Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Baby Grace

On Monday, I rode my neighbor's horse, Baby Doll, for her. Lisa had a riding accident on Christmas Eve and had to have knee surgery. Convalescing has been really slow and hard for her. Her horse hasn't been ridden since the accident. So, I ventured over to give Dolly a ride while Lisa watched. First, we ran her in my arena. She had lots of fun stretching her legs and running. She looked so pretty! Then I put her in my half breed bit (ringed snaffle and sidepull nosepiece) and english saddle. She is so much bigger than my little Arabs that I had to use a very thin pad on the saddle so the girth would fit around. Gosh, she looked good with the red pad though!

We worked on lateral flexion. She leans hard on the forehand and I'm used to a flexed neck. I want her to give a little more with her neck and not balance so hard with it. I don't feel comfortable with 6 foot reins. If she should decide to go into a bucking fit, she has her head. I also feel that when she spooked with Lisa, there was no way for Lisa to gather her up and stop her. I like a low head but not too low!

I feel like we had a good ride. The first time I rode her 8 months ago (has it been that long?) she wouldn't take any leg from me without pinning her ears and crowhopping. Now she accepts a little leg pressure easily.

I did lots of cirles and bending, like serpentines. When I ride, I always choose exactly where my horse will place their feet. It's like a little game. I head for this rock or that manure. I go to this place in the fence or around that barrel at exactly this distance from it.

I think we had a good ride although I definitely need to work on my equitation. It's hard when there's a camera along! anyway, photos from my ride are at Lisa's blog, LaughingOrcaRanch but I decided to include pictures I took up at the barn of her animals. Enjoy!

Baby Grace - song: Baby Grace, artist: David Bowie, album: Outside


Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

Val, well done and I totally agree with you on the flexion. A horse with a supple neck is a lot more relaxed and more responsive to the bit with very little rein pressure. Betty and I do flexions with our horses when ever we put the halter on and before we take it off. We also do flexion with the bridle and bit on the ground and again once we're in the saddle.

I'm also a big believer in ground work, especially in the round pen. It makes a huge difference in the trust level and communication with your horse.

You're a good friend and neighbor.



Grey Horse Matters said...

That was so nice of you to ride Lisa's horse. I'm sure Baby Doll enjoyed it too. You're a good friend.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Lostine used to pin her ears back and crow hop or buck whenever I put some leg on her. So, I only used verbal cues to change speeds. However, lately I've been having to use my legs to steer in an attempt to teach her to sidepass and neck rein. I'm happy to say she got over her pissiness and allows me to use my legs now. I think as long as she trusts that I won't dig my heels in or wear spurs, she's okay with it. I did notice in the pictures that Baby Doll is bigger than the horses I usually see you on. That was really nice of you to keep Baby Doll in practice. She'll be a safer horse for when Lisa is ready to ride again.

Melanie said...

I think it is great that you took Baby Doll out for a "spin!" We know that Lisa enjoyed it. :)

The Wades said...

What a great friend doing that for Lisa. I'll have to head to her blog and check you out. I can only imagine how much that meant to her.

It really sounds like you know what you're talking about. I'm years and years behind.

Leah Fry said...

That is SO nice of you to help Lisa out. We all need friends like that.

Andrea said...

You are a super wonderful neighbor. I know Lisa really loves it when you come over and help her out with Baby Doll!! You are such a great friend to her.

I love your pictures of the Llamas!! LOL!! They are alwyas so photogenic!!