Monday, February 29, 2016

Road Trip

Hubby and I took a weekend away from the Worst State Ever and visited the land of hills, and giant pastures, and mystical morning fog over said giant pastures.

PA being all casually gorg. 

Hubby dropped me off at riding bestie Sarah's and we spent the day eating bad tacos (love bad tacos) and riding ponies. BO pawned one of the lesson horses off on me to ride for the afternoon. Bennie is a packer of a low level hunter, but he doesn't do anything else.

bennie and my fat kid soul mate, the dutch hippo,
try to share the taco bell love.

Dear Bennie,
Please trot forward. Or trot at all without me having to kick you every three strides.
Please.

He got pissy every time I tried to shorten my reins past the buckle. He got pissy if I asked him to circle with some bend. He got pissy if I wanted him to trot faster than a slug. Forget the pissy look he shot me when I asked him to canter. I finally just gave up on him and parked on the rail to talk to people. Jump around a 2' course with zero rider input? Right up Bennie's alley. Do actual work? Pass.

not even any good at posing.

Sarah and I went out on an early morning trail ride Sunday, and this time I requested Ranger. I'd never ridden him before, but I know he's a total plug on trails so I figure we'd have fun gallivanting across the country side.

False.

wait for us! we're sooooo sloooowwwww.

Ranger had just come in from overnight turnout and therefore didn't get the chance to nap. He did not plug along. He slugged along, and I had to pony club kick him every other stride to get him to a) walk and b) not casually stroll off into the underbrush.

We cut our trail ride short since it wasn't any fun, and went back to the indoor to ride. I then became very aware of how unschooled on the flat these lesson horses are after riding my current BM's horses.

As much as I didn't want to relocate to NY, I will say that this move gave me a serious kick in the ass in my riding. Not having the right trainer for me down there definitely made me settle, and I'm so much more educated and picky about the horse underneath me now. Not that my PA barn is bad or anything, because I still love them and want to go back, but I'm grateful for the progress Bobby and I have made up here.

Still the Worst State Ever.

not settling for anything but dramatic posing.

Bobby had the last three days off, so I was excited to get back on a fresh horse that was well schooled, and revel in not having my legs whimper from exhaustion when I dismounted. I went into his stall and was like, "Hi, Bobby! I brought you an apple! Have some neck scritchies--WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO BITE ME?!"

Apparently Sir Robert did not appreciate his long weekend of doing nothing but hanging out in his field with his amigos in the gorgeous weather and woke up with sore muscles. Or so he was telling me.

Loudly.

With his teeth.

I spent half an hour digging the heel of my palm into his neck and back on his left side while he yawned and groaned. He ignored me when I moved over to his right side, so after a quick rub down, I let him chill for awhile.

no chill.

I stuck him on the longe before I got on and let him creak around at the trot until he finally loosened up and looked comfortable. I don't know if he partied too hard, or slipped in some mud, or just had a long enough break that he realized he's been working those muscles really hard lately, but he definitely needed his muscle massage and back loosening.

Under saddle, I figured karma must have struck for bemoaning what poor flat horses I rode all weekend and bragging about how amazing my own horse was. Bobby was like a drunken sailor tottering around on the deck of a ship about to capsize.

I had to actually make myself ride like a respectable person to get him together which is the worst. After lots and lots of figure eights and circles, he was finally even in both reins and feeling like he knew what things like "balance" and "rhythm" were. You know, those super elusive upper level movements.

shouldn't have acted like i knew how to combat rubs on aimee's post.
bobby was like, "lol, here, have some more!"

His canter was better than I expected. I had to really focus on rocking him back to the left because he wanted to tip forward a bit, but to the right he was pretty decent. I had him do one flying change R-L that he picked up on the second I shifted my seat. That wasn't an actual cue, so I tested his counter canter to make sure we weren't going to start to go flying change crazy. Nope. Hold the bend, hold the lead. Good pony.

I had him switch back over L-R which he leaped into, spooked at the reflection of the leaping horse in the viewing room window, and then was like, "jk, I wasn't scared of that horse. I'm a stud. I don't get scared of anything. Look what a stud I am."

His whole front half lifted like ten feet and he was cantering around like a super light fluffy magical upper of the lower levels unicorn. I played with that for a few laps before bringing him back to his super light fluffy magical working trot for a lap and then calling it quits.

Ten points to Gryffindor horses that do work.

12 comments:

  1. Oh man, nothing makes you appreciate your own horse like old school ponies! Bobby sounds like the Tin Man!

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  2. Sounds like a productive road trip! Glad Bobby was behaved for you after 3 days off.

    Between you and me, when the time is right, I do love me some Taco Bell #noshame

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  3. I hope you ate a Dorito taco for me. My favorite of the bad tacos! I am glad you had a fun little trip, and I am quite impressed with Bobby's rubs.

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  4. ohmygod. his ears are ginormous!

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  5. I'm a nacho cheese chalupa girl. My husband wants to try that new taco/chalupa thing, but I say why screw with the already delicious original?

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  6. I was in PA on Sunday, when I move we should meet up since you would be *fairly* close. AND I could let you ride someone who is a little better mannered ;)

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  7. Lesson horses give you a great workout though

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  8. "upper of the lower levels unicorn" -- ha, now that's something we can all aspire to!

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