Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Did you know....

... that there are people who will come to your house and spend hours doing nothing other than rub your sore spots? There ARE. If I had known that, I would have ordered one long ago. Mom and Brita got me a session, and it was a really nice surprise, because as we all know, after the recent events around here, Brita is the one who could really use the back rub.

Brita came to ride a little later than usual, and we did a nice slow warm up. I'm doing so well with my new Dee bit. We're even starting to work on "simple changes" which are not simple at all. It took me 5 and 6 trot strides to realise I was supposed to canter again. But, I'm catching on, and I'm sure it will become more organised soon.

After I was put up and dry, a visitor arrived. Her name was Marnee and she came from Aways-a-way, which is where all good horse professionals seem to come from. Finally an Equine Practitioner who does not pull horse juice, jab me with potentially deadly viruses, or rattle my head with corded power tools. I LIKE her!

She got real familiar real fast. I don't like people messing with the top of my neck. Brita told her she thought I have tempermandibblersomethingorother. Marnee just said I was "out" at my poll, which is not the same as being out of my head. I hope.

She poked and prodded a bit, but she had some real nice smelling stuff...

...And before long I was making a happy face.

Then she rubbed my favorite spots. She said my neck was really tight, especially on this side.

When she got to my shoulders and chest I really got into it.

And I stretched waaaaayyyyy back to loosen the right muscles and get the full benefit.

She also spent time on my back and legs.

My back had some sore spots which made Brita feel bad, but Marnee assured her they weren't so bad that Brita shouldn't sit on them.

After all this rubbing and loosening, I went for a little walk, then Marnee got up on a mounting block and cracked my sackereallyack. You could really hear it pop. We all wonder if now my tail will follow straight behind me.

Afterwards, my friend Face-Off got a massage and adjustment too. He's been REALLY cranky under saddle because he says everything hurts, and not just his feet. After his session, he leaped and jumped around. I think we all feel better tonight. Brita says it was reasonable enough that if this makes us feel this good, we can have to done more regular, and in the mean time, she learned a few places that I need a good rubbing.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Such a Mellow Fellow

.... and then some days I am so mellow that you would never believe that I could pull stunts like throwing my rider and performing airs above the ground. Some days I have what Brita calls a "quiet mind". On days like these, sometimes it is difficult to coax me out of a meandering walk.

Part of it is that I got a new bit that I really like. It's smooth, and unchewable. It does not beg to be fiddled with like some of the other bits I have known.

It doesn't make me want to do this....

Or this...

Or this...

It makes me much more relaxed, and as Brita says, "almost straight necked" which is sort of a big deal for a Saddlebred, as we have very flexible, hingy necks and sensitive mouths.

My quiet day just happened to correspond with the re-emergence of the caveleggies. It's been almost a year since I've seen them as they were acting as the table legs for the hay soaking station. Nowadays, all my hay has been showing up dry, and the caveleggies are back in action. I admit I didn't feel much like doing serious exercise, but I know if I'm pointed at a row of poles I am supposed to come out the other side, so I did my work.

We did some dressage, which I think is soooOoooo boring. Sure, it comes in handy now and then. It's important to be able to leg yield so you can avoid mailboxes or chuck holes when you're out hacking. And yes, I suppose it makes my gaskins look sexy, but other than that, I lose interest really fast.

I was so good and quiet, naturally it was a good time to go out and about, so we took a tour of the fields and watched the farmer discing the cornfield (from a safe vantage point). I was so quiet I would have been a safe mount for even the most timid rider.

This is Brita's favorite time of the year to ride. There's something about the September sky and the colors and the air quality that make her want to travel. Last year we even came across a fox. Wouldn't it be fun to ride to hounds and gallop with a purpose? I don't know if I will ever be trained enough to jump fences and mind my manners on cold foggy mornings, but we went and leapt the ditch between the fields for practice anyway.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Schooling Haute Ecole

It seems we just can't get any serious work done, these days, without being interrupted by monsters. No sooner had we gotten saddled up than a troop of tree killers arrived right outside the arena with a Bob Cat and chainsaws. I found it difficult to concentrate, but was well behaved until the Lime Green Ax Murderer sprang from the bushes.

See... there he is right there. Lurking just like Big Foot.

We stopped to watch them for a few minutes, then Brita decided our schooling session was done because she no longer had control of my neck. As we exited the arena and down the slope towards the barn, I made use of my nice warm up session, and began schooling myself in the Croupade.

It's a very difficult piece of Aires Above the Ground, and earned me a trip around the yard and up and down the driveway to collect my thoughts before we headed back to the barn. Admit it, if you knew a Lime Green Ax Murderer was lurking in the underbrush behind you, you would have been jumpy too.
P.S. Brita stayed in the general vicinity of the saddle. But she called me a naughty word.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Big Five-Oh

We've tipped the scales at fifty followers! Jason, I think it was you. Who knew that dumping my rider would get us just the publicity we needed to reach this milestone.

And now as a reward, some old pictures you haven't seen of other firsts in my life.

My first picture at my new home (I still have my hip sticker on)

My first try at being a five gaited horse (Look Ma, no Helmet!)

Going to pick up my first blue ribbon.

Stay tuned for more adventures.........

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Whoops, I dropped my passenger. I feel terrible about it. It isn't something I normally do. You see, we had another alien visitation. I could hear them all morning in the fields, and I was too nervous to be out in my pasture. When Brita came to ride, she found me hiding in the arena where I can run in and out. She could tell I was very disturbed, but told me she would go show me what was happening, and then I would see it was alright.

I could see what looked to be a cousin of the Loch Ness Monster away in the fields. There were those big red trucks coming and going. It all looked OK, and I was walking calmly through the field when it happened. One of those big trucks pulled up nearby, downshifted with a roar, and belched black smoke. This startled my into a series of unfortunate events.

First this happened....

... and Brita landed behind the saddle on my butt, which scared me worse, and I thought the monster had grabbed my flank. So I bucked a bit.... sending her into orbit....

And when she came down, she wasn't in the right place again....

So I bucked a few more times.... ( I was just trying to help, I swear)

And deposited her with unfortunate velocity into the dirt.
Then I ran home as fast as I could to find Mom.

To say Mom was alarmed to see me arrive home alone was an understatement.

But Brita wasn't too far behind. She hollered after me to let everyone know to call off the search, and then she got right back on and made me go back to the field. I certainly didn't want a repeat of that. I found out what the monster was, and it didn't look like it had time to eat a horse.

I brought her home safe and sound in the end, but boy did I feel bad. She hosed me off with cold water and I didn't even squirm. I was afraid to behave badly after my performance in the field. I couldn't even look her in the eye, and was afraid to ask for my peppermint. She gave me one anyway for standing so well for my shower.

I feel very sheepish about the whole thing. Mom says I've been too quiet all afternoon and that obviously I feel bad. I wonder how Brita feels?
illustrations from Thelwell Horse Box: Norman Thelwell