Sunday, January 13, 2013

Matched Set

I met Nicole at the barn at 11 am, feeling pretty guilty that I had left my mom at my house on her last day here. However, Ashke needed me and I really need to be consistent with my riding. (Mom, I love you and hope you forgive me.)

Ashke was outside in his blanket when I got there. Jean brought him in as I was pulling my gear out and she said there was something wrong with his face. I laughed without even looking and told her it was the molasses from his hanging treat. His face was pretty sticky. He reached out and took ahold of the edge of my hoody and just held onto it with his teeth. He was very careful to not touch my skin. Who would have thought that talking to a psychic would fix his biting problem.

Nicole and I got our horses saddled up. I got pooed on when I was cleaning his feet, but that was the only incident. When we got to the arena it was basically just Nicole and I, which ended up in a very nice ride. Ashke and I went slow and we worked on some leg yields and I worked on trying to get him to stretch down to the bit at the trot. Nicole must have sensed some frustration, because she asked  me how he was doing. We talked a bit about how he would give to pressure when he had the martingale on, but how I was struggling to get him to respond without it. I'm very committed to riding him without, so am spending time trying to get him to flex at the poll and drop his head without it.

Nicole had me drop my hands and extend them out away from me, then had me work the reins with leg pressure to get him to reach down to the bit. He did a couple of times. More than he had been before, and so now I know what to work on. Then I told Nicole I needed to canter him a couple of times in each direction so he got the work in. She agreed to video tape us while I did. He went just great to the left and felt both balanced and responsive. When I turned to the right, which is when Nicole started taping me, he took off and was running as fast as he could. I told Nicole, while I was riding him, that he always sped up at the canter to the right and I felt like I was losing control. Nicole told me to keep steady pressure on the outside rein and then apply pressure with the inside leg. She said it was counterintuitive, but it would get him to lift his back and get his butt under him. She thinks he is still weaker on the right (I agree) and the right is also his "struggle" side, which I guess all horses have, so he is racing out to try and find his balance. It definitely worked and not only was he moving with more balance, he also dropped his head and relaxed on the bit.

 Sorry about the spinning camera, but Nicole was on Cali and doing the best she could given the circumstances. I'm just glad I can watch myself ride. Being able to see it helps me figure out what I need to work on.

We didn't do it for more than just a couple of circuits, since it is bitterly cold here and I don't want him chilled. While we were finishing up another boarder, Sally, came in and remarked on Ashke. She asked me if he would be okay hanging out with her horse. I said sure, since I know Ashke gets on with most horses.

Her horse is a Straight Egyptian Arabian. And dapple-grey.

Can you tell them apart? Ashke is so white it throws off the camera.

They are almost exactly the same height. Ashke has more weight on over his ribs, but Ibn's rump is rounder. Ashke has the more refined face and archier neck, and also a bigger belly. Of course, Ashke's Daddy and Granddaddy have those big rounded barrels, so I think it's hereditary.

They played together pretty well. I think Sally is excited to have another horse for her horse to hang out with. And she trail rides, so that's fun potential waiting right there.

I think they would make an amazing Chariot team. If I had a Chariot, a place to drive it and any knowledge whatsoever on how to train a Chariot team.

What Nicole found when she went back out to the barn to take the boots off of Cali.

Just chillaxing in the shavings waiting for his dinner to be served. I asked Nicole if he was okay and she said he was just sleepy.

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