Saturday, July 5, 2008

Karen and Tripp do a partial trail class!

This was the 2nd session of the day...both of us are much more relaxed. Yes, stirrups are too long and rear girth is too loose. Girth didn't start out that way. Both will be remedied.

Just a neat shot....

Playing with the water hose...Tripp loved it!

(I am going to try to attach video of our 'trail class'....have never done it before so don't know if it will work - hopefully it doesn't take as long to download as it did upload. Also, if watching the Blair Witch Project bothered you...this might too! If anything it is will have to wait until the end to actually see us going over a board.)

Yesterday went by so quick! I only had one session with Tripp...and I am trying to remember what I did! Ha ha! I have been so tired I don't know what is up and down. I think I did the normal.....brushed, saddled, messed with his legs, played over the timbers. OH YEAH! I gave him his balls! And he could care less! I rolled them to him, he sniffed them. I bounced them at him, he watched them. I rolled the larger one over his back, he cocked an ear back and paid attention, but not one snort! I was kinda disappointed. :-) Oh well, I had fun and that is what counts.

Then we headed to town to a small festival put on by a local church that I don't know anything about. They were having a 'Horse Whisperer' there and that is the main reason we went. Before the guy started he did make a point to say that he knows there are horse people in the audience and he wants us to know that this was not a training session. He was going to work with this 2 yr old paint for 90 minutes then ride her. Um, okay, I will look at that as anything but a training session.....everything he did with this little horse he compared to some scripture, which was fine - horse will trust him, we need to trust Jesus. It was actually very good, I just wish he would have explained a little more what he was doing, and there were a few things I don't think were safe to do in front of people who either don't know anything about horses, or are new around them.

There was also another horsey event at the Fairgrounds so we went to watch the mini horses and the Roadster classes. I don't know anything about the classes, and why some are called what they are, but what I do know is our first impression when we first got there and were watching them warm up was not a good one. One guy, #678, started hitting his horse with the whip when the horse would not stop. Okay, you have these hot little high stepping horses that are full of themselves, and actually quite fun to watch, and this man can't seem to control the horse, they get caught in a corner of the practice pen, and he starts whipping the horse! Yeah, sure, that is going to help! Let's whip the horse....that will make him understand that he needs to calm down and back up. NOT! A lady who was with him came over and I wish I could hear what she was saying, but she didn't look happy. She got the horse moved around, and they headed to their class.....we watched it to. There were 3 in the class and he got 3rd - I was glad! He wasn't very glad, but I was. I will be e-mailing the club to let them know about our 'first impression/experience' with their group. Other than that, I have to tell ya, the variety of people that were there amazed me! You had the fancy dressed dudes and dudettes, and you had even more of the 'biker party' crowd! I told Brian that I saw just as many tattoos and motorcycle shop shirts there as I have seen at biker parties!
One thing that is kind of sad is so much breeding for the small horse has really screwed them up, and some of them look deformed. Sure, he might only be 28" tall and a beautiful tri-color paint stallion, but he has a bubble forehead and eyes that look like they are going to pop right out of their heads. GELD HIM!!!! Oh yeah, what is the opposite of pigeon toed? Don't know what it is called, but the majority of the little ones we saw were majorly toed out, and it was the shape of their legs. Maybe that is normal in the little breed - don't know - but I personally didn't like it.

Today, July 5th - Session #1 - Played with Tripp - same as Friday. It was early in the morning when it was still cool out. We worked on changing directions, and I am working more on his leading. I got to thinking about it.....I don't know if he is actually leading, or if he is just following because he wants to. When he is nervous he wants to stick close to me and follow, but when he is comfortable with something, I have to work at it more. So we are working on leading. Sometimes I think I am doing this backwards, but Tripp doesn't know that, right? :-)

Session #2 - I RODE TRIPP!!!!!!!!! My goal was to try to get on this weekend - with the saddle. I don't think he would have let me scramble up on him bareback by myself, so I didn't even try.
I figured if I got on today, I could do it at least twice more, if not 3 times tomorrow. Today we decided to try Brian's saddle to see how it fit. The leather makes a lot more noise than that old saddle I have been putting on him, and that made him a little edgey.
I did the normal up and down in the stirrup while Brian stood outside of the pen with his finger on 911 speed dial! LOL! Tripp did pretty good. He was very tense and nervous, and so was I, so we were were a good pair! The first time I leaned over him and patted his other side, he jumped. I didn't realize how nervous I was about getting on until it was time to swing the leg over.

History: Approx 3 weeks before we picked up our EMM horses I was going to ride one of the mustangs we acquired last year. I had been saving for a saddle, found what I wanted, but had only sat on it in the house (bunion surgery kept me out of the barn). I wanted to feel what it was like to sit on that saddle on a real horse, so I was going to ride Nevada, who I had ridden a couple times last Fall. It was a very windy day - perfect for a ride - on a seasoned horse that is. :-) He is very very tall, and he would not let me get on from the fence......he gave me a couple signs that he was jumpy, and I ignored them in my excitement to get on him and that saddle. I finally got my foot up in the stirrup and pulled myself up. As I was going over to his right, he spooked and jumped left sling shotting me over his back and hanging on the side of the saddle between him and the corral panels. He took off running and jumping, I held on as long as I could, I saw a corner coming and knew he would zing to the left which was not going to help me any, so in my head I had this beautiful smooth dismount (insert pretty soothing music here) planned as I grabbed the corral panel just like I would reach around the waist of one of those strapping wrangler wearing pick up riders at a rodeo........except it wasn't as smooth as planned! I grabbed that panel, I started sliding down it...bam bam bam as I hit the rails, and my feet followed from the horse, but they were higher than my head! I tried to tuck myself so I didn't land on my tailbone or wack my head. It hurt! I had these ugly marks under my arm from the panel, and my left knee is still not happy. I was home by myself when it happened, and I was very lucky it wasn't any worse. Poor Nevada was on the other side of the corral freaked out. He let me hobble right up to him, and I turned the riding lesson into ground work and me standing on a bucket beside him until he calmed a little bit. He sure looked good with that saddle, and I still don't know what it feels like on a horse! Ha ha! Anyways, I did a stupid thing!

Which brings me to another subject - helmets! I have never ridden with a riding helmet so it isn't something I think about very often. When I was a kid, I thought only English people wore helmets because it was part of the outfit. Little did I know! When I learned how to ride a motorcycle I learned wearing a helmet - and I don't even think of leaving the house without it. Okay, it is the law here, and I will admit that I can't stand it, but I also don't like the idea of falling or getting hit by a car without having that 2nd chance of being okay - that helmet gives me a 2nd chance. Is it a 100% guarantee that I won't get hurt? No, but I at least have a chance. I need to get in the habit of wearing one while I mess with the horses. I will be ordering a helmet!

Sooooooo........I didn't know how nervous I would be swinging my leg over until today. It is the first time I ever felt like that. Brian tells me "Just put your leg part way over him and bring it back down a few times....." Uh, yeah, I'll get right on that! LOL! The nerves were bad and my coordination is not what it used to be. After several getting up and downs, I finally got on. We just stood there......then I had to get off! Now my new problem is this - the stirrups on the saddle I was using are still too long. We drilled more holes to shorten them, but it wasn't enough. Tripp was very tense and moved in a couple of circles, and I finally did get off. He did great with me getting down.

After Session #2 for the day, I ran the water hose and we played for a while. He drank out of it, licked at it, and I squirted him down. It was not near the fight I thought we would have. He did back up, but came right back to me. We had so much fun playing with the hose - I think it relaxed both of us! Of course Tripp had to roll right after being hosed off. He was back to being a mud puppy again.

Session #3 tonite was another saddling session - without the halter! Yay! I am trying to get him to do as much as possible just standing there for me. He let me put Brian's saddle on him no problem! I was so proud of him!!! I was waiting for Brian to get out there so I started walking over the timbers, and Tripp followed me. He looked so happy and relaxed, and I think it was because we had fun and played in the hose! I had also thrown a couple of feed sacks in there, so I would walk between those and the balls, and he would sniff them. Then he would follow me some more. Once Brian got out there, I thought I would just slip right on
Tripp, but he jumped a little bit, I stayed standing in the stirrup and petted his neck, then got down. Did that on both sides, did some bending, and then I got on.
The biggest part of my nerves at this point was the slick ground from where we played in the hose earlier. He jumped a little bit when he moved that direction, and I asked Brian to come in and save me. Hee hee! Tripp let me turn his head, but he would not move. Brian came in and tried to lead us around. Tripp really didn't want to move and I patted his butt.....he jumped but didn't move. Brian finally got him off center and he did his baby step walk. We did that for a little bit and I asked Brian to just walk away and see if Tripp would follow - he did! So Brian walked over the timbers and the 2x12 board and Tripp followed. So we did a trail class today! Woo hoo! We walked about 3 circles and I could feel Tripp relaxing a little bit. I was so excited!

We have the stirrups on the saddle as far up as they will go because the fenders are long - we are going to visit the Amish and have them trim them a little bit. Tomorrow I will try my Arab saddle and see if that doesn't work. I love that saddle and am more comfortable in it. Brian wants to try my new/used saddle too....I think it is too long for Tripp's back, but Brian thinks it might be okay. I am game! That sucker is heavy tho - it will be an experience for Tripp waiting for me to get it settled on him just right. It will be good for him.

It was a good couple of days - I really don't know where the time went. I am very excited for tomorrow! We are moving right might be slow going, but that is okay. We are taking time to smell the roses! :-)

Until later....Karen and Tripp


Judy & Bob said...

Way to go Karen!! Tripp looks so great, when we can see him that is. Brian, what were you doing with that camera??? LOL

Angela said...

Awww....Karen, your grin says it all! I'm so proud of you! Way to go girl! And Tripp too! I knew he and Bob were both fantastic horses....Gee, by the next time I see him, you all will be riding all over the place!