"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo



Friday, July 5, 2013

Bareback Training

Tuesday evening after work (yes, I realize it is Friday; it's been a busy week!) I went to the barn to pick Lily's stall and set up her mush. BQ and Jackie were finishing lugging buckets full of water down the aisles: the well pump had broken, and John, our BO, was out looking for the part. I was reminded of the day after a hurricane, what a pain it is to get water to your horse. With Lucero, I'd have to lug the water down to his stall at the bottom of the super steep hill we lived on every time a big storm came through when I lived on the island.

I ended up feeling sorry for Lily and taking her out of her stall after all for a quick walk in the indoor, as it was raining outside.

Sandra was riding Murmer in the indoor. Murmer has been on stall rest for the last 7 months or so; they just started trot sets this month. She has 2 soft tissue injuries in the same leg, sustained at the barn where they boarded prior to this one. She had a million misdiagnoses, including laminitis (!), until Sandra finally had the leg scanned with the MRI at Leesburg. Murmer is an English Thoroughbred that looks like an Irish Draft! I kid you not. She used to be an eventer. She has a gorgeous thick tail like GoGo's, a short flat croup, a naturally arched neck, huge plate-sized feet and lovely heavily-boned legs. (Why can't we breed our US horses like the ones in the UK? For longevity instead of looks? Pet peeve!) The week before Murmer went lame, Sandra made a comment to someone about how she loved her mare's nice thick legs, proportionate to her body, which should make her less prone to injuries. :(

Not Murmer, but she looks exactly like this Irish Draft gelding. Same color, too-she's black. But her tail is nicer!
Murmer is a good girl, and being an older mare, has not required sedation to be ridden. *Envy* Sandra was okay with me taking Lily in the indoor, where we just walked around in Lily's regular halter and lead rope. John had returned with the part for the well, and him, Alex, Jose, and Alex's daughter, who is visiting from Mexico, were all working together on getting the part into the well. The well is visible from the indoor arena gate that leads outside. Lily was a little looky when we walked around that end, as it was pretty dark outside, and the part being fed into the hose was a very long tube-like contraption that looked like a very very long snake.

We were coming back up the long side of the arena and Sandra was walking Murmer down the opposite side, when she asked, "Is Lily sedated?" I said, "Nope, she's sober..."

Right at that instant, Lily jumped in the air and whirled around in a half spin, giving a giant blast through her nostrils. I instantly brought her to a stop and reeled her in. She had spooked at the work on the well after all.

..."as you can see." I finished the sentence.

Thankfully, Murmer hadn't even flinched with Lily's spook, and both Sandra and I laughed.

Lily was calm for the rest of what turned out to be a 20 minute walk. Sandra left with Murmer shortly after Lily's spook. We stayed in the indoor, where I proceeded to hold the very end of the lead rope while walking next to Lily and doing sudden changes of direction. Lily followed obediently, always keeping the slack in the rope, but after the 3rd change of direction, she did pin her ears at me. "Make up your mind, woman!" I laughed at her, and we continued this exercise a little longer. I expect to be obeyed by my horse, but it is cute when she expresses her opinion.

I then lined her up with the mounting block, stood on the top step, and just put my torso along her back. Her ears flicked around, but she just stood. I did this a couple of times then we just hung out, me half laying across her back while she stood calmly, even when I deliberately let the lead rope tickle her right side. I even took pics for you guys.

Ear flick

<3
Didn't care by the time I took this one
She was a good girl. Hopefully we can ride bareback at some point in the near future. I'm still mystified about the time she bucked me off bareback-it wasn't the first time I'd done that. In the arena, yes, but she went to Wolf Lake in Davie, FL 3 times, where I rode her into the water bareback.

"The mush feeder is empty...See? You need to fill that up."
I caught her in the split second after she'd been pointing at the empty feeder with her nose! Lol

"Give me my mush! Please?" :)

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