Monday, November 6, 2017

Too Easy

The other day I was bemoaning the fact that Opie is so easy. With half a dozen rides off the track under his belt, a kid could get on this horse and go around.

Which is great because they follow us around ogling him, so when he proves to be too fucking slow to do anything but w/t shows down the line I'll sell him to their parents with an extra zero tacked onto his original purchase price.

Juuuust kidding.


he actually has a great walk when he's not half asleep

Really though, in the thought stream that only equestrians can have, I was like, "Is he too easy for me? I feel like I'm cheating the system here. MAYBE HE'S DYING OF ANEMIA AND THAT'S WHY HE'S SO CHILL." I might have some baggage, okay?

On Friday I got on him for the first time since last Saturday after he'd spent the week loafing off doing horse things. (Although the report from BM was that he mostly just loafed while everyone else in his paddock embodied their OTTB spirits to the fullest. Whoa, Opie. Settle down.) He stood at the mounting block like a statue, finally walked off with a nudge, and then stopped three strides later to see if maybe I would just like to focus on standing still today.

Sorry, kid. Riding horses have to earn their keep, too.

the dressage saddle is going to be for sale soon. i can't deal with the fit for me anymore.
anyone want an 18" 32cm stubben roxane in great condition?

After fifteen minutes of boring but productive flat work, I took him over his very first jump! No, he can't canter yet. No, his steering hasn't miraculously improved overnight. But my main goal for every ride is for him to enjoy himself. I don't want to ram contact and leg aids and DO THIS and DO THAT down his throat.

I'd spent Monday playing with him in-hand over jumps, and had led him over the tiny crossrail before I got on Friday, and he kept angling towards it during our ride. He knows he gets a peppermint when he does truly spectacular things (like standing at the mounting block, look out world). I finally just let him carry on straight to it.

He got a little squirmy coming up to it--not ever looking to go around it, just, "I don't know if I can do this all by myself." I kept my leg on and gave him a long rein and he ended up trotting right over it with his front legs and hopping over it with his hinds. His jumping style at the moment is more like interpretive dancing tbh.

and then he strolled right over it as i was trying to
get a picture because he's a legit jumping horse obvi.

I got Hubby to come out with me for some super exciting trot pictures Sunday since he was finally not doing anything else--mostly because it was flooding down in WNY, and no one was doing anything but canoeing around the streets.

Opie was bound and determined to show me he's not the easiest horse in the world. He didn't prove his point, but he did learn a few more rules the hard way.

like "you bite me, you little shit, and you get popped in the nose."
opie finds this rule OFFENSIVE.
and "just because horses are getting turned out without you doesn't mean you get to
scream and fling your head into my face." this was also OFFENSIVE to him.
my head is turned away because his neck is the exact length to bash me in the nose with his skull.

Let's be real though. Flinging your neck in the air like an angry viper is nothing more than a temporary annoyance. My last three horses would have taken off with me, spooked every step, or gone running backwards until I quit in disgust. Yawn, Opie.

Also, to be clear, that wasn't a challenge.

It was his first time being ridden during the commotion of morning chores--specifically weekend morning chores when the crazy seems to be amplified ten fold--so I cut him some slack and stuck him on the longe with a standing martingale to get his brain refocused on me. He started off wanting to dart around screaming more, but ended doing quiet trot work with his full attention on me. When I got back on I had the old Opie back.

i mean, really with this saddle.
it looks even worse on this little horse than it did on bobby.

Despite the fact that his default neck carriage is that of a....well, carriage horse, he is learning about opening up his stride a bit more. He's already great about half halts, and while sometimes I feel like I have to physically pick him up and move him over, he's fairly responsive to the leg as well. That allows me to let him move out more as the ride goes on without worrying about him falling into a fast, racing trot that's not helping anything.

He's also figuring out how to mouth the bit and soften to it. He's not a puller or a leaner by any means, he's got his head too far up for that, so when he works the bit he does it by dropping his head down to it and getting a big scratch as a reward.

things could be a lot worse at this point in the game.

I also rode him Saturday, but that's a post for tomorrow!

53 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. He's learning that cuteness doesn't save you from rules. SO MEAN.

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. He's not the worst out there. 😜

      Delete
  3. Ah yes, I'm very familiar with the "you bite me you little shit..." conversation. What a good boy you got!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was my first run in. Better be the last, too!

      Delete
  4. oh at least he did something bad for once (LOL his face looks TOTALLY OFFENDED In the bite me photo) but he is still too cute for words. HA he is adorable. I can't believe he wears a wider tree than my toad of a horse!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was my 1300lb 17hh Second level horse's saddle first, but amazingly with some padding it's not the worst fit! For him at least. My sasquatch legs are over it.

      Delete
  5. His expression see,s to say that no one has ever mentioned the no biting rule before. That purple looks so good against his steely coat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The introduction of rules seems to be blowing his mind more than anything else. He was a spoiled child with his trainer!

      Delete
  6. So glad you're having fun with him. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a strange thing for me to have such an easy track transition. I almost don't know what to do with him.

      Delete
  7. He looks like such a great guy trying to figure out his new life.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oooh the 'but my friends are all leaving me and I might actually die' game. I am so over that game. Lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The fucking neighing annoyed me more than the head flinging. I can't STAND unnecessary calling for friends we don't even know.

      Delete
  9. He looks quite dashing in purple. Hell he’s just damn cute in any color.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Which is good because that's about all I own!

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. He'll be even more handsome once he figures the game out!

      Delete
  11. Baby tantrums are so funny haha. Good luck with that biting stuffs, hopefully that was a one-and-done kind of lesson!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He didn't spook at the closed doors banging in the wind, but someone walking out of the barn was DRAMA. Tough life.

      Delete
  12. Your legs do look like they might need a new saddle, yeah...I finally ended up with a Courbette Vision dressage saddle that is more forward or something because I'm actually able to sit in some equivalent of decent equitation and actually have space in the seat. I hope you can find something comfy and awesome! Also loling at Opie's attempts to impress you with his antics. Sorry, buddy, your mama is too cool for that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, I actually added that exact saddle to my eBay watch list earlier today! Finding something for my obscenely long upper leg has been sooo hard.

      Delete
    2. I can measure mine or send pics if it helps. It seriously has changed my dressage life... like my heels actually want to hang out below my hips vs piked out in front of me because I'm no longer wedging myself into angles that don't work for my body. And its technically brown and black so you don't need a black bridle unless you want one :D

      Delete
  13. Easy is a good thing! It will mean that you can go that much further, because with a good brain you have that many more productive rides. I am seriously in love with this fellow. Have you posted video of him yet? Can't wait to see him in action!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No video yet, it's been so dark and dreary the two times hubby has been out. I'll get it asap as I really want to see him go, too!

      Delete
  14. Friends leaving....such a travesty! It's hard to have rules and be an adult, sorry, Opie!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love him. If he's too slow and you don't want him anymore, send him down this way, he'd make a lovely a/o hunter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's just to learn to stretch that neck out first!

      Delete
  16. Lol, too easy, equestrians lament over hard til its easy. We are a weird, masochistic bunch. I've only ridden in a few dressage saddles, but I know the wrong one feels dreadful, so hope you find a good one soon :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Horse chicks seriously make no sense, totally owning that!

      Delete
  17. He is amazing! Even with the occasional baby tantrum :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's not the worst 4yo out there, that's for sure.

      Delete
  18. He reminds me of Hero when I first got him! Hero is still a very easy horse in the grand scale of TB craziness but I will say that he started off super chill and laid back and once he started to get more confidence and learn his job was exciting he started showing a little more sass. So maybe Opie will give you a bit of excitement at some point too (but still be overall an awesome horse and super cute).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you're right. He already thinks he's king of the outside world because he's been on several hand walks, and he takes offensive when I try to tell him that terrain should probably be taken seriously.

      Delete
  19. Like I said on instagram, UNICORN!! <3

    ReplyDelete
  20. OMG, Opie getting offended is hilarious. The OTTB PTSD runs deep man, I'm constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop with Scout.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right?! I feel like the easy is a trick...

      Delete
  21. It's so fun when they start to figure things out and also when they start learning boundaries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's fun when I start to mold them to fit into my OCD regime.

      Delete
  22. lol i kinda love the "easy" horse bc.... well... there's always a challenge in there somewhere. but we get to go exploring for it, go on little adventures trying to figure out what will actually be the problem. instead of like "oh wow, just horsing is apparently a huge challenge here. righty-o."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's like training instead of fighting. A novel concept for sure! coughcoughBOBBY

      Delete
  23. What a good boy!! You sure got a good one, he sounds really smart and willing to learn!

    ReplyDelete
  24. He sounds as pleasant as can be! But I bet you encounter a challenge at some point. It's always these agreeable geldings that suddenly go rogue!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The mounting block drama is certainly annoying enough!

      Delete

If you can't say anything nice, fuck off.