wolffe: (zane)
I had been slowly working with Zane all week in anticipation of riding him at the end. I knew he would be a pain, having been a total pasture ornament for more than 4 years. The last time he'd had anyone on his back was exactly 4 years ago, when he gave a man the ride of his life (and nearly death). Too bad he's removed the video.

Anyway, before that it had been since I was pregnant with Jake that I'd ridden him. I wasn't afraid of him because honestly he's always been a very level headed and quite lazy mount. But I did want to make sure his ground manners were somewhat present and that the gas, steering and brakes all worked without any backfires.

So the first day I went into the pasture with a halter and lead and a handful of carrots. It became apparent fairly quickly that he was herd bound with his little band of mares. It took a swat with the end of the lead to get him to take even one step away from them. The next day, I took my dressage whip. He was a bit more attentive, but still didn't want to go far from the mares.

The next day he seemed to be listening a bit better so after our leading session I knotted the end of the lead through the other side of the halter and hopped on him. With the mares right in front of him (and my Dad telling me the whole time that I was nuts) we walked forward a few steps, left a couple, right a couple and whoa'd. Then I hopped off.

My plan was to lunge him without tack the next day, with tack the day after and the day after that I would actually ride. But then it started raining. And raining. And raining. And three days went by and then it was Saturday and I was determined to ride even if it meant we both got drenched.

Once I penned up the mares, the bugling started. It never really stopped, but he did quit doing it constantly after a while. Once he saw the actual tack, and realized I meant to *gasp* put it on him, the nervous pacing started.



At this point I was basically making him walk circles around me if he wouldn't stand still. My proper saddle pad was filthy and sopping wet from my ineffectual efforts to clean it with the hose, so I was trying to use this western saddle blanket. It didn't work out, and eventually I just went with no pad. Also, I'm well aware that the noseband is all jacked up. I didn't want it to be tight at all so he wouldn't feel trapped.



Getting the girth on took a while. He would walk in circles for 5 minutes, then stop for 1. As soon as I went to tighten the girth around we went again.



Eventually I got him all tacked up, got my helmet and gloves on and asked Dad to bring me the lunge line.



Course, I hadn't been able to find my lunge whip so I was stuck using the dressage whip. He did figure that out... eventually. But not before any suggestion that he work caused a nice little buck and kick out maneuver. Jason was on camera duty and wasn't able to get any of pictures of those.

So around and around we went until the head came down a bit and he started listening to me. And then...



I was up! As an aside, I'm so making myself a mounting block before my next trip down there. Getting him to stand next to the fence long enough for me to haul my butt into the saddle was a royal pain.



He's mid whinny here. See his nostrils? Haha. My goal was to stay off his sides, and as light on his back and mouth as possible. We did big figure 8's in the front yard, never getting close enough to the horizon line for him to see the mares (who were penned up down the hill). I didn't want to push it.



I can't tell if it's because I'm fat, or the grass is so high or what but I feel like I look really big on him. Like he's a pony or something. But he's a solid 15.2hh.



One of the better halts, near the end. Course, he's still looking for the ladies.

The whole thing left me with a huge grin. My Dad said he was amazed Zane did so well. I told him you just have to be patient, and he said that you really had to be more stubborn than the horse. :)

Also...

Jun. 9th, 2013 11:32 pm
wolffe: (zane)
Visual proof that Zane is still derpy as ever. LOL

wolffe: (southern breeze ranch)
Having a lovely time down here on the farm. Jake and Dad are napping, and after that we'll be going into Midway to see Zane. He's keeping some cows company on some land my Dad leases, so he's not here with the others. I've taken lots of pics but don't feel like I've taken enough since I have 700+ before the card is full. Expect a big picture dump when I get back home.

The only bad thing is that it's been HOT. With the heat index, every afternoon has been 100* or better. We are playing outside in the morning, coming in around 11 or 12 and not going back out until at least 4, but it doesn't really start to cool off until 8.

Jake has gotten a huge kick out of sitting in every piece of equipment down here from the antique Ford tractor to the backhoe. I have pictures, but in some of them you can barely see his head. LOL His favorite thing in the world right now is the Gator (basically a more rugged version of a golf cart) and I'd bet we've driven every one of the ~500 acres down here on the thing plus explored most of the roads as well. Our faithful sidekick in our Gator adventures has been Sadie (my favorite dog down here) who rides in the little truck bed the thing has on the back.

I'd go into long, rambling, sappy detail about how I love this land and feel a great connection to it and wish I could be here all the time but I need to go wake up my son and Father so we can go mess with cows and horses. :)
wolffe: (zane)
I have lots of little things, but only one thing. My thing is horses. I remember when I was a preteen (oh right, they call them tweens now) and I would spend hours pouring over State Line Tack and Dover catalogs carefully choosing tack and all manner of accoutrements - picking one of everything to stock my imaginary barn and equip the horse who lived there.

Of course, I had a real horse too, but with him so far away at Dad's and me riding so infrequently he was near imaginary. Lessons were out of the question. I think I took two until I had a job of my own. Then other things were more important: school, boys.

After college I got back into the scene. I took lessons. Dad finally made good on a promise to buy me a horse he'd made years before. I struggled to keep him boarded when I lived in Birmingham, then got tired of the political and social crap that seems to inhabit every boarding barn and moved him to Dad's. Sort of fell out of it again what with marriage and Jake.

But horses are never far from my mind and always in my heart. After the incident with Zane I was surfing around online, catching up on the latest happenings and such. Jason asked me if I was getting back into it. I replied that I was always in it, I just push it to the background when being more involved isn't feasible. But oh, how I love and miss snorgling a pony's neck.



So what's your thing?
wolffe: (Default)
I have lots of little things, but only one thing. My thing is horses. I remember when I was a preteen (oh right, they call them tweens now) and I would spend hours pouring over State Line Tack and Dover catalogs carefully choosing tack and all manner of accoutrements - picking one of everything to stock my imaginary barn and equip the horse who lived there.

Of course, I had a real horse too, but with him so far away at Dad's and me riding so infrequently he was near imaginary. Lessons were out of the question. I think I took two until I had a job of my own. Then other things were more important: school, boys.

After college I got back into the scene. I took lessons. Dad finally made good on a promise to buy me a horse he'd made years before. I struggled to keep him boarded when I lived in Birmingham, then got tired of the political and social crap that seems to inhabit every boarding barn and moved him to Dad's. Sort of fell out of it again what with marriage and Jake.

But horses are never far from my mind and always in my heart. After the incident with Zane I was surfing around online, catching up on the latest happenings and such. Jason asked me if I was getting back into it. I replied that I was always in it, I just push it to the background when being more involved isn't feasible. But oh, how I love and miss snorgling a pony's neck.



So what's your thing?

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