Thursday, November 14, 2013

Shiver Me November

OK, so it wasn't really so cold today, but still cold enough.  I definitely need to start digging out the colder weather horse gear.  

The semi ferals and myself are based in the frozen tundra. This is a good thing at times since in winter, we no longer have bird sized mosquitoes to carry us away.

The downside is the know frozen tundra part. 

But hey, I finally had time to make it out to the barn this evening.  My other shifts this week have barely let me out before 10 pm which isn't really conducive to barn hours and riding.  Today, I was a kind soul and covered for a 4 am shift.  I came, I saw, and conquered enough microbiological testing for a small army and hurrah--I found myself on the way to the barn.

The only downside is that when I was up, blindly fumbling for my coffee pot at 3 am, I didn't really plan ahead on what I needed for appropriate barn wear.  But, it's been a couple hours since I've been home and I think I found my toes again.  Sad thing is, it's still pretty warm here.  Good grief. 

Semi feral mare after she was undressed.  She's busy checking out her beau.

Since my hours have been so long, semi feral mare has been well...semi feral for the last week or so.  Weather is cool, so I decided to just go for it and hopped on.  Usually, I would go for the good old standby and lunge her, but I thought that a.) I can actually ride so why not and b.) I would probably freeze lunging two horses since I still had the filly to work.

Mare was actually pretty good.  We spent probably five or six minutes walking like a drunk giraffe until we settled down to business.  Good trot circles to the right, drunk trot circles to the left.  The left is our bad side, given her injuries and mine, so I know we need to keep on working.  I think I need to look into a few more exercises to start working on to keep strengthening her side and I know that I need to keep up on my strength and core training to help make up for her inadequencies.  

But something I finally noticed tonight, which of course, is trivial to many people with more advanced horses, is that tonight was the first night that she seemed to be responding to the idea of leg being lateral without her immediate reaction that had been drilled into her of leg=speed.  I like doing variations of spiral circles and she was truly starting to understand with the leg associated with it.

Small baby steps. 

Even though we will never get to a high accomplished level, if I can learn to be a more effective rider on a horse that is honest and shows my flaws, then I can be an even better rider on a horse that will carry me higher.

How about you guys?  Any particular exercises or adventures in working the one sided horse?  I worry about drilling so hard on left circles since she did fracture part of her left hind a couple years ago and had a flexor tendon injury last spring and so forth. 

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