Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A sweet ride on the Big Bay

Yesterday afternoon I brought the horses in to relax in the barn with some hay and grooming, and with daughter’s help, got enough done to have time for a ride. Keil’s left hip felt tight to me, as did my own, and there’s nothing better than some walking to loosen things up.

It was nice to leisurely groom, tack up, note the horse hair literally covering the sleeves of my shirt, and get on with no fanfare. We have a new mounting block, one of the standard 3-step ones, in the barnyard. It’s taller of course than the 2-step blocks, but significantly shorter than my rigged up 2-step on two layers of concrete blocks that I have in the arena.

Most regular readers know I had a weak hip several years ago and became stressed about dismounting from the 16.2 Keil Bay straight to the ground. My nervousness transmitted to Keil and mounting was not always the most pleasant part of our ride. He’s sensible, so nothing bad was going on, but I felt my own confidence undermined our rides and I wanted to put a stop to it. The higher mounting block set-up made a huge difference in both mounting and dismounting. Keil quickly adjusted to my getting off at the mounting block and my only worry in the world was that the donkeys quickly formed a habit of waiting until I got on and then pushing the 2-step block off its concrete base. But for the most part the new arrangement saved the day and I no longer stood fidgeting with the mounting block getting it in the perfect position nor did I dread the end of the ride and the drop to the ground.

I’m not sure what prompted me in December to buy this 3-step block for the barnyard, but yesterday when it was time to hop on I had Keil line up to it and before I could second-guess myself, got on. I have this thing about not getting too dependent on having things one/the same way when it comes to riding or for that matter, horsekeeping in general. It’s good to be flexible and in my case it’s good to back down from needing to mount from the very high block. So I was very happy that I got on and off with this 3-step.

The ride was nice. Keil is very wide and it was definitely a stretch through the hips! My heels were not down when it felt like they were nearly perpendicular to the ground but by the end of the ride Keil was looser and so was I.

And in the barn aisle afterward I untacked him and he stood by the bench and I sat cleaning tack and we both had that sweet endorphin muscle release zen feeling going and I realized I hadn’t had even the slightest twinge in my right shoulder.

The Big Bay is good for the body, good for the soul. And he is now 29 years old! This is the year that I am exactly twice his age. But the joy he has brought and continues to bring is an infinite number. We’re a mathematical phenomenon.


Grey Horse Matters said...

So glad you're back in the saddle and having fun with Keil Bay again. The new mounting block seems to be working out well and you can always move it to the riding arena if you feel like it. Then the donkeys won't be able to dismantle it while you're riding.

Someday you might want a more permanent one with a bigger "dismounting" area. I'm sending along the one we built that I did a post on a while back. It's suitable for outside too with the right wood.

Here's the link:

billie said...

Oh, I remember that gorgeous and very useful mounting block you had built! Thank you for linking to it - what a treasure! I may move the 3-step into the arena. For some reason I liked it in the barnyard and sort of considered it a back up if they dismantled the one inside. It’s weird how one small thing can be emotionally crippling at one point in our riding lives and then later on not such a big deal.

I really need a camera mounted at hoof level in the arena so I can video the strides and check for tracking up. Would be perfect if it were connected to my iPhone and I could stop and watch w/o dismounting, etc.

The things I come up with. But mostly I’m happy that we had a good ride and stretched some things out. Now if we can keep that going!

How is Rosie?

Grey Horse Matters said...

Rosie is doing very well. I’m preparing a post about her work. We’ve been doing a lot of consistent work with her and this morning when I longed her she was excellent. And for that camera angle you need for your phone they sell stands you can mount it on and video it.

billie said...

Yay re: Rosie - can’t wait to see the post! Will check out the little stand for iPhones.