Thursday, March 27, 2014

Back on the Trails

I juiced up on DayQuil and rode Rock with a buddy and with his boots on yesterday, and then rode him alone without his boots on today.  The farrier wants him to sometimes wear his Renegades to give his hooves relief and other times not wear them to give them a chance to toughen up.

Remember the monkey cactus?  It's in the picture above.

I had worked Bombay and Lostine in the round pen in the morning while I was wearing some slip-on boots, because my usual Ariat paddock boots need new laces.  But the slip-on boots were giving my toes blisters, so I switched to a third pair of boots that I apparently have not worn when riding in Rock's saddle before.  I bought Rock's saddle to fit him and my husband, so the shortest length of the stirrups is a little too long for my legs and the seat is too big, so I don't have a whole lot of security when I sit in it.  But there isn't any other saddle that fits Rock, so I just have to deal with it.

Anyway, when I mounted, my boot slipped out of the left stirrup and I couldn't locate it with my foot.  I kept trying to stop Rock and get him to hold still so that I could lean down and search for the stirrup with my hand.  I needed to do that slowly, because of the pulled groin muscle on my left side.  So, I'm in this ridiculous situation where the stirrups are too long, they won't go any shorter because the saddle was made for long-legged people, my boot soles are slippery and have no grip, and it hurts to contort my body to reach down to find the stirrup.

Rock kept walking off, and I had to be stern and pull hard on the reins to halt him.  When he finally stopped and held still long enough to let me get the stirrup back onto my boot, he then refused to move forward.  I didn't bring a riding crop or split reins, because he hasn't needed any encouragement to move forward for the past several rides.  This time he was ignoring leg cues, so I started digging in with my heels, and that's when I realized just how different a Quarter Horse's body shape is from an Arabian horse.  I could barely wrap my legs around his barrel to kick him.  So, I'm thinking I might go ahead and get some spurs that extend the length of my heels.  I just have to get into the habit of throwing my legs out and not clamping down to hold on when the horses spook or stumble.

Getting him out to the trails took a lot of kicking, but once we were out there he motored along.  He definitely prefers to go out with a buddy, which tells me that he's probably more in tune with the other horse(s) than with his rider.  We did see one other horseback rider out there, and Rock did a lot of gawking.  I had to keep kicking him forward because he was ignoring my leg squeezes, and I had to keep pulling his head straight so that he'd focus on the trail.

I never see other people's horses show any interest in mine, and I always wonder how they got them to be so focused.  All of my horses get excited when they see other horses.  Other riders will speak to me or wave, and their horses don't even look at us.  They just keep plodding along looking straight down the trail.

Rock has got such a funny sense of humor.  When I tack him up before a ride and untack him after a ride, he keeps a close eye on me and sometimes glues his nose to my shoulder or back as I move around.  I whisper secrets to him, and his eyes are very expressive, so it's easy to convince myself that he understands everything I'm saying. 

He always promises that he won't repeat my secrets.  I'm not sure that I trust him.  Do you?

1 comment:

achieve1dream said...

I think you can trust him. Look at that face!!

Maybe you could tie leather strings on the saddle horn so you don't need a crop or spurs. Spurs scare me. I have a friend who was hurt really bad when his house spooked and he clamped down. The spurs caused her to take off bucking. Wasn't pretty... They make those little short bats that have a loop for your wrist. You could hang one of those on the saddle horn.

I have noticed a lot of horses who live at boarding barns are less concerned with other horses because they see new ones all the time. Or maybe they go to rodeos. Or maybe they buy and sell a lot of project horses. Our horses kept at home just don't see a lot of other horses so they get really excited. Chrome does anyway lol.