Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
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Monday, November 2, 2009

November 1st Ride

November 1st. And 72 degrees! What a day for a ride. The sun was out. The sky was very blue! Very little breeze. Just a perfect day for a ride. A ride with friends. And a ride to try out a horse.

I was meeting a friend that had a Foxtrotter for sale. The horse was a big guy and overweight. He hadn’t been ridden much this year, but did have many trail miles on him from previous year’s rides.

I was a little sad on the way to the ride. I wasn’t sure what my friend, Tammy, was going to say or do when we met. This will be the first ride together since I lost Finny to colic. Buddy Jewel’s song came on the radio, and when I heard the lyrics, “when I get to Heaven, can I help pour out the rain”, the song made me tear up. Thinking of riding with Tammy without Finny made me sadder and my eyes started to water more. I didn’t want to be sad. I wanted to remember the good rides we had together. Tammy made it easier for me. When she got there, she parked by the other trailer that was meeting us, and groomed and saddled Windy before walking over to say hi. I was getting on Chick and she was already on Windy, so there wasn’t a chance for a hug and tears. I told her she was a big chicken for not coming over sooner. Laughing helped to lighten the mood, and I knew I wouldn’t be crying. If she had been there when I got to the trail head, and we had talked, I’m sure I would have cried. She told me she wasn’t sure she should bring Windy, but I’m glad she did. When I saw Windy, it just reminded me of different time with Finny, and how much they got along when they rode side by side. I will always remember Finny with a smile when I see Windy. Thank you, Tammy, for that.

I had my hands full with Chick. She is a “been there, down it“ older reining mare. She was my son’s youth horse and now is a lesson horse that I put beginners or timid people on. You wouldn’t have known it at this ride. Chick jigged and trotted to stay up. The trails were slick with fallen leaves on the wet paths. She was ansy going down the short hills, and slipped and slid down the hills. She wanted to lope and toss her head where she should have walked. And when she heard and saw the cows, she was on alert and her head was up. Being a working cow horse, she was getting prepared to go to work, not trail ride!

Meanwhile, the Foxtrotter and Windy were just going great. The Foxtrotter moved out at the walk and Windy trotted at times to keep up. Finally after 6 miles under her, Chick settled down to the walk. On the way back to the trailers, we all traded horses, and I rode the Foxtrotter. He was definitely WIDER than I was used to riding, even on Starlet! His walk and running walk was smooth. I wasn’t sure if I got him into a foxtrot, as that movement is still new to me to feel. He had trouble backing up, and moving off my legs. I think I need a horse that is a little more responsive to me. With a mile to go to get back to the trailers, I had to trade horses again and get back on Chick. My legs are used to sitting that wide!

I may keep looking for a new horse for some time, before I know which horse is right for me. I’ll watch website ads and continue to have friends search for me. I’ll get serious in February to find that horse for next year’s CTR season. For now, I feel that I should spend time with my 2 geldings that need more ride time. I know that special horse is out there for me. I’ll keep looking.

I hope to have my one gelding in the fields as soon as the corn is harvested behind the barn. I’ll keep taking Starlet for rides. Maybe she and I can bond again. Come along on the ride with me!


txtrigger said...

Wow, your trees are neekid! We still have leaves on the trees, being so much further south. Glad to hear you are having some wonderful weather too. Can't beat 70-something in November, eh?

Looking forwad to coming along on rides with you! And maybe I'll have a few to share. Working the pinto so maybe he can do some rides this season with hubby.

Brenda said...

yes, this last rain took all of our leaves! I just noticed this morning that the few, that are left on the trees, are brown! Even today, weather was ok, but cooler than yesterday. I will definately look you up when I get to the next CTR and you are there. How old is your pinto that you are working? Will your husband ride CTR's?

txtrigger said...

The pinto is 9. He is in some of the blog pix. Mostly Arabian. Cute. He kept Hank company for most of the rides that we went to that were far away. Hubby rode him one day at the Arkansas ride in April. Mostly, hubby likes to just ride and camp. Maybe this coming year we can do more of that, rather than all the rides I went to chasing points. Flag just needs some more group rides, to learn he does not have to go in to hyper speed and be in front. We got him in January, then he kind of got put on the back burner as I campaigned Hank.

Brenda said...

I started reading your blog from the beginning last week. Can't wait to read about Flag more. I know what you mean about competing less to get to ride more with hubby (though I sure didn't have as many CTR's as you did, wow!) I'm hoping my hubby will come along and camp overnight and ride more next summer. Maybe I'll have to find 2 foxtrotters!


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