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Whoa, Nelly!


Previous Entry Whoa, Nelly! Nov. 13th, 2008 @ 07:19 am Next Entry
:grin: So, I rode Leah last night. We made it home before dark, the round pen was dry(ish), she was clean(ish)...so I ran inside, changed to my (only) pair of breeches and boots, grabbed the saddle; Sweet Geek changed to jeans and grabbed the girth, then we both went outside.

I got the pen ready - removed the water buckets, moved the mounting block out of the way, set up the brushes - while he caught Leah. Got her saddled in record time, tightened my helmet, said a quick prayer ("Help!" :grin:) and...up I went.

She's broke. Broke broke broke. Has NO clue about leg aids, doesn't like having ANY sort of contact on her mouth, and I can't figure out how she steers. She doesn't like direct (English) reining, and neck reining (Western) didn't really work either - I was literally hauling her head around to get her to turn. She's Super Stiff - no flexibility At All in her back. I had to kick the snot out of her to get her to walk (and I was asking her verbally, too - some horses respond to voice cues, some to leg cues..so, dunno what her cues are), trotting...THAT was an experience.

See, I'm used to Hunters - heads are up, bodies are collected, you keep a light contact with the bit. She's VERY western - head DOWN (to the point I kept thinking "Is she gonna cut loose here?" down), NO contact, NO collection. I finally dropped the reins and only held the very ends - the rest of them were hanging in a large loop.....*I* don't like it, but she was a bit more relaxed when I did that. (Western horses - that I've seen, anyway, tend to move with their necks level with their backs, and the heads down. I don't know how they can SEE like that, but nobody asked me. :grin: I'll stick with what I know, and let her do her thing - she's not mine, so I don't have to worry about it.)

She is VERY gentle - I didn't want her to throw me, but I wanted to see what she'd put up with. Firm kicks in the side got a small sigh, hauling her head around got an ear twitch, no contact at the trot got a nice few seconds of working trot.....soon as Sweet Geek gets a helmet, he can take over. I've got my own green horse (Magic) to work. :grin:

Next step: Putting her back in the surcingle and putting side reins on her, to loosen up her back and get her used to "giving" her head. Soon as she gives in to that, we can go back to a saddle and figure out her steering. We're also going to go to a Tom Thumb bit - last night I used a "grazing bit"...I'd call it a low-port mullen mouth, but the tack shop called it "grazing", so....whatever. :giggle: Maybe she prefers a snaffle - mine is a sweet iron mouth, and she might not be used to that. :shrug:

I'm pleased with her - she seems to be child-safe (IF the child has riding experience....I'd trust her with Himself, who has none, but not outside the pen, and not for a bit. She needs tuning up first), and very calm. We got a good deal here!

In non-equine news, I am up to the thumb gusset on the new fingerless mitt. For my records, here are the stats:

CO 36. 2x2 rib = 4", K=.5". Thumb gusset to 8 *12* stitches.

That's the "pattern" so far. I'll put the thumb stitches on a holder, CO 2, and K until I reach the base of my fingers, then divide for those. On the ring finger, I'm going to put a slot for my engagement ring...I haven't quite figured that out yet, but I'm leaning towards a double YO, slipped the next row, then dec the following. We'll see.....(if you don't knit, just ignore this, OK? It's really NOT a foreign language :lol:)

Paid for Dusty's blanket last night, and hopefully it'll ship today. Since it's "local", I should get it tomorrow (UPS ground is next day within most of Texas). Of course, now Sweet Geek has decided HIS horse needs a blanket (she's what - 7? In decent (if thin) shape? Yeah....she *needs* a blanket! :snicker:), so....I am on the hunt for a 78. In green. :lol:
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