Saturday I was all set to go riding, but woke up to cloudy skies, and pretty strong winds, then came the rain. Of course being AZ rain doesn't usually last long, so it was gone by 11:00am. Still it was pretty darn windy.
I decided to throw the spotted ponies out to the pasture.
I put Melody out first, and then went to grab Trax. With the wind and chilly temps, he was feeling good and the minute I turned him loose he took to bucking and farting and racing around the pasture. Melly followed him around but never bucked. It was clear by the look on her face that she was bothered by all this bucking.
"Trax! What are you doing? We aren't supposed to buck, only bad horses buck!"
Trax stopped, turned around and looked at her with a clearly smug look on his face, shook his head a little and said, "Come on girlfriend, have a little fun, kick you your heels, take a walk on the wild side!" and then took off at full speed while executing some of the most gorgeous bucks I have ever witnessed. Clearly, he was showing off his best form for his new friend.
Melly did her best to frolic with him but bucking is not something in her vocabulary yet. Being a horse is just not something she is used too. Still it was fun to watch and soon they settled down to enjoy a snack.
I decided to go ahead and ride Killian a little. Killian who grew up in SD, and WY, who has dealt with wind his entire life, and who continually loses his mind when ever there is wind. When I put the saddle pad on him he pulled back on the lead rope which was tied to the tack shed. He kept pulling and pulling and almost pulled his halter off.
Luckily I was taught early on how to tie a rope halter so that even if a horse pulls back on it, you can always get it undone. I scolded him for being so goofy, finished saddling him, and took him to the round pen. Killian is another one of those horses who doesn't really buck much on his own. However, he does do a little bit of crow hopping which he did on this day as I moved him around the round pen.
Then we went to the arena. He was all over the place, but eventually settled down and we had some nice trot collection and even some nice loping on the correct lead. However I was not really enjoying riding him in the wind so I was very happy when company showed up and I was able to just put him away.
We spent some time visiting and drooling over my new horse, then the wind died down and we decided that it was the perfect time to put the first ride on her. When I went to get her in pasture she was at the water tub which has an auto waterer on it.
OMG talk about funny! She would touch the water with her tongue for just a second and then pull back real quick like she was going to get bit. She kept testing and testing until finally she got brave enough to take a drink. When she did, the auto waterer turned on and she jumped at the noise. Clearly she has never seen one of those before either.
As always she came right to me, and I took her to the tack area. I was hoping that my Circle Y Flex was going to fit her, but it doesn't. In fact it doesn't really fit any of my horses now, so I think it is time to sell that one and find one that does fit. So I put "show saddle" on her. (show saddle is not really a show saddle. It may have been at onetime, but I use it on Trax, always, for everything, so it is not in tip top show shape anymore) It fits perfectly, and her head is the same size as Killian's, so I used his bridle.
I did lead her around the arena again, and past the goats. She really tries to avoid going over there, so I can see that will be our resting spot from now on. Of course I can't blame her, those billy goats are the smelliest animals I have ever encountered, and of course every time we go past the big guardian dog has to come and bark at us. These are things I want her to be used too, but I can assure you, it is really annoying to be barked at in my own arena every single time I try to ride.
So I rode her around some, we did the usual WTC, a couple of lead changes, did one spin. What I learned from this ride is that we have much work to do. Not on her but on me. I am so used to having to always "work" my horse, with her I do not, and I have got to learn to just ride.
When backing she tends to hold her head up. I'd like to see her drop it a little better, which is something we can work on. She isn't really used to having to extend her trot, so we will be doing some of that as well to build some of those muscles. I on the other hand am going to have to learn the proper cue for stopping and how to sit my stops better. If I don't she is going to pitch me right over her shoulder, simply because she stops "right now".
I did ride her past the goats but again she really did not want to go anywhere near them. I didn't force the issue, but we will continue to work on that.
I did not ride her long enough to even work up a sweat, but that is ok. We will have plenty of time for that. I went ahead and put her back in the pasture. But not before a quick photo.
I am hoping to ride her again today, but since my son waited until the very last minute to tell me that he has a mandatory science fair project due tomorrow, whether or not that happens remains to be seen. In my day, science fairs were voluntary, now they are mandatory. Of course there are a lot of things about today's schools I do not understand. But that has nothing to do with horses, so I won't go into it here.
The main thing is that I got the first ride (the nervous part) out of the way. She was a total dream and I just know I am going to have lots of fun riding her. I won't be nervous next time, and we can just get to learning each other.