Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tuesday and Thursday Lessons on Cotton and Ozzie

This week, I got to ride two bay paint geldings.  The first one was a horse named Cotton. He was fun to ride. We rode in the outdoor ring for the first time, which was kind of exciting. We also jumped, which was equally as exciting. I really didn't like cantering Cotton because he would just...stop. We would be cantering along, and then he'd break into a jarring trot, regardless of how much I used my legs. Laura rode him before, and she told me that he did it with her too. We worked on the flat for a while, even though I couldn't hear a word that Teresa was saying to us.  I barely heard her ask us to canter, and then I didn't hear that she wanted us to canter in two-point. Jumping was great. We trotted the jump once and cantered it a few times after.  Once, Cotton broke into a trot about 15 feet before the jump, and I didn't want to fight with him straight to the jump. I made him circle and then brought him back into line. We had some very nice jumps, or at least they felt nice. 
Today I rode a pony named Ozzie. I walked up to his stall and started telling him that he was just too cute--because he was :) He pinned his ears and wrinkled his nose just like Mac used to do, and I couldn't help but laugh at him. When I was grooming and tacking him up, though, I wasn't laughing. I ducked under his neck while he was tied and I heard a little pop. It sounded like I'd bumped his chin and made him pop his lips, so I dismissed it. I was cautious, though, and I later realized that the little bugger was making serious attempts at biting me. I slapped him one time really hard and he didn't do it again. He was actually really good for me after that. He snapped and sneered as I did up his girth, but I glared at him and he didn't reach around after me. 
Riding him was quite nice. He had pony gaits, but his canter was still lovely to ride. His trot was fine, except when he saw other horses cantering and wanted to canter with them. I think I was having a pretty bad day. I lost my left stirrup while asking him to canter the first time, but I just cantered on without it. I also got my right foot jammed into the stirrup once while cantering, but that time I stopped and fixed it. I definitely don't want my feet to be THAT secure in the stirrups. I seriously thought I was going to lose my balance and just slip off a couple of times. I hated the saddle. It was way too small for me, and the seat was really shallow. We played a follow-the-leader game where we walked and trotted around the ring, maintaining one horse length between horses, switching directions, and changing line order. It was different.
I can't wait to go home and see Stella and everyone at the barn. 

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