Archive for July, 2009

Choose Your Klon Adventure

I’m not sure how this happens, as I generally have a very good sense of direction, but I have quite the habit of getting lost on trail rides.  Typically, I’m also by myself, which is an indicator of really excellent brain power on my part.   Sometimes I don’t even take a cell phone, which I’m sure will really worry my mother. 🙂

Last night K and I went on such a trail ride.  Since he will be getting some ring work by a real live professional, it means I can stop making myself a neurotic mess about hands/bits/head tossing/failure to accept contact/notenoughforward and just chill out a bit.  If K needs exercise, we can go hit the hills.

What was a concern is that lately he’s been slightly irritable on trail rides.  Lots of jigging and unpleasantness, and frequently moving up a gear from the speed I asked for (I want to trot, klon wants to canter in place.  I want to canter, klon wants to gallop, that sort of thing).  In fields I’ve always been able to combat this by putting the Kid to work, and making his initial attempt to canter fairly unpleasant (for him.  I can gallop in circles all day.).  Where it’s been more challenging to deal with is in the woods, on closed in paths.

So I asked for some advice on this – our last few trail rides there was a little fighting, which is not how I like to spend my time in the woods.  Really.  I’m the kind of trail rider who likes to sidle up to wildflowers and stick them in my horse’s bridle, or play in the water.  I like to look around and spot wildlife and stuff.  Sometimes I even like to fantasize that we are time travelling or something (I really should NOT be exposing the level of my nerdery, so I’ll stop there). 

Allie’s suggestion was to spin him in little circles any time he picked something to do that wasn’t what I asked for.  I was a little worried about this because I get dizzy after spinning only halfway around once, and also didn’t want to spend any time puking off the side of the horse.  But off we went, and true to form he tried to lunge into the canter as we were trotting up our first real hill.  So I tried it, and spun him around, which was a little scary as we were on the side of the hill, but it worked, and when I stopped K stood there acting a little surprised and confused.  He tentatively walked up the rest of the hill, and we continued.

We had several more spins before he finally got the picture (I was being all zero tolerance and doing it if he even so much as jigged a step, because I’m mean sometimes).  I made sure that each time I did it, I spun the opposite way.  After all, we must develop both sides of the horse.  *snerk*

Eventually we got to the part of the woods I didn’t know so well.  I had studied the trail map in the barn before leaving, so I knew that after the first stream crossing, I should bear left, then left again, then right, and that should pop us out into the “galloping field” (tm the kids at the barn who like to race each other).  Except… it didn’t.  In reality, we ended up going up a hill into the wrong field that I couldn’t quite identify.  Then back into the woods, and into a pine forest that I’m pretty sure I’ve never been in, ever. 

I took a few more turns until I was so thoroughly confused that I thought one more turn would land us in Baltimore or somewhere.  So then I figured I’d just give him his head and see where he took me.  With my own horse this is a senseless (but fun) gamble as his sense of direction is as good as mine.  I call those trail rides “choose yoda’s adventure” – every time he turns or picks a different trail, he gets all excited, like, “this is totally the one that brings us home!” except he just gets us more lost.

I figured I’d try the same thing with K, after all, we had about an hour of sunlight left so what the hell.  And I did have my cell phone just in case.

Unlike my beast, Klon apparently has a very good sense of direction, and while he took me down more trails I’ve never been on before (I think), he got us back in familiar territory very quickly.

Oh, and before I forget, after those few rounds of zero tolerance spinathons, he was very good the rest of the ride.  There was some random head flinging, but mostly related to deer flies, or when I tried to direct him too much (“lady! for realz, I know the way home.”)

In other news, K will be getting a few weeks of work from our resident professional, as mentioned earlier.  He is also available (hint hint  nudge nudge) for sale at this time (I know, I said that last time.  But I’m shameless).  We’ve been taking pics for some sale ads, and even managed a semi decent conformation shot (yay!) so I’ll leave you with a pic of his gorgeousness 🙂

klondike - 13

It’s not perfect, but seriously, it’s not so easy to get a decent conformation shot.  He looks sort of doofy if he’s standing perfectly square, but it’s hard to get him in the “open” stance too.  It took a fair amount of time and crinkling twizzler wrappers to get these.  As an aside, this is why I get all defensive every time people criticize the CANTER listing pictures.  If getting the above pic took twenty minutes with an OFF track horse in a quiet environment with good ground, etc, how the heck are we supposed to get a good pic of a horse in two minutes, in the hectic environment of the track, with no level ground or clear background anywhere and only limited control of where the pic can be taken?

(sorry.  Done ranting.  :))


July 10, 2009 at 7:24 am 2 comments

Not Sure I’m Ready

Yeah, it’s official, Klondike is really available to the public, with an ad (currently photo-less) on dreamhorse and everything.

I thought I was ready for that, after all, we’ve been showing him to people here and there, and it’s not like I was surprised by any of this.  We hoarded him long enough, I think…  But when the pro trainer at our barn mentioned someone was going to see him (and a couple others, of course) on Thursday, in the morning while I’d be at work, I admit my insides sort of squirmed a little bit.

I mean, I’ve been riding him off and on for over a year now.  I knew him for months and months before that.  I admitted to being totally smitten with his goofy ass.  As much as I tried to prepare, it still makes me feel all weirded out and sad. 

Yesterday we went for a long trail ride with some friends… today we will do some ring work and try to get pictures for his sale ad and the CANTER website (which, by the way, was infected with some malicious virus-y thing, and is currently not operating normally).    I’m going to try really hard to not be a worrywart about tomorrow.  Not being able to be there is making me a neurotic mess.  Well, maybe not a total mess, but at least a partial one.  There’s a good chance I’ll be killing a little wine tonight. 

Last time he left I had a harder time than I anticipated, this time (because even if these people aren’t interested, someone will be) I don’t know what I’m going to do.  He’s like a member of my family at this point.

July 1, 2009 at 2:08 pm 4 comments

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