August 02, 2010

Walk-Trot-Walk-Trot....La De Da!

When I arrived to see Willy the place was pretty hopping, I’ve been showing up later and later during the day so more and more people have been at the barn. I got Willy out of his stall but as I was leading him out this little girl, I would say 6-7 years old was right by the gate; actually she was kind of in the way of my leading Willy out. I said excuse me and she backed up. She asked if I was going to buy him, I told her no, I was just leasing him on Sundays. She followed me to the indoor arena where I like tack up Willy. She stated that she was having a lesson today and usually rode Willy. I asked her who her instructor was, that maybe she should talk to her and find out which horse she’d be riding since Willy is leased on Sundays. I didn’t know what else to say to her, it’s like she almost expected me to get Willy ready and hand him over. I felt bad, like I was taking horse time away from her. I paid to lease him though, so I shouldn’t feel bad! Finally her grandpa came in and the two went and brought her sisters horse in. She was a beautiful flea bitten grey Arabian mare. She and her grandpa got to work on grooming the mare and I was left in peace with Willy.

By the way, I went by the Big R and purchased a hunter green halter for Willy (have a mentioned that before?) since I don’t feel I tie those rope halters correctly and am afraid one day I’d have a lose Willy on my hands! Um, that sentence sounded bad, but bare in mind Willy is his name ….I was talking about the horse! I’ve gotten a lot of flack from friends about the horse named Willy that I lease. Can we say immature? LOL

Willy is so handsome in his new halter!

I am starting to get the hang of wrapping his back legs, I’m required to wrap all four at this stable. Laurie only has me wrap Divine’s front legs, which make sense since that is where they carry the most weight. I’ve read good and bad about wraps, with what I do on Willy I wonder if they are really necessary, they just seem to make his legs really sweaty, I would love a little more insight as to when to use them and when not to. During my one ride out on the "trail" he came back with seeds and burrs on the wraps, what a pain to clean! I know they are supposed to support the tendons and protect against inner leg striking or brushing but I’ve never used them in the past, just been introduced to them this year. Still, Willy looks snazzy in his hunter green digs and black tack!

I decided to work in the arena today to work on turning left, amongst other things. Well I didn’t have any issues with Willy going where I wanted to but that’s no surprise. If I compared him and Divine he would be a mini van with really stiff shocks and Divine would be a Porsche with smooth handling and quick responses. She’s definitely more sensitive to my body whereas I really have to tell Willy what I want. Sometimes my legs ache after I ride him from squeezing to keep him at a decent walk or to get him up into the trot. It could be age, it could be breeding, training or just life use, Willy was an endurance horse that is maybe pooped out and Divine is a pampered broodmare well trained in dressage style riding. Either way I like them both, I think my ideal horse would be somewhere in between the two, a responsive horse but one who isn’t too responsive to every little mistake I make. Perhaps the longer I get back into riding I won’t make as many mistakes and I’ll desire a sensitive horse like Divine, only time will tell.

I worked Willy at the trot, he doesn’t really trot at a consistent pace which certainly isn’t helped by the arena being on a slope. I worked him on walk-trot transitions, I only let him trot 10 paces before I asked for the walk. Then I’d walk about 10 paces and ask for the trot. I extended the length of the trot until the pace was pretty consistent, not perfect but much better. I am proud to say I was able to sit the trot much better on him than I have to this date! Now I have to work on trotting pace while posting….it seems when I started posting the pace increases, perhaps I’m squeezing him and not realizing? If I could collect him perhaps he’d be smoother and more consistent in his gaits.

I’ll have to ask Laurie sometime about collection, how to get this old man to collect. The normal contact on the reins, a one-two-one-two signal makes him stick his nose strait out, I’m not sure if I should learn to lunge (actually I know I want to learn that) but I would like to know if that work can help with collection. After the ride I untacked Willy and rubbed him down. He always seems relieved to have the saddle and leg wraps come off, I don’t blame him in this heat. I brought him to his pen, put his fly mask on and scratched the base of his mane as he contorted around to scratch his legs and then scratch his face with his back hoof, just like a dog! Speaking of dogs…I need to take a picture of the miniature horses he shares a pen with, they are like big dogs coming up to me when I walk in there, I’m nervous they’d do the "typical dog greeting" but luckily they don’t! Hehehe! They are just so cute! Until next time!

1 comment:

TX Doodler said...

I love Willy's new green halter! My lesson stable uses the rope ones & I don't like them either. I feel clumsy tie it on & flinging it off to set him to pasture.

Would love to see the mini's posted when you go to gather Willy! I'm both fascinated & bewildered by minis. It'd be interesting to see how they socialize with regular horses.