To ride dressage is to dance with your horse, equal partners in the delicate and sometimes difficult work of creating harmony and beauty.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Beware the idle trainer...

...for she WILL find something to train!

With rain predicted for later in the morning, after chores I decided to make Oliver my victim subject of the day. Oliver is a 11-year-old reining-bred Quarter horse given to us by his owner after she decided he was never going to be an athlete. Rick has been his vet since birth, when Oliver got sepsis followed by several other problems; he was nicknamed Oliver from a bad bout of projectile diarrhea that got poop "all over." He's line-bred to Smart Little Lena on top and bottom, and (perhaps because of that) does not have the best mind. Rick thought he might make a good horse for Brian someday, but has realized since that he will never be a kid's horse. (After watching the movie Temple Grandin, it occurred to both of us that he might be autistic!) Still, with Rick's cutting horse getting old and decrepit, we keep Ollie around for Rick's trail horse. That means he rarely gets ridden. Enter the idle trainer - that would be me!

This morning I saddled him up and took him out to lunge some steam off. He had plenty of energy but didn't buck at all, a good sign. But it quickly became apparent that he was lame in the back end. We ended his exercise by leading him around at a walk with Brian on his back.

I turned my attention back to Breezy. Decided to lunge her to help build condition and muscle without my weight, so put on a snug halter and lunge line and took her to the arena. When I clucked to move her out, she kicked out at me and then bolted, head and shoulder thrown into the lunge line so that she had full advantage, ripping the line from my hand (and re-straining my tennis elbow, the little snot). Needless to say, that got her saucy little pony butt worked harder than was my original plan! First I chased her around until stopping and coming to me sounded like a dandy idea to her, then I bridled her and ran the lunge line through one bit ring, over her poll and clipped it to the off-side bit ring (what I did with Ollie, and should have done to start with on Breezy). When I clucked to put her on the circle she tried the bolting trick again, but hit the bit and decided very quickly that she could be a lady. Ponies!!!

Today I was offered the free lease of a five-year-old barely started Warmblood-cross mare if I wanted a project to work on. I've heard through the grapevine that the mare can be a bad actor, so I'm cautious. Can't quit (or take medical leave from) my day job of being Brian's homeschooling mother!


TBDancer said...

Sounds to me like your "Trainer for a Day" turned out to be quite the project! Train with care, for sure.

Theresa said...

lol, the word pony and snot show up often in the same sentence you know. It's a pony term I'm sure. ;)

You sure that free lease doesn't mean free training for the owner? Hope it works out though because it could be a nice opportunity too.

Michelle said...

Yes, Theresa, the free lease definitely means free training for the owner, which is why I would require she at least pony up for the hay. She is talking about sending her to a cowboy for 30 days, which I would prefer given her reputation. Like I said, I can't quit - or take medical leave from - my day job!

Mary Ann said...

Oh, that bad pony!

I think ponying up for the hay is only fair!