Sunday, January 24, 2010

Trottin' Into the Wind

"Oh Lordy, she's kissing me again?" Puts on tolerant face, eyes at half mast.

Yesterday dawned bright and sunny with 70 degree temperatures, calling us to ride. I got out to Linda's and the wind gusts were blowing us over. Easily 35-40 mph.  But, nothing was going to stop us from riding (because of rain, mud and schedules, none of us had ridden in 2 weeks...HORROR!) so we set out and tacked up. Jackson tends to spook when it's really windy, but I thought to myself, "Oh well, he'll have to get over it, and I will too, because WE ARE RIDING!" Other than him trying his, "I'm going to back up so you'll turn around and put me away," antic at the onset, he did great! I just did a few circles to make him think he was getting his way, and then finally just gave him a kick and a stern "Walk On!," and he started walking across the big scary pasture with 3 feet of dried grass.

We rode over to Lorri's to pick her up, but didn't do any arena work or jumping today (OK, I did trot cavaletti) but the wind was miserable and it just wouldn't have been fun to hang out there. Not even for jumping. Lots of nice scary noises to freak Jackson out, but he did well with them all, even the rumble of the tin roof on the barn that would have scared me if I were a horse! Lots of good bomb proofing experiences were going on at Lorri's yesterday, including her husband burning the Christmas tree (yep, in the wind! we all just shook our heads over that one, even his wife...MEN! ;) but of course, it helped that he had been there several times before. Still, I was impressed with his calm, (somewhat on alert, but calm) demeanor and "spook smarts." I usually am prepared to sit at least one big side spook, possible 360, or crow hop a ride. That is just my horse and his breed, and I think I am fairly adept at it. I have never fallen off from one of those...although I almost did yesterday, read on!

Monting from the "off" side. I don't use a mounting block too often, but wanted to start that new experience with a nice leg up!

The three of us decided to head out into the back 40 where we often ride, it offers lots of trees, and just a nice ride. There are some super nice paths to trot or canter and a huge open field for practice and fun. We didn't hit the field due to the wind, but had a nice time the first half of the ride meandering along trails and talking. Lorri's horse Ozzie, (also an AngloArab like Jackson) kept having issues with invisible things on the trail, which Jackson decided not to imitate multiple times, despite being right behind her. That is just Ozzie, and Lorri is such a terrific rider that she is unfazed by her antics.

So we got to the point in the ride where we decided to go at a nice pace and trot for a couple of miles. Through trees, sharp turns, up and down ditches, through water, all kinds of fun stuff. Jackson still wasn't having any part in Ozzie's antics, just being my sane reliable mount. YAY! Then we came around a bush, and Ozzie dropped her left back hip and just moved out to the side. Huge side spook, or whatever you want to call it! Assuming Jackson was not going to imitate it, I didn't expect it, but I guess the back burner in my mind said, "Hang on!" cause darned if Jackson didn't imitate the very same movement! I sat it and lost a stirrup, but I was thinking while it happened, "Hmmm. What's the best way to fall off here?" I have less weight and more inner core muscles to thank, (or heck, maybe just luck) for sticking it! And then the culprit of the spook showed himself. Linda's dog Zelbar had gotten loose and skulked after us, making his appearance known in a sly way...

Linda on Traveler her new 3 year old QH/TB

So, once that got sorted out we had a pleasureable, uneventful rest of our ride. Oz proceeded to make Lorri work, especially when we put Jackson in the lead; she believes that since mares RULE and all geldings DROOL, she should be in the front. She will let Jackson ride abreast of her, but she wants to be in charge. Jackson could care less. He loves to be the one forging the trail, but he gives to bossy mare Oz easily, he just doesn't care that much! Lorri cracked me up. She made a comment, saying, "How do we have the same breed of horse, and yours is so sane? He never spooks!" This was after the spook with the dog, but she is correct. Jackson doesn't have half the issues with MONSTERS that Ozzie does. Who knows? Ozzie is a gem in the arena to take a dressage lesson on, but she can be hell on the trails. Lorri handles her fine, and you can often hear a giggle as they are disappearing around the corner at a full out gallop or some other crazy gait, so I think they are a match made in Heaven! Me, I'll stick to my horse on the trails, and ride Oz in the arena! :)
It was great to finally ride; talk about JONESING for something, and I'm glad that we still had fun in spite of that infernal blasting wind!

OOPS! Once again forgot to take my camera out when we were on the trail, I'm a bad blogger! You'll have to settle for the before the ride pics, which Lorri missed as she was tacking up! Next time!


  1. It was really windy last time I rode, too. Apparently, it wasn't a scary wind, because neither horse was spooky. Poco had a couple of minor spooks in place, but nothing hairy.

    Nevertheless, I didn't ake any pix while riding either. I felt like it was in my best interest to keep my mind and my hands on what I was trying to do.

  2. I went out to ride today, but it was windy, so I settled for round penning (and I cantered in the arena!).

    my email

    Let's figure out a date. Most Wednesdays are bad, but maybe I can wrest one free with some advance planning. And I'll check the calendar on the other times..

  3. YEA Mindy!! You had such an incredible ride, it sounds to me!You and Jacks have come sooo far since I first met you here. I love it...I also LOVE your ALl American background and new header as well!
    Very artistic and cool girl!
    You inspired me today on my blog...thanks..I was a weeping Wilma after my sissy left this afternoon. Not able to get inspired to tell of our times these past 2 wks...but you helped me, Thanks!
    Love to you!
    Oh hsould mount more often with the block is LESS tork on the horses back!

  4. Sounds like you all had a great time, windy or not. Mounting blocks are the best. I use a four step on and just throw my leg over Dusty like mounting a bicycle, this way there's no stress on her back.

  5. Hi Mindy,

    Just wanted to say you should ride in that clinic! Trust me, I'm going to be the worst one in the clinic in April. But it's not a competition. It's for you and your horse to move forward. Sure there will be people there and some will be better. But there are no ribbons in clinics. It's about reaching your own personal goals.

    There's only one question - do you think you'll learn something valuable? Then GO FOR IT!

    I'll let you know about the 6th, I kind of want to see how this weekend goes. :)


Please leave your comments here! I am always happy to hear from all of you in the form of advice, encouragement or questions!
~Slainte' Mhath!