Hi, I'm Ev. I'm training to become a horsewoman. These are my adventures and misadventures. I'm green as hell, but so far, so good. I'm now learning from Bo (and sometimes his wife DeDe) at D&D Ranch in Pope Valley. I am extremely lucky to have this opportunity, I feel quite blessed, and I feel that they, and horses, have really turned my life around.
Solomon is my baby- a big old flea bitten grey Appendix gelding who is very kind and way too smart! I love him so very much. He is a rescue and was meant to be co-owned rehabbed, and maybe rehomed to a good home. He turned out to be over 25 years old with injuries that ultimately do not make him riding sound, so he is retired.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A rather miserable day.

Cold and rainy today. Solomon was really pushy and rude. Today really cinched it, no more hand treats. He isn't listening at all on the ground.

My lunge whip was missing. I keep it in the ship holding vase thing next to the fridge in the tack room. It's next to my tack area, and I asked the woman who it belongs to if I could put my whips in too, which she said was fine, especially since people wouldn't mistake it for a trash can as often with more whips in it.
Turns out a lady whose tack is elsewhere (?) thought it was a communal whip and was lunging her horse with it. Dragging it in the mud, heh, but oh well. I don't care all that much. I got it back with a "thank you for letting me use it!" Haha, well technically she used it before asking, but I told her it was okay with me if she used it from now on, so long as it was put back and I knew where it was. Damned thing never works with my horse anyway.
Point in fact, today I tried to lunge him. Figured 3 days in his stall (there was a big storm) would make him eager to do it, but no. He trotted after me, tossing his head and annoyed, but wouldn't lunge like a normal horse. I leaned the whip against the arena bars and tried to lunge without it, no more success. Then he stiffed it, picked it up in his teeth, and followed me around, tapping me with it.
I think I need help with my horse. :<

So I tried out that bareback pad today. I am starting to wonder, actually, if maybe it's the scar tissue on that spot feeling a little achey in the cold, because if I press it he doesn't flinch, but if I run my fingers over it lightly he still does a little. Anyway, I'm going to have to get a pro saddle fitter out. I don't really see any way around it at this point.
So yeah. Bareback pad.
I cinched it up as tight as I could. Of course Solly was avoiding the mounting block like normal, and the picnic table trick didn't work a second time (for having such a small brain he learns way too damned fast) so I found a boarder who was willing to help get him in place long enough for me to get on.
Buh, I fail at bareback. FAIL. Fail fail fail.
I didn't want to press on his spine, so I tried to hoist myself up a little bit on my thighs so the weight would be on his sides and not his center line, but that was too much squeezing, and made him think I wanted him to trot, which I didn't. Cue pad sliding to the side. Cue me getting pretty worried- the road is a long ways down. Luckily he stopped when I asked him to. And he turned his head backa nd gave me a "WTF" look. Guy who helped me get him in front of the block said "uh, maybe you want to ride in the arena? I can close the gate for you?" Yes, yes that was a good idea.
So hey we did ride around for a bit. I did get a tiny bit better. But not much. And wow did it hurt. I was trying my best to be balanced and loose while not pressing on his spine, to make it as comfy as possible for him, but I wasn't balanced and he couldn't tell if I wanted to trot or canter or walk or WHAT and he actually got irritated enough to briefly pin his ears at me. He didn't when I had to lie forward for a moment and brag his withers so I wouldn't fall off, but eventually it was just too much and he went to the rain and pinned his ears. I had to agree with him there, and dismounted, because wow do I suck at bareback. :(
"Now you know why it was free!" said the guy who helped me with the mounting block.
Yeah, now I know.
So. I need a saddle fitter. I need a trainer. I can't really afford either. I feel like I'm failing my boy. But we'll find a way because I don't think I could find a good home for my stubborn scarred up old boy, and I don't want to lose him, but I want to give him the best chance possible should anything happen to me.
I am thinking of maybe looking around for an experienced horse person for a partial lease. Maybe even free if they are willing and able to teach him a thing or two. Have to figure out if anyone would be interested, and how to screen.
Unlessss of course Imaginethewolf is interested, eh? :o

I do have to say one thing though, once we were done and I was ready to untack him, I found that there was a horse between us and the halter, so I told Solly to stand while I went and got it, and he did. He didn't move a muscle, and was a very good boy. He also knew the riding was over and done with, and that dinner would be there soon, heh, so maybe that helped. But still, at the end he WAS a very good boy. And he did not throw me while I bumbled through bareback though if I were him I would have been sorely sorely tempted to do so.

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