Thursday, October 7, 2010


Today I decided that small children have the right of it.  The word is not "gravity" it's "grabbity" because it sure as heck feels like someone GRABBED me and body slammed me into the ground today.  I had a lovely, long ride around the neighborhood on Tina yesterday and today hubby wanted us to both go riding down the road a little ways for a change of pace.  We've done this with Tina and Traveller a few times and Traveller has been ok as long as Tina's there with him.  We even put in a new little trail through the cedar to the road so that the horses don't have to go on the crushed stone driveway since it seems to bother them so much and I was kind of looking forward to trying it out. 

We didn't ride that far, maybe 10 minutes or so, when we turned back for home.  Tina was doing her speed walking trying to hurry so I thought what the heck, Traveller's done this route a few times now, he should be ok, and asked him for a little trot to catch up.  He frickin bucked!  I had one of those moments where you have a split second to think, hung on tight trying to find the right moment and spot to go flying off and, thank goodness, managed to miss being splatted on the pavement.  I almost stuck the landing in the grass but I came down on one foot before the other so it crumpled under me leaving me with what feels like a sprained ankle.  But I gritted my teeth and got back on. 

At that point I was DONE, absolutely DONE with gentle and nice so when he started doing some little half bucks I really clamped down on those reins and put him back on his hind!  We've got a super gentle bit on him so I didn't feel bad nipping another incident of me taking a flying lesson in the bud.  I just want to cry!  This is really eroding my riding confidence!  Yeah I got back on and made him behave but I got off and walked him the last little bit to the pasture because I was scared he'd do it again when he got in sight of Brother and Nugget. 

Once we got in the gate I got back up on him.  He stopped at the post where I tacked him up like he thought he was all done but I gave him a good nudge in the ribs and made him keep walking!  Oh he didn't like it!  He tried to stop where Tina was being unsaddled, stop again at his spot, walk at a super reluctant slow, cut corners, speed up to get to Tina or his spot faster...UGH!  I finally had Eric hand me a crop and the next time he tried to stop I popped him one.  He startled and I had to clamp down on the reins again.  For some reason his whoas have gotten bad so for awhile I just did walk and whoas trying to work my courage up enough for a trot.  I was so scared that he'd buck again if I asked him to trot and honestly I'm terrified that my luck may be running out!  I've been HURT plenty bad during the few times he's thrown me but I haven't been really INJURED yet. 

I came really close to chickening out, just stopping the ride without asking for a trot at all, but when I finally just made myself do it everything was fine!  Sure I had to cluck and squeeze more than once because I was trying to ease him into it but for a second he gave me a really gorgeous, soft, dreamy trot!  It turned into his ugly trot, fast, choppy, bouncy, doesn't want to be controlled but for a second it was like letting out a great, big, pent up sigh of relief.  What the heck goes on in their minds?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


While searching for a good new home for Brother and Nugget my family has been undermining my determination.  The children all boo-hooed at the thought of rehoming Nugget because she's their favorite.  It seems a little strange to me since she's the one that we can't even get on so far but I guess you'd have to meet Nugget to see just how darn sweet she is.  She really is just so darn SWEET (repetitive, I know, but it's really the only word to describe her) that you just fall in love with her even if you can't ride her.  Just hanging out with her is relaxing.

And for all his talk about rehoming Brother being the smart thing to do and how financially we'd be better off Brother has always been dear hubby's baby.  The reason we got Brother in the first place was he and Eric seemed to have an instant connection of some sort.  He's not as blatant about it as the children, of course, but he has been dragging his feet around when it comes to this whole rehoming thing.  I found one place that has a special place in their hearts for OTTBs that would retrain them and keep them for their clients that come there for treatment which sounds like it could be a very nice place for Brother and Nugget but hubby's answer was "nah, they'll probably want us to deliver them which means we'd have to borrow a trailer or something."  Sounds like a silly excuse to say no to me!

I'm actually surprised that someone hasn't grabbed them up!  These are quality horses with some very rich blood running in their veins free for the taking but once I tell them that Nugget roars or that they'll need a very experienced rider to get them used to being ridden again the people that were so eager to hear about them just dry right up.  I'm not really complaining since I'd rather keep them but it does make me wonder just what the heck people are expecting???  Do they honestly think that someone is going to hand them two blue bloods with perfect conformation, fully trained and bomb proof, no quirks or flaws whatsoever on a silver platter for free??? 

But the big news is...I rode Brother (sorta, a little)!!  Eric was hemming and hawing about things and decided that he'd like to put Tina or Traveller's saddle on Brother just to see what he'd do.  His idea was that maybe Brother just needed to "buck it out" so Tina's saddle which has a back cinch would be best since Brother's almost sure to buck not being used to that second cinch.  This kind of talk was making me really nervous really quick so I decided that I'd best do something with Brother to thwart my sweet hubby's plans.  I don't actually object to letting a horse "buck it out" to some extent as long as he's been prepared and the saddle fits well but neither Tina nor Traveller's saddles fit Brother properly! 

So instead I asked Eric to hold Brother's lead rope while I got on and off him bareback.  Every time I got on Brother got a cookie.  That went so well that after several mounts and dismounts I had Eric lead us around the round pen while being generous with the cookies.  It all went very nicely and Eric was satisfied so I was happy but I knew I still needed to find some way to put a complete end to this talk of using Tina's saddle on him.  Yesterday I got my chance while Eric was at the band parent's meeting.  I put both saddles on Brother in the round pen but took the back cinch off Tina's and only cinched them up enough to keep them from falling off.  Brother was good walking the round pen carrying the saddles but now that I've actually seen them on him no, I do think that they sit too low over his withers.  Plus although Brother was good about it he did seem a little tense and twitchy.  Eric came home just as I was finishing with the 2nd saddle and disagrees with me.  He says he thinks he could make it work with the right saddle pad.  At the very least I know that I don't have to make any kind of solid stand unless he gets another saddle pad so for now we're safe on this point!  And it's looking more and more like maaaaayyyybeeee we won't end up rehoming them after all!  We'll just have to keep seeing what happens one day at a time I guess.