Monday, May 09, 2011

lessons in riding, 5

Tonight after arriving home from daughter's lesson I marched out to the barn and called in the Big Bay. Husband was weed-eating and the three geldings were "trapped" in the back field. They started running the arena fence line, and then suddenly Cody turned around, picked up speed, and galloped through the gate right past the scary weed-eating monster!

Keil Bay came in when husband turned it off, snorting and blowing and standing up to his "big horse" stature (about 17.3h).

Fortunately I had done a good groom this morning so I didn't have much to do except tack up. By the time I entered the arena it was dusky, he was fully alert, and I figured the ride would definitely be interesting.

The thing about the Big Bay is that it's pretty easy to transform his "upness" into nice dressage work if you aren't nervous yourself. We did some really nice big walking and he wanted contact immediately. It took a couple of circuits to get him to notch down his alertness level a few clicks, but at that point he was nicely forward and I shifted into shoulder-in, some well-timed turns on the forehand, and alternating between big walk and a more collected walk to keep us focused.

We had one small spook at the end of a full circle of turns on the forehand but I used that little bit of impulsion to head down center line.

By the last bit of 20m circle work, we found the magic with very soft contact and a lovely bend.

The interesting thing was that when I dismounted, he was still very "up." That weed-eater really had them going today!

I wondered if he would stand at the tack room door, but guess what? Even the weed-eating demon is not enough to put Keil Bay off his end-of-work treats!

After several handsful of pellets and oats he marched off to the front yard, completely by himself, in the dark, and I cleaned all three of his bridles, his saddle, and am still happily breathing in the scent of Effax oil.

Lesson today: sometimes weed-eating jumps you up a level!


Grey Horse Matters said...

Sounds good. Maybe you can make a tape of the week eating sound. This way your husband doesn't have to be around with the actual machine! Glad you had such a good ride.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Weed eater = forward.

Heck - I'm a landscaper... why didn't I think of that! Glad you had a wonderful ride billie, you were due :)

Michelle said...

Mmmmm...this sounds like the perfect night! Love it.

Máire said...

What is a weed-eater? It sounds like just the thing to put in the direction of my husband.

I know that feeling of "upness". It is wonderful when it works for and with you.

Matthew said...

Glad you had a good ride. I don't think we'll make that part of the regular routine, though!

billie said...

Arlene, now THAT is brilliant. It never occurred to me! A "let's rev this engine" CD for the Big Bay. Ha!

billie said...


billie said...

Michelle, it was pretty wonderful.

billie said...

Maire, ours is powered by gas/oil mix and has plastic cord that whips back and forth, cutting the weeds. It makes a very obnoxious sound that sort of revs as it goes, which is what I think the horses don't like about it. Mowers are much more steady sounding.

billie said...

Matthew, probably not. If we did it wouldn't work the same way!