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Happy Halloween
[Misc] Flowers
No, I didn't do anything special for Halloween. I did wear a pair of black cat earrings, though. They were cute. :-)

Anyway, I rode today and there are several funny things to tell about it.

First (and this isn't funny), one of the mare's Wayne was breeding dropped her foal this week. It was only half developed (it was six months and the gestation period for horses is eleven months). Wayne said that the foal was just gorgeous (except for the dead part). It already had a blaze and the hindquarters were nice and developed. (I think the first thing anyone who works with quarter horses notices is a horses hindquarters.) Anyway, it's sad because it would have probably been a good horse.

Second, I rode Blackie today. Unfortunately, given my week, I really wasn't at the top of my game. Also, Blackie had been turned out last night and was probably sore today, because he was really... I don't know how to explain it. I do a great demo of it, but basically, he does this weird hitching walk when he's worried about his hips hurting. I noticed it even when I moved a hip and it took a few tries to get him to walk forward. He was okay after that, but...

Anyway, so I was a little blah today and Blackie wasn't that motivated either. Not a good combination. Blackie's a good horse, but a smart one and a little lazy. He does the bare minimum a lot of the time. Still, if he's in a more ambitious mood, a lot of times he'll do what I want him to do, even I'm not telling him as well as you could. So, if he's having a good day and I'm having a bad day, I can still get a decent ride. On the other hand, if I'm having a really good day and he's slacking off, I can usually get him past that and have a good ride. Obviously, if we're both having a good day, it's a really good ride. Then, the latter: I'm ambivalent about riding and don't really feel like working through issues and Blackie doesn't feel like doing much. Not pretty. Basically, Blackie won't outright do something you don't tell him to or not do something you really tell him to do. However, he will do exactly what you ask, even if he knows it's not what you want....like going off the rail.

So, overall, bad lesson. I'm supposed to be doing upward transitions: going from a walk to a jog to a trot to a lope around the arena in 1/4 sections. Up to a trot was fine, but he was a little slow. Still, I was getting it and it was good. Then came the lope.

I have problems with loping. I don't know why. I just can't get my body into the rhythm, I can't keep my focus up, and probably about a hundred things. Part of it is that I'm not that motivated to lope. The other problem is that neither is Blackie. He'll lope if asked, but he's looking for the slightest excuse to slow down. It was beyond frustrating. I finally more or less got what I needed (though it wasn't quite perfect), so I asked Wayne if it was okay to do trot, stop, rollback, trot, etc, a few times. (This is a rollback. It's a four second video.) Basically, on a rollback, you make the horse turn on its hindquarters. It's useful because you're really getting the horse coiled up and ready to just explode out. You get more power trotting or loping out of a rollback than just standing still.

In a rollback, you have to hold the horse back to make sure all the power is in the back and he isn't sort of oozing out in the front. Otherwise, you lose power. However, if you want to actually trot or lope out, then you have to let the horse go and push him out. The tricky part is that you basically tell the horse to go forward before you think you should. Imagine a clock. You're facing twelve at the start of the rollback and you're turning to six. You actually need to tell the horse to go forward at about four or so, even though it seems like you're going to go into the fence.

Wayne told me go ahead, as long as I loped out of one rollback instead of just trotting. I think I do a couple and I'm just not getting a good powerful trot and I'm certainly not going to lope out of it. So, I get focused. I stop him, hold him back, and push him around.

It was a great rollback. I mean, he was coiled up perfectly and he just had all the power you could want. I just forgot one tiny little thing: I forgot to give him a place to go and push him forward. So, here's a horse with a lot of power and no place to go with it. So, what does he do?

He jumped. Straight up in the air. Twice. Very high.

And I don't mean like going over a fence. It was what Becky calls a bunny hop and Wayne calls a crow hop.

Now, according to Wayne, I did everything right (except for the part where I yelled "Wayne! What's he doing?" Apparently, I was on my own): I kept my left hand and the reins down low in the "power position" where I had more control over the horse. I made my legs nice and long and I kept my focus. He didn't even loosen me in the saddle.

According to me: I had no idea what was going on. If I made my legs long, it was because I was trying to get him stopped and to make sure I was in the saddle as firmly as possible. And while my left hand didn't come up, I think it was more that I wanted something to grab. I know my right hand went first for the saddle horn, then the mane (I figured I'd be able to move better with the mane than the horn). And as for my seat? I didn't necessarily feel like I was going to come off, but I did feel like I lurched to the left a bit (that's when I grabbed the mane with my right hand).

So, either I get him under control or he decides it isn't worth the effort after two hops. The first is the optimistic view. The second is the pessimistic view. My response was to turn to Wayne (at least I think I turned, I don't really remember) and say "What the fuck was that?" (Becky later told me she heard it in the barn where she was cleaning stalls, but when she didn't hear anything else, she figured it was okay.) Wayne then explained what happened: I wound him up and didn't give him a place to go...except up.

Part of me is thinking, "Huh, I handled that pretty well and I feel okay." The other part of me is thinking "Gee. How do you ride with your legs shaking so much?" Stupid adrenaline. At that point, Wayne just starts giving order. "Lope to me. Stop. Rollback. Lope the other way. Stop. Rollback and lope." I honestly don't remember how well any of this went, but according to Wayne, overall the lesson went well.

Personally, I think could have gone a lot better, but it could have gone a lot worse. A horse did something unexpected to me (although I was ready for it, so I probably unconsciously felt it coming) and I got things under control and didn't have a meltdown. That's a good thing, right?

I'll get the rest of the horse stuff later. I have to tell you about the horse foaming at the mouth and the rabid donkey. (Totally unrelated.)

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Wow, cat earings! かわいいね?!

I'm glad to hear about your horse riding. I'm sure you'll get more and more synched as you go on. The horse hop thing probably would have made me quit, haha. The most experience I had on a horse was on a small track as an 8-year old at Conneaut Lake Park in PA... man, I think I almost died! Well, not really, but I was a major cry baby and got scared.(Not like I'm still like that with roller coasters or anything, dum dee dum).

Well, one thing is for certain- these rollbacks don't appear to be as easy as a simple two taps of the joystick in the opposite direction(Cough, Zelda, cough), but I have a feeling you'll get it.

Rabid horses and donkies? o-o

I love my earrings. They're cute little black cats. I also have wolves. ;-)

It would have made me quit when I first started, probably. I started riding in March of 2005, took a year off between August 2007 and August 2008 and I'm back to riding once a week now. I've gotten pretty comfortable with it, although a horse did something similar to me a couple of years ago and it took a looooong time to get over it.

Her name is Lacey and she's an old ranch horse. The problem with that is that most cowboys aren't good horsemen and they treat horses like pick-up trucks. So she got used to people hanging on her mouth and pushing her to go faster, get the cow, etc. While she's a good horse and will listen to you, she learned to ignore the bit a little and her default reaction is to go faster. Basically, she tries to hard.

She also intimidates people. She's not mean, she's just very indifferent. Once, a guy was roping on her and he fell off. Lacey finished working the cow, then turned around and realized the guy wasn't there.

Anyway, I was riding her one day (the last time I've ridden her, actually) and she just got away from me. She didn't run away, I just didn't really have control of her (because I wasn't really giving signals.) She did the same as Blackie: She hopped. It wasn't as high, but it was a lot longer. I stayed on, but it really shook me up. It took me a long time to get my confidence back.

The rollbacks aren't they hard. They're pretty basic, it's just a matter of timing and what you ask for. With Wayne's horses, they'll give you just want you ask for, so you'd better be ready for it. If you tell the horse "Take a really fast lap around the arena, then start bucking," the horse will do it.

That was my big consolation: Blackie only did what I asked him do, so I was never really out of control.

(Also, never get me started about horses. I'll go all day.)

It's okay! It's good to have such a strong interest. I learn things, too.:D

My "hot button" tends to be RPGS- especially Super Nintendo ones.^^;

Wow, I'm really sorry that I am late with your birthday present!

I hope you like it- I took a stab at guessing you liked this, and I don't know crap about violins and stuff.:D


It's wonderful. Thank you! I love Sailor Neptune and it's so pretty. Besides, it's just nice that you took the time to do it. *hugs* Thank you so much!

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