Archive for March, 2009

Hee : )

Klondike makes me laugh.

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March 16, 2009 at 2:53 pm Leave a comment

Horses Love Making Fools of Us

What a silly weekend.

Saturday, after picking up the lovely older mare from Lazy Acres, I had to get Klondike ready for a potential person to look at.  So I brought him in, brushed him up, and stuck him in a stall while I went to try and help get some other stuff in order.

Of course, as soon as she showed up, and I went to get him, I realized he had taken a really enjoyable roll in my horse’s shavings, and was covered head to toe in them.  Particularly in his beautiful tail.

Gee, thanks, red pony.

Of course, I try my best to describe him, and the best words are usually things like ‘quiet’ and ‘easy’- because that’s typically what he is.  So off we go, to the ring, taking a quick stop to unload some grain from the truck so the CANTER ponies could eat, and then it was off to the races.

Sort of literally.

I mean, Klon’s version of off to the races, as I’ve mentioned before, isn’t particularly threatening or scary, but I was getting more and more befuddled the more I rode around.  Attempting to show off his pretty little toe-pointing trot and comfy as a couch nature was more difficult than I had anticipated.

It could have been the weather, or the new horse up on the hill, or the fact that it was feeding time, but Klon didn’t want to go in a straight line, acted resistant to going forward, and then when he did go, pretended to be mr. speedy gonzalez, instead of the kick-along sort he normally is.

Silly pony.  He did settle down- I’m finding the best tactic for when he’s at all shirty is just to put him into a canter, drop the reins, and lope around for a few minutes.  It seemed to work, and he got down to business relatively quickly.

Just the same, I have to laugh- I think Klon likes to play jokes on me, the little goofball.

Today he was ridden by another boarder at our barn, and was going quite well until he found an excuse to be goofy, which was “the new mare is in the ring! zomg! must show off for the new mare!!!”

He apparently thinks Kat is the bees’ knees, and likes to try and impress her.

I’ll have to get some pictures of him making cow eyes at her over the fence.

(and yes, even when he’s goofy over the pretty lady in the ring, the answer is, hit a nice canter, then sit back and relax 🙂 )

March 15, 2009 at 8:00 pm Leave a comment

Switchum Ponies!

At least, that’s what we used to call it when I was a kid, when people switched horses… Klondike has been getting a fair amount of that treatment lately. Between being tried, and also me trying to get my own horse back into a regular work schedule, he’s had quite an assortment of different riders lately.

So there’s me, the deranged monkey, two other volunteers (one a more huntseat rider, one a more dressage rider), and of course the barn owner’s daughter, who I insist should ride him all the time, because it’s adorable.

There’s just something about watching Klondike with a kid aboard that makes me smile. He’s the perfect size, he makes cute faces, and kids are cute, so it’s like being blown over by an overwhelming amount of adorableness. I have some video clips, but youtube was NOT being very useful when it came to uploading them, so I will have to try again a bit later. 🙂

It’s definitely interesting to see how he goes for different people. While I haven’t seen him go with our other volunteers, I’ve heard some reports, and also seen prospective buyers ride him.

What sticks out is how sharp Klondike is- he generally likes the pokey western-pleasure speed gaits, but can also go quite forward and fancy. With the kids, Klon seems to be more likely to go a bit more forward, especially when it’s a super-fun pony club gaming rider. With strange adults, he’s a little more likely to see how slow he can go, and tests riders a little more: hmm…. are you going to actually back that leg up with a stick? Do you really mean it? and that sort of thing.

I can’t wait to get some video of him up with different people riding, I think it’s sort of interesting (and when pony club kids are involved, it’s just a bucket of cute!)

Edited to add video evidence of adorable kid on adorable klondike:

March 13, 2009 at 12:24 pm Leave a comment

I Should Only Ride Once Per Week…

As mentioned over on ‘the other side’ (aka Rosey’s blog) I mentioned the excellent ride I had on Afton last night.  After that, though, it was the redhead’s turn.

I’m beginning to think that I should only ride once per week- it seems like the first ride back always goes exceptionally well, despite lack of practice.  Or maybe it’s just that Klondike’s essential nature is sort-of-lazy, so if he’s had a week off there’s more energy to work with? Who knows.

Just going out to get him proved to be a bit of an adventure.  There is a VERY heavily pregnant mare in the neighboring field, which is on the side of a hill.  I had only gotten a third of the way to Klondike when I noticed said enormous mare rolling- which is super cute, since she’s like a giant bouncy ball with legs.  Then she rolled all the way over, onto her other side, which I thought was an incredible feat for such a large mare.

Unfortunately, once she did that, her legs were pointed uphill.  And she couldn’t seem to manage flipping herself back over.  Getting up just wasn’t happening- on that angle, she couldn’t get her legs underneath herself for the leverage she needed.  So, I tried to help.  Except that I had no clue exactly what to do, other than yell down to the barn that Giant Mare was stuck.  On what?  Her giant belly. 

With some assistance, she got up and is no worse for the wear, and I have no reason to talk about it at all except that the image of her enormous belly, legs pointed sort of in the air, and the look on her face makes me giggle a little bit.  She seemed really offended that I wasn’t fixing it right away. 

But in other news, I did eventually get to Klondike, who was more than happy to come in and be loved on. 

Under saddle I again thought mostly about working on me.  Klon is super-comfortable to ride, so I often find myself riding like I’m in an easy chair.  I practiced keeping my leg more underneath me, while also keeping some energy and impulsion.  Klon has been practicing for Western Pleasure, so he wasn’t so amused when I demanded more of a forward trot.  There may have even been some tail swishing 🙂

For kicks, I also set up a little crossrail- nothing big or interesting, just a single jump.  Of course, I had to park Klondike while I dragged poles around, and I have to say he is an excellent parker.  He’ll just stand right there, perfectly still, watching you while you do whatever it is you’re doing.  Once the jump was set up, I gave him a little cluck, and without me even touching the reins, he followed me back to the mounting block so we could get back to work.

awwwwww. 

Over the jump, I mostly wanted to think about waiting with my upper body and keeping my hips from ever getting ahead of the pommel.  Easier said than done, as always!  We trotted the jump a few times, and it’s much harder for me to wait when trotting, but I came close a few times.  Then we cantered and switched direction, and eventually I managed to figure things out a little.

Klondike’s jump is so smooth that there’s not much to really push you out of the saddle- you could probably sit straight up and never leave the saddle, and it wouldn’t even be jarring.  So on that side of things, it was sort of hard to find the right place.  But after a few times over it, I thought about just letting go with my hands and forcing myself to balance without his neck, which seemed to iron out some of the issues I was having.

Through the whole little session, Klondike acted like an old school pony. “ok, you’re working on stuff up there? Just point me to it, lady, and I’ll do my best not to shake things up!!!”

We did get some really hideous bad spots (oops. I’ve said it before- my eye is *not* good), but he kept trucking- if we met a really bad distance, he’d just step over.  But once I had my parts working more properly, we came just *one* more time, and it was pretty much perfect. 

Hopefully this weekend we’ll have some video snippets 🙂

March 6, 2009 at 3:22 pm Leave a comment


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