lurath: teephs (Saber)
I rode that grey draft pony beast, Smokey, yesterday! And it was actually somewhat fun, despite him being nothing like my Deli. Also: WIDE. Holy hell, he filled up my entire leg and it was like riding a marshmallow fluff even though he is a short little feller (I'd guess 15hh). Seriously: I put my leg on and there is like 10 inches of squish to him. Pillow-pony.

He is super green and whatever training he has in him has taught him to fake giving to the bit. And he's a bit short-fat-necked so relaxation in the neck is going to be hard for him anyway. He doesn't work very consistently off the hind end. He basically ignored any requests for lateral movement, but I later learned he was always ridden in spurs, so maybe if I ride him again I'll dig them out. At one point I asked him to move off my leg that he was leaning on with a boot, and he decided to go backwards so I flicked him with the whip and he LEAPED forward.

But he was nicely forward, if wiggly. There is actually something there to work with.

I've realized that I actually have something to offer green horses as a rider. Thanks to Deli of course. I know I have my issues (worst thing is a fairly loose lower leg), but I also think I've developed a good instinct of when and how to push, when to give, and how to use my seat. And I must say, even though my lower leg is somewhat loose... I don't really NEED it or even my stirrups in a lot of situations. At one point when he spooked and I lost my stirrups I just continued on without them. Of course, it's easier with a huge wide round thing that is pretty dead to the leg than my horse, who gets irritated by more than a very very light constant pressure.

Observing more of his behavior I'm seeing some stallion-like indications, which would explain him going from puppy-dog to attack mode when Winnie challenged him. The thing that bothers me is that he had no problem with rearing and striking and kicking out when it was a HUMAN he was facing. Even just playing, that is not okay. Also: he masturbates ALL THE TIME. He is very mouthy/nippy, and of course kind of dead to being smacked like every draft horse I've met. When I smack Deli she has so much more of an emotional reaction! Basically he's a huge dog who hasn't been taught manners.

Anyway, the barn owner was saying I was making him go better than the old trainer he had by the end (she'd seen videos). She wants me to ride him more. On the one hand I think that would be fun and I think I would do him MORE good than her because she isn't very firm and does not seem to have a very good feel for correct dressage movement (she loved it when he was curling his neck but totally strung out in the hind). He was standing in the wash pen drying after the ride and he came over to me wanting to nip/play with my hands and I smacked him and wouldn't let him enter my space, so he walked over to the barn owner and started doing the same with her and she was laughing about it, saying how he likes her better. Oy. Boy needs to be given boundaries!

On the other hand my barn owner is being paid to give him more miles/training and get him ready for sale. So me riding him feels like she's taking advantage of me. Again. She also wants me to trim his feet with no discussion of compensation! I'm for-sure not going to do that, because I want to save my back for trimming MY horses, and I'm still uncomfy with the idea of trimming a complete stranger's horse. Perhaps I will ask for a reduction in board and I can make training him an actual planned thing. Ugh, I feel like that's a conversation that could start drama!

I also had Brian ride the old Arab guy, Riskky, before I hopped on Smokey. I just put him on the lunge line and he did really well walk/trot. While I rode Smokey he just walked around the arena. And we finally found an English saddle that is comfortable for Brian's junk: just a plain old Wintec event saddle. Brian does need help keeping his weight sunk into his heels, but I think it's more time in the saddle that's going to be the most helpful for that. I'm not sure Rissky is the best horse to do lots of trotting on because Brian is a bit big for him. The boy is all legs (his legs are 4 inches longer than mine, measured from our hip bones, and yet he is less than an inch taller than me) and he does seem more comfortable on a horse that fills up his leg more, regardless of height. He did seem to like him okay, and rode for a good half-hour, so I think he'd work for some walk-only trail rides.

In Deli news, she was looking pretty much her old self sickness-wise yesterday. Her nose is still very wet, but it's all clear or ever so slightly white. Her temperature has been normal for several days. Since I run out of SMZ tonight, I am going to call the vet first thing and see if she thinks I should get more SMZ or if 5 days is enough (I don't want to be creating antibiotic resistant bacteria!). Her leg is looking good as well. I actually think the fact that she's been sick allowing me to DEMAND she be kept separate during turnout has been much more helpful because she doesn't have to out-of-nowhere escape evil teeth of a horse attacking her. She's been in a nice small grass paddock bordering the paddocks of her buddies that attaches to her pen, which has clearly decreased her stress. I just want to know WHY dear Deli, you fall in love with horses who chase and harass you constantly... girl is masochistic! I'm going to try and keep up this arrangement as long as possible.

I start my volunteer job next week, and I'm also planning on going out to the endurance-trainer's barn to do some exercise riding if she has a need. At least in THAT situation there is an exchange: she's teaching me about endurance riding. And there is a lot to learn and she was totally happy to share and talk about it. Also, I'm just riding her already-trained horses so it feels like a fair exchange...

I must say that I have been dreaming about endurance riding/trail, riding every night for weeks now. Maybe it's the summertime weather, but I just NEED to be riding! And I want a truck & trailer and a young horse in training... or even better: my own soul-mate horse Deli sound and ready to hit the trails! I have offers to take us horse camping and all that jazz, but it does not matter if Deli is hurt and/or seriously out of shape!

Oh wait, did I mention I got married this week?! It has been a good week despite having to deal with a horse cold and me feeling a bit sick as well.

Date: 2013-06-10 04:51 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
I would say don't ride him unless she's willing to pay you. She's being paid to ride this thing- if she is going to subcontract the job it should be for more than the chance to ride a greenie. She'll probably say what a great chance it is for you to ride since you can't ride Deli right now, but I'm sure there are greenies all over that need miles who's owner would like a nice steady rider to hop on and work for free. Particularly with the chance to ride with an endurance rider (By the way, I'm jealous!)


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