Zwarte seems sluggish. Since I haven't been permitted to use a whip, I flail and flap until he finally picks up a trot. Grudgingly he goes and if I don't pay close attention, he slows into a walk.
So different from Sam. I could think what I wanted him to do and he pretty much did it. He was so light to ride. Perhaps it was foolish to think that this new horse would develop the same traits as Sammy had.
But Sam is gone. And it remains to be seen with Zwarte.
Worked on leaning back. Keeping centered in the saddle. Posting.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Fell off again.

This is getting old. Thank goodness for my helmet because I hit my head hard and saw woozy stars and tweety birds.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rasping a hoof

One thing my little horse has is fine feet. Like rocks.

Even so, he chips the edges so that I need to get him trimmed. Today, though, I got a lesson from Marty on how to rasp the cracked edges of his hooves. I worked on just one because it is hot. I managed to be dripping sweat from my nose and pumping sweat from my face. Out of breath, I stopped.

Yep. It is summer here in Arkansas. I believe that $30 for the trimming is probably money well spent.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Eh. Poor, poor pitiful me.

After being teased at the barn for my white plastic bridle, I did what needed to be done! That is, got on ebay and bought a used Passier bridle. Classic looking. I don't think the leather is all that, though. The plastic bridle was made of biothane and though completely ugly, was very nice to work with.

It has taken me a full month to almost get over falling off my horse. The xrays didn't show anything broken. And I learned about a new painkiller - Aleve. Going through the airport last week, I broke down and got a wheelchair. Hauling crap with a sore hip is just a bad idea, all round.

I tried out the australian saddle and it just didn't work for me. It felt perchy on my horse. And the workmanship was not up to standards. So it has been sent back.

I am back to the Bates Isabell. It fits well - both for me and my horse. No lesson this week. Everyone is getting ready for the horse show on Sunday.

Friday, May 7, 2010

New Saddle on its way

I got to thinking that having a more secure saddle would help with developing my seat. So I haved ordered a Kates Rideabout Endurance saddle. I will use my saddle pad, monkey grip, and webbers with it. There is a nice review of the saddle on

I am still sore and have a slight headache.

One of the things I have been told to change is my ugly bridle. Being a white bridle on a black horse looks like a neon light to Marty. So I am conditioning one of my other bridles and will change over today.

Henry did a lovely dismount yesterday - he was riding bareback and Zwarte took off. Henry landed on his feet. This is the way to do it. Not landing on one's head.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I am very sore.

That is all. New helmet on its way.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hit the dirt

I was travelling in circles - trying to get Zwarte to go the way I wanted him to. We had done this for some time when he spooked at something, the saddle slipped, and I slammed into the ground. Shoulder, hip and head.

I am sore.

Lesson learned: Must take a firmer grip on the reins - tell Z every step of the way what I want him to do. Oh, and tighten up the girth.

I'd like to try an aussie saddle with poleys to see if I can keep my seat better.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

First lesson

This is the first lesson. I feel like our steering is pretty wobbly. My legs are not strong enough.
I learned today that I need to lean back and let my feet go forward. This makes it tricky to post. I will practice every day until my legs get stronger.

Plus work on verbal cues for backing up.

Zwarte has a snotty nose. Poor baby.

I am so very very happy to have him home. I missed him so much.