Friday, July 15, 2011

Photos and an update from Slide

Calabar blocking Lena from the carrot delivery person

This may not be my most coherent blog post ever, so I apologize in advance for rambling or any nonsensical phrasing. Well, more nonsensical than normal. I am barely awake and Steve is "deep breathing" on the sofa across from me, but here is an update of our trip so far.

"I cannot reach the carrots from here, so come closer."

It is beyond wonderful to be here. The horses are happy, the weather is fantastic (low-80s!), and I have fairly successfully ignored work for an entire day so far. This is a very good thing.

Calabar was far less excitable than the last time were here and we accomplished a nice working trot. Well, maybe not a technical working trot, but a trot that worked for both of us. I moved my seat much more forward and lo and behold, my balance improved. I'm not sure how this will play out with the work I'm doing with Peter, but my legs ended up in the right position, didn't swing forward, and Calabar was much happier with my position overall. Perhaps because it was familiar to him, perhaps because I wasn't bouncing around and swinging my legs to and fro.

We worked on side-passing at the walk and trot and, after I asked him in the same spot too many times, Bar proceeded to anticipate my request. After that, he just moved to the left whenever we got to that spot. So then I had to move him over in other places, but he still insisted that this one place was "the" side pass area. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the gate being in the same vicinity. Surely not.

Lena and Steve also worked on side passing and balance, and both came out of the lesson happier and more comfortable. Steve used the cutting saddle for the first time in a long time and remembered how much he liked it.

The new saddle pads are working very well for both horses, both for the arena work and for trail rides. We took a brief trail ride up behind the property and with the new pads and new balance, downhill went much better for Calabar than it ever has. Of course, good footing helped, too.

Slide Mountain Ranch is truly one of my favorite places on earth and the horses seem to agree. Both are calm, but curious, eating, drinking, eliminating nicely and dozing quietly. One tiny glitch, though. We had them out in the same pen, but it appears my brown horse is a little too dominant. When Steve went out to feed this morning, Lena wouldn't come down to the front, so he separated them. We'll try again if other horses show up, or after they've had a few good days of work.

Calabar also discovered a new favorite activity--splashing in his water trough. Not sure if he was investigating the gold fish or just cooling off, but I don't think I've ever seen him with his leg in his water before. New pastime? I hope not!

"There's fish in here! I sees them!"

And here he is after I caught him. Luckily, he didn't do any damage to the tank, the pump, or himself. Dork.

"What? I'm hot."

Tomorrow, we are going down to work cows. Lena should be fine, but I told Calabar I don't expect him to turn into a ranch horse overnight just because Seabiscuit did. I'll just be glad if I can get some good pictures of real cow horses and introduce the ex-racehorse to real cows without any major mishaps.

More later, when I can keep my blasted eyes open!


Grey Horse Matters said...

Sounds like you're having a great time. I've found it's so much easier to balance if you slide your seat forward and your legs come down from your hips. So if you had no horse under you your position would still enable you to stand and not fall over.

Our horses love to splash in the troughs too, it's a good game, like having kids with a kiddie pool on a hot day.

Deanna said...

Haha!! LOVE the captions for the photos!! They're perfect!! Have fun chasing cows!

Buckskins Rule said...

It's my turn to be jealous, now that I'm the one who's incapacitated. Glad you two are having a good time. Hope the cow work goes well.