Monday, March 30, 2009

Lots of updates because I've been lazy.

Yeah. I totally didn't write about last Wednesday's lesson. I guess I'll do that now.
I started out on Aussie. I don't hate him like everyone else seems to. Sure, he's lazy, but there's nothing wrong with him. I can get him going really well with just a few taps from a crop. His saddle leaves a lot to be desired, but most of the saddles at the school's barn are like that. Jeff's saddle is even worse. I rode Jeff when we switched in the middle of the lesson. He was really good for me last time, but he was really fast this time. We did an exercise where we cantered the long stretch of the arena and trotted the short. It was absolutely impossible for me. It'd be a different story if I were on Stella, but Jeff didn't appreciate our little exercise in control and flat-out refused to break a trot when I asked. Oh well.
I went home this weekend as well. It rained a lot and was too muddy to ride. I played with Stella a lot, though, and we had a lot of fun. I sat in her stall for a long time and talked to her. She's so wonderful. I also hugged on her and took pictures of her lips, which were colored a funny pink because of her new supplement block. I played with her in the paddock on Sunday. She kept biting baby Jessie, and I kept telling her to stop. She didn't listen. She was shedding a lot. I'm sure she's glad to have her blanket off now!
Larry called me early on Saturday morning and asked me if I wanted to come get Abby and keep her for the day. I jumped at his offer, not realizing that she was absolutely covered in mud and bouncing off the walls with that pent-up Australian shepherd energy. I took her for a very, very long walk. We were gone for at least two hours, just walking and talking. First, I took her to the "nice" side of town, all the way to the creek. The only place I could find that didn't make me feel like I was blatantly trespassing on someone else's property was a plot of land that had a real estate sign on it. I was going to let Abby jump off the docks, but then an old man pulled up in his blue BMW and made me feel awkward. I eased away from the water, but then Abby broke loose from me and tore through some gigantic puddles. She ran into a very nice yard, and I was scared that someone was going to call animal control to come tranquilize a coyote. She looks like one when she's wet and nasty :D
I eventually caught her, and then I realized that the old man was still watching me. He didn't look pleased. I yelled for Abby to run and we bolted off out of sight. We met an older lady with a spotless white cotton ball of a pup. They didn't seem pleased either when I allowed Abby to jump into a gigantic puddle in a ditch beside the road. She definitely shared the love, too. I was soaked, Abby was soaked, and we were both very happy. We walked down to a convenience store, but we couldn't go inside because I'm broke and the owners just don't understand that speciesism is wrong :P Instead, we strolled down to a closed-up restaurant with a doggie theme. I thought it would be cute to get Abby to sit on the doormat, which has a dog on it, and get a picture. They were really cute pictures. We both sat on the doormat for a while, waving at passersby. A little kid saw Abby and squealed with delight. We headed out even farther, making it all the way to the vineyard. Abby frolicked in the open field and at the base of two gigantic corkscrews, the distinctive monuments that set the town papers ablaze. We started heading back, all the way to the park. I turned her loose on the tennis court, which she loved. Since she's so amazing, I let her run loose in the park too. She found some kids that she absolutely adored. The kids didn't like her very much, though. She jumped on them and got them wet and muddy, so I had to call her back. Abby was very disappointed that the kids didn't want to play with her! We took a drinking break at the fountain. I took her back down the first road that we took, but I didn't go nearly as far. I let her play on the beautiful grass at the inn (truly the nicest grass I've ever felt) and then we went back home.
After our walk, we were very hungry. We ate lunch together. Abby ate some fortune cookies and some bread and some hamburger (That PROVES that I love her.), and then I had to take her back to the barn because I ran out of stuff to feed her. Larry was back with four 700-pound bales of hay. The dogs were fascinated with these gigantic bales, so they decided to climb on top of them and wrestle. I was also fascinated by them, so I climbed on top and sprawled out for a little rest. Larry came over and started to fuss at me about the date of my next chiropractor visit, and then he "encouraged" me to get up by hitting me really hard and putting Jack on top of me. I almost fell off the bale. It was hysterical, but it didn't do much for the hip that concerns him so much :)
Yesterday, my sister and Elizabeth wanted to go out in the boat. Elizabeth didn't want to go get the paddles from her garage, so she decided to use a stick instead. My sister and I had the intelligence to skip out on this particular boat excursion (I sat in the boat for a while when it was still tied to the tree), but Elizabeth worked her way out to the middle of the pond...and realized that recent rain had made the whole thing much deeper than it's ever been. She was basically stuck, so my sister waded in and towed the boat back. She's so good to her friends. Had one of my friends done that, I would've made THEM get out, get wet, and tow the boat back. That's amazing, considering Mindy and I promised that we'd jump in the pond in a heartbeat to save Abby when we were "teaching" her to swim and retrieve sticks from the pond :) Of course, it never came to that. She may be a herder by nature (and she herds the horses quite well!), but she's an even better swimmer than Jack, who's half Labrador and has cute webbed feet.
I started out on Mersea today. I was so happy. Mersea is the little wonder jumping pony that everyone loves, but he's got some nasty ground manners. He's a tad headshy, but I understand that completely. Being headshy is a fear-based behavior, not misbehavior. Mac used to be terribly afraid of anything touching his face, and he would react violently whenever I'd try to comb his forelock or put on his bridle. Eventually he trusted me enough to let me do all of that stuff pretty well, but... This isn't about Mac, is it? Meh. Mersea also tried to kick me, which prompted me to say something very inappropriate very loudly. He tried to bite me a lot too, so I just bit my tongue and smacked him on the shoulder.
Mersea's so lovely to ride, though. He was a bit slow today, but we had a nice ride. We worked on the flat for a really long time. Mersea's canter is absolutely amazing, by the way, as is his trot. And his walk. I was starting to wonder whether Teresa had forgotten that it was our jumping day. When we switched horses, someone asked her about it. She had forgotten, so I jumped on Jack and we started jumping. Jack was giving his previous rider a lot of trouble, so I stayed alert. I really didn't want to jump him. If he were my horse, he would still be on the flat, improving his response to normal aids. I personally don't believe that a horse who won't come down to a halt in a reasonable amount of time should be jumping, but I also don't believe that beginning riders should be allowed to jump without developing an independent seat... I jumped him anyway, though. He wasn't so bad with the first crossrail. In fact, I was quite pleased. He's a wonderful jumper. He just gets overexcited, rushes, fights, and throws himself around in a tantrum when he's not allowed to continue cantering. After the first crossrail, he got feisty and I brought him back to a trot. He had a tantrum and started throwing himself around, but I made him walk and let him trot to the next two jumps. He was really rude during the first "course," but he was much better for the second. I made him walk to the crossrail and only allowed him to trot a short distance before. I let him canter to the second line, and it wasn't bad. The final jump, however, was really strange. He jumped HUGE, and it was one of those moments where I thought I was going to plant my face into his neck. I'm glad I didn't, though. After that final jump, Jack decided to squeal a little and took off. He rounded up and started swishing his tail like he was going to buck. I think he knew better than to buck with this bronc buster on his back, though :D I can't believe I've gone almost nine years without being bucked off. So far, Stella is in the lead because she's almost bucked me off twice that I can remember.
Oh man. I've jinxed it. I'm getting bucked off on Wednesday now. I just know it. Uggggh. I bet it'll be a little pony, too.

No comments: