Monday, October 3, 2011

Saturday activities

I have been meaning to write this since Saturday and I keep getting bogged down with emotional breakdowns and pre-ride stress...so here goes.

I think that Maggie's horse, Dixie, may be one of the most underrated NATRC horses ever. She's not built that well, but Maggie adores her. She can be a bit stubborn and her maneuverability is a little tricky...she gets stuck a lot. Not anyone can ride her. While she's incredibly safe and trustworthy, she's also very forward and sometimes will demonstrate her displeasure at someone inexperienced hopping on by going faster than they prefer. She's honest, so she never bucks or does anything nasty, but if you aren't watching out you'll be back at the gate before you know it.  What I love about riding Dixie, and having Maggie ride Dixie is that she is so incredibly steady.  With the exception of spooking at the occasional cut log (which is mostly signified by stopping) she will keep chugging in her own rhythm, for a long, long time.  She is pretty fast at the trot and i don't much like her canter (but that's OK b/c she's not my horse) and she would rather rather trot anyway. Saturday, maggie and I swapped horses for awhile (she rode Liberty) and I was blown away by how steady she is in her natural rhythm. The problem is that she's a little fast for her own good and can blow her own P&R's by rating difficulty...but when you rate her, sometimes she's tense and her back is sore, so I wonder if she's not better off just chugging along. Her nice, easy, comfortable trot is Liberty's canter. He used to trot big too, but one day discovered it was easier to do a slow slop and so now that's what he does, but Dixie just trots and trots.  Maggie is going to try open on her again next year. She was successful in two rides in 2010, but over the summer Dixie didn't sweat and then she wasn't ridden b/c she wasn't sweating so the fall rides didn't go so well for her...but next year will be different as we've found a  way to manage her issues through dietary changes. 

In other news, Joe Bear went to a new home Saturday. Right now, it's just a trial to see if they get along. He will be a child's pony and keep an old thoroughbred company while his Percheron cross counterpoint is showing in dressage.  They tell me he's settling in great and they have a way for him to be able to eat more than I could manage. We'll know in a couple weeks if it's going to work out or not. Watching him run around their pasture, it was hard to believe that he is an old man of at least 36.  He acted more like 15 or younger.  It was hard when he chased us down the driveway after the trailer, but I know that he will be happy and get tons of attention.

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