Saturday, April 25, 2009

Edgar Updates

I've been having some good rides on Edgar. He is getting into shape much faster than I expected, we are still taking it slow but it's clear he isn't getting tired as quickly. He is also traveling much straighter and I don't feel like I am constantly adjusting his direction - he is going where he's pointed (well, mostly...).

I also tried something new. I don't know if it was the "right" thing to do, I just went with the moment. So, Edgar was going along quite nicely, no shenanigans, when he decides to bolt. There was no discernible reason, I think he just feels good and decides to take off. This time, instead of bringing him down right away and circling back to the place where he bolted etc., I let him go. I just rode it, kept myself balanced and stayed out of his way. Within I'd say 10 strides his ears flicked and he went to slow.

Uh-uh, I pushed him on. You wanna run, we're gonna run, I thought. I swear I could feel his surprise! Again, I just rode it, steering a little. The next time he tried to slow I got after him again, just to make sure he got the point. And he did, I think. I then asked/allowed him to slow and we walked on quietly and I continued with circles, transitions etc. Not another bolt, just a nice, attentive horse. I had to giggle.

I am supposed to be heading up to the barn soon but 1) husband isn't home with car yet (grrr) and 2) it looks like rain, again (double grrr).

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I just have to share - I just paid off student loan #2, so now I only have one left!! Don't ask why I have three, I have no idea...they split and "integrated" but only partially depending on the date of issue, blah blah. I am feeling pretty good right now, hopefully it rubs off on my lesson tonight!

I don't have any video of Mattie the speedy yet as it's been raining the last few days and tonight I'll be at my lesson and Sasha will be handling both alone. SO, I'll leave with one from a couple months ago that I didn't post cause it's kinda ugly and boring. Sasha is in the viewing lounge so the angle and view through plexi-glass isn't great. Here is me riding one of my favorite boys. That's my instructor's dog crying, he just wants to be pet.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Mattie the Foster Puppy

We have a new foster puppy who will be with us for the next 3 to 4 weeks. I got the call asking if we could take her yesterday morning and we picked her up in the evening.

This is Mattie. She is very
happy in her crate.

She is a four-month old lab cross...I was thinking Greyhound yesterday and after watching her run off leash today I am quite positive I'm right on that. Mattie is an extremely timid dog and is in serious need of socialization. Hazel is the right dog for the job on the canine front and since we don't have children it's a good environment to slowly ease her into normal noises etc. She has been extremely quiet so far and barely shows interest in Tonka (cat). Tonka actually approached her right away and gave her a good sniffing-over so he must have sensed that she was no threat.

When we first brought her home, she was terrified of pretty much everything. She would look at the wall as if trying to figure out how to disappear into it. It was very, very sad to see. I've never seen a dog try to make itself so tiny.

She figured out she could wedge
herself between Hazel on her bed
and my little laptop table.

Today Mattie was starting to relax a fair bit. I let her run off leash during the evening walk and after the first few minutes she really started to enjoy herself. The tail started coming up, she was sniffing around and following Hazel's every move. She is very clumsy! She bombed through the bush without much regard for branches and tripped a fair bit. She also doesn't watch where she's going and often stops by running into Hazel's butt. Well, Hazel's butt IS where all the Ruckus happens, after all, hee hee. I will have to get some video of her running to show the racing dog gait.

Here she is, starting to relax
and enjoy herself outside.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sometimes, I need the drive.

Riding always involves driving for me. My lesson barn is about half an hour away, Edgar is half an hour in the other direction. Cherokee is a little over an hour away. Usually, I see driving as a necessary evil to get where I need to be – with horses. On Sunday, the drive itself was exactly what I needed to get my mind where it needed to be.

I was thinking about Mugwump’s new ‘Wordy Wednesday’ idea and had all these thoughts swimming through my head about stories. I kept replaying the details of one particular event in my life and, before I knew it, I was filled with a combination of anxiety, sadness and anger.

Now, you and I both know that is NOT the mind-frame to be in when riding! I think this is especially true when working with a green horse. Edgar needed me to be there with him, relaxed and ready to calmly communicate with him. Fortunately, I had 20 minutes left of the drive when I realized I needed to snap myself out of it.

So, what did I do? Well, I needed a distraction that would stop me from dwelling on thoughts but would also let some of the pent-up tension out. There is really only one solution to this, for me. On went Tori. I was lucky to have the album Boys for Pele in the car, it was perfect for the occasion. Especially the song “Horses,” here is an excerpt from the chorus:

I got me some horses
to ride on, to ride on
They say that, your demons
can’t go there…

too true, isn’t it?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Edgar's Third Ride.

Against my better judgment, I am posting a video of me riding Edgar. Sasha came up with me last weekend and I put him to work grooming Edgar's grandma. I asked if he would take a couple photos of the ride and the brat took some video too!

It was a very windy day, the ground was wet and it was cold. Edgar was full of himself!! You can hear the wind in the video; did I mention it was really bad? This is the beginning of our ride; he is calling out to the other horses and fighting me the whole time. He either wants to grow roots or bolt (which he did a bit last week). Even Cherokee never tried to bolt with me! (blogged about in this post and this one).

Anyway, I am glad to say he settled down after 30 minutes or so. In a way it was good that it was a spooky, windy day because it gave me a chance to ride him in that type of weather. It was good for him and was great for me because I was not alone for a change!

So, enjoy! Be nice. My only defense will be to point out that I was wearing a fluffy down vest under my fleece jacket, so not only do I look pudgy but my posture looks rounder than normal.