Aim for the Moon and Reach the Stars

This is a post from my horseforum.com thread that I started when I got Max. I’m so lucky the forum is still around and I was able to go back and add it to Lipizzan Life.

I wasn’t able to return to riding quite as soon as I had hoped. The weather was frigid, and my cough stuck around way past its welcome date. 

I returned to the stable yesterday. I woke up with a blah feeling and almost rolled around to go back to sleep, but the call of my horse riding passions overcame the blaahh. I put my gear on and went anyway! 

One of the other girls was tacking up her horse when I got there. She is on winter break from college. We rode together and made a verbal pact to ride together 6 days a week. Awesome!

Max was great in the arena. He feels much more secure when another horse is around after a break from work. We walked a lot. We walked the training level test 1. The other girl trotted, but she had been back riding for a week. After we rode, we made plans to come back the next day (today) for a trail ride.

The thought of a trail ride had me excited and a little apprehensive, as my riding instructor drilled into my head to have a horse firmly in work and be fit myself before hitting the trail. We just went on a trail on the farm though, so I figured it would be ok. That and the other girl’s horse would be leading. 

Max did not like the other horse leading. He was up her butt constantly. If I tried to put on the brakes and hold him still he just started to jig. 

We got 3/4 of the way through the ride before the mare had enough of his shenanigans and started to jig too. I think it was a jig. In the dressage world that I have come to know and love I would describe their movements as passage half passes. It wasn’t even scary, I was so enthralled with the beauty of those movements in their natural occurrence. Seeing a methodically executed test is nothing compared to an actual movement born of emotion. 

Still, I knew my horse was reaching his limit and I dismounted and walked us both back to the barn before he got kicked in the face. For not having ridden him on a regular basis in three months and going out on the trail just a day after coming back, I would give him an A-. 

I looked up his behavior when I got home. I saw a video on youtube that explained that his trying to rush to the lead every trail ride is a sign of insecurity. Him jigging is too. The cowboy did a lot of tight circles with the horse to get its attention when it started rushing or jigging. My riding instructor has it drilled into my head to not turn them in tight circles since it is bad for their back. I think he will be better on his next ride after a week of arena work, but if he continues his insecure ways I will seek out her professional help to build his confidence. 

I’m going to ride tomorrow morning! Yay for being back at the stable!!

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