Tuesday, July 23, 2013

all the details.




 
 
 
Here is what you’ve all been waiting on the edge of your seat for…details of my first ride on George. Ok, ok, so you probably weren’t anxiously waiting but here it is anyways.

Saturday was a bitter sweet day. July 20th marked 1 year since I said good bye to my best boy Pinecone. I tried not to think about it, and kept myself busy. I think I am still in shock that he’s no longer with me and it’s been a year. Earlier in the day I went out to the barn and adjusted some tack for George. I measured him with my handy dandy gullet measure thingy and lucky for me, the plate installed in my saddle was already the right size. I got a bridle ready for him too.

I greatly appreciate horses that stand still for tacking up...Love my OTTB's that do that!
 
My husband had been away on business and when he came home he came out to help me. He (and I) didn’t want me riding George for the first time alone. Safety first! I tacked up George and he gave me his typical grumpy “I am gonna make you think I will bite you” face when I adjusted the girth. It’s not like he is in pain when I girth him up. It’s just attitude. I calmly let him know that if he did bite me it might be the last thing he does. But for the most part, he is very, very calm for tacking up. He doesn’t fidget, or prance or get pushy. Obviously he’s been tacked up, hundreds of times before so it’s not like it’s his first time. He took the bit calmly and easily too. As I sat there and fumbled with the bridle like it was my first time adjusting a bridle on a horse, he stood there, head lowered to the perfect height. However, he did play with the bit for a while. And I did later come to the conclusion that his bridle was too small. Piney had a small peanut head, and cob sized bridles fit him…George, does not have a tiny peanut head. He has a normal horse sized head. So when I adjusted everything on his bridle George made these awful faces that made it look like I was cranking on his face even though I had the lightest of light hands.

"ummm hey lady. This bridle is WAY too small for my big monster head!"
Anyways, onward. I got him ready to go and then lead him out to the pasture. I chose to ride in the pasture, because our arena is not set up and I just wanted to wander around in something enclosed that he felt familiar with. I had Hubby hook up a lead rope to us just to walk us around for a while so I could get a feel for him before he set me free. I climbed aboard the giant beast of a horse and then…I WAS SITTING ON MY HORSE! We walked around a little bit before I said “set me free I’m ready!” I don’t’ know why it took me so long. I think it was all in my head, and I am kicking myself because I could have been riding him for months now.  He is a bit lazy when it comes to walking and he walks like a drunken idiot! But that was how Piney was when I first got him. It took a lot of work before I got him walking in a straight line and didn’t drift all over the arena. George will get there. We didn’t ride for very long. I wanted to keep that first ride light and easy.

Last night I rode again. I found a bigger bridle and put that on him. He didn’t make awful tortured faces this time. We briefly worked on him going straight. But towards the end of our ride, someone was getting fussy I think it is still his hocks, and I need to get him used to the trailer so that I can bring him in for xrays. He didn’t do anything bad, but I felt that if I kept pushing him, he was going to do something bad. So we ended on a good note and I hopped off. One thing I found about him, is that he is more lovey when he has his tack on. I’ve also noticed that he seems to prefer male humans to female humans. Don’t get me wrong he is affectionate to me, but he just kind of gravitates towards my Hubby if he is near by.

Ride #2...Wild thoroughbred coming through!!
When I was done with George I quickly tacked up Pistol and rode a bit more. Hubby had joined me by tacking up his horse and riding in the pasture with me. Which…once I got done riding George and was riding Pistol, seemed to piss George off. Hubby was taking pictures of me riding when George, out of now where lunged at Duke and there was almost a horse fight. Soooo we decided to ride out of the pasture so crabby pants would leave us alone and no one would get hurt. I wonder if Geroge used this moment to attack Duke, because for the most part Duke is awful to George. Duke being the alpha in the pasture, pushes him around, chases him, etc. So George used this as a moment to get his revenge because Duke couldn’t do a damn thing about it with a rider on his back. Horses are weird. George is a grump.

 
Love this red horse.
 
So that is the tale of my first two rides. They went better than I thought. I want to get George’s legs figured out before we do any real hard work…For right now, we will work on going straight and not being so lazy. But I can’t complain with lazy, I’d rather he be lazy, than zooming away the moment I put my leg on his side!





18 comments:

  1. Yay! Sounds like the beginning of a lot of fun.

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    1. I hope that he stays fun and doesn't turn into a holy terror LOL!

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  2. Yay for rides!! I *was* waiting anxiously for the details!! :D George looks gorgeous all tacked up!!

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    1. He sure does! He'd look better if he wasn't such a hag...I can't keep him clean! That boy loves to be dirty!

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    2. Haha!! My mom's mostly white App tends to get dirty quite a bit! But Red stays clean the majority of the time-unless he just can't help it and stands out in the rain. Funny how the bay stays clean and the white one gets dirty..

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    3. I personally hate grooming so I'm not sure why I got myself an almost completely white horse!!

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  3. Yay! I'm so glad things have gone so smoothly! You know, you might consider putting him on an inexpensive ulcer treatment (due to the girthiness), lots of veteran and non veteran race horses get tummy troubles when their lifestyle changes. Can't wait to hear more about your rides:)

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    1. We have some ulcer treatment meds at the house. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to treat him for ulcers since we already have the stuff and then see if it changes anything. When Piney was still around he was very, very girthy when he was boarded...but once we switched him to a more natural lifestyle he quit...which made me believe he had ulcers. George has been on pasture for the last year, so I just assumed he didn't have them, or if he did, they healed...But I could be completely wrong! I'll keep you updated on his progress!

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  4. Love, love, loooove it all!! So glad George was a gentleman for you, and so glad you're enjoying Pistol.

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    1. He is fun! But near the end of our last ride when he was becoming less of a gentleman, I decided that we should end it before one of us did something we regretted.
      Pistol is fun. I am hoping to maybe trailer him in for a lesson or two yet this year. Could be fun for the both of us!

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  5. Sounds like a great first outing - good you stopped when you did. And then another ride . . . even better!

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    1. I wish I would have started riding sooner! But oh well! He will just get better every ride from here on out!

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  6. That is great that you have had two good rides and you are doing the right thing ....take it slow ...get to know him under saddle. Little bits often! And remember to breathe!

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    1. From what I'm told, he likes to do things his way and if you push him...it can be disastrous. When he thinks things are his idea he is all for them! So I am gonna try to keep our sessions short and sweet. When I noticed he was getting fussy...lesson over!
      He has had a lot of training under saddle...Obviously not the same as say a dressage horse or a western pleasure horse and was obviously trained to race. But he's got the basics down. Like Don't walk away when someone is getting on. Stop when I say stop. Turn left and right. Its the fine tuning that we will have to work on :-)

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  7. That's awesome! Great first rides. Worth the wait!

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    1. It was well worth the wait!
      OH and I'm not sure what part of MT you are in...but if you know of anyone looking to adopt a Thoroughbred...let me know! The ranch where George (and Piney) came from has dozens of OTTB's looking for new jobs! :-)

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