Sunday, September 9, 2012

Continued progress

Post storm brought cool morning temperatures and low humidity. I walked outside to put out birdseed and peanuts and was greeted by the crisp pre-autumn air. My house sits on a hill, so I am privvy to a beautiful view of the mountains surrounded by clear blue sky on this morning. As usual I had one thought on my mind...perfect day to ride!

The horses were in last night because of the storms that blew through in the late afternoon and early evening. As my feet crunched along the gravel driveway (I love that sound!)I anticipated a bit of crankiness from the girls, but was instead greeted by a hearty nicker from both Suki and Nikki! Of course when took Nikki out of her stall first, Suki poked her eyeball through the bars on her stall door, while simultaneously giving me the evil eye. She has excellent communication skills!

The footing in the arena was perfect and I set up some trot rails for Nikki. She lunged quietly in spite of the antics of some of the horses in pasture around her, and having been in over night. Nikki really has always been quite sensible, with a wonderful mind. I can't help but grin as I swing into the saddle. This time is all mine, and I cherish it more than I can say. Although occasionally distracted by a goose honking in the nearby stream, it was a productive ride, and I believe both of us were smiling at the end. Nikki enjoyed the trot poles, and I got off once to spread them further apart to test her reach and stretch. As usual, my beautiful baby rose to the occasion. After dismounting, naturally she wiped her foamy mouth on me before I could prevent it, and we did our forehead-to forehead post-ride snuggle. Nikki knew that she was good and strutted back to the barn. In just two short weeks I have increased my riding hours and spending quality time with both girls. In spite of my busy/crazy schedule, I am having the time of my life, and know that I am fortunate to have this experience.

Suki was still sulking when I returned to the barn, so when I finished with Nikki a took her out to lunge. Wearing a bridle and polos, Suki passaged past the dump truck (this is such a game to her sometimes!) and went into the arena. After a bit of trot and canter in both directions I presented Suki to the trot poles. Once again I was rewarded with her natural talent....she trotted through them beautifully and after a few times through I increased the distance between the rails. The girl quite literally FLOATS over the trot poles. Suki knows when she has performed well and with her arrogant, diva attitude, she too, strutted back to the barn. I know that a lot of people do not really like working with mares. I actually prefer mares. For some reason I just bond more deeply with them.

Two weeks and no bandage.... okay....does this not look great! Dr. Mike is also impressed, but is too humble to take the credit for this success!
I have not yet applied a lycra lining to the foam, which I think will help prevent rubbing. But I am so thrilled about the progress. Once blanket season arrives maybe I won't need the foam?? One thing I noticed is that Suki's mane needs a serious shampooing! The area beneath it does not have a lot of hair, so it is moisturized frequently, leading to an oily build up.....

So yesterday, I was talking to a fellow boarder. She has a cute TB who I believe has never raced, and she has done the majority of the training herself. Previous interactions have included this person talking about her past successes in training, management, etc. Our conversation yesterday started innocently about winter riding pants. I had said that I have never been very comfortable riding in them because I don't have enough feel. K said that she doesn't need to feel because her horse is so sensitive to voice commands that she doesn't need to use her leg. I tried to explain about dressage training a little but she countered with a comment about how dressage riders like to sit on their couch horses and not do anything. HUH?? Again I tried to explain that is not what dressage is about, without really getting anywhere. Once again I was bombarded with what a fabulous rider she is. This is someone who has never seen me ride, or my horse go....a little frustrating. I am not one to talk about my glory days, because they are just that...glory days, in the past. I work toward new successes and milestones. Another comment included about the hoof prints in the arena and how heavy Nikki must be when she moves and her horse just floats....I bite my tongue and move on....these conversations do not seem to progress...

As long as me and my girls progress, I guess that is what matters. I try not not make snide comments, even when they sit on the tip of my tongue.....


  1. So Thrilled to hear about the bandages, Yippee Suki!!!!
    And maybe she needs to see how good Suki is, and that will make her can it.

    -Cj the-pitty-cattle-dog mix

  2. So happy to hear of Suki's healing progress. She's a special girl!

    I'd be happy to get hints for success from an accomplished horsewoman! Those who think they know it all invariably don't, IMHO.

    Thanks for sharing your equine experiences!

    1. Thank you Frances! I am a Frances also and would be happy to answer any questions you have!


  3. Yea! for healing :) Hmmm...if this boarder is so impressed with herself & her wonderful TB, why hasn't she volunteered a demonstration of their skills?

    1. Exactly! What makes me mad is that she has never even seen me ride! Oh well, I try not to let it get to me but sometimes.....
      And, yes YAY for healing! I feel like this is a huge milestone.
      Enjoy your day!