Sunday, February 28, 2010

Who wants to buy a mare?

Today was my Third ride on Sissy.
I saddled her up.
She patiently waited.
Here we are headed to the neighbors pasture to ride.
Whew! I am on....
and ready to go!
It was pretty uneventful while we were in the pasture.
We walked UP the hill and we walked DOWN the hill.
Sissy was not fond of going up the hill because that was "work"!

Then I was feeling pretty good, and my neighbor friend, "T", was talking about riding out further.
I said, sure why not.
So we go up to the corner of this pasture behind me, where there is a gate, into her place, and then a gate that goes out to the ditch. We have to ride the ditch to get to the top of the hill to ride around the circles.

As me and Sissy go through the gate,
I KNEW to keep my feet turned in, because I did not want to get them caught.
Well guess what?

My foot caught part of the gate.
(it was a narrow gate).


I was trying to grab the reins,
saying whoa,
and I kept getting tossed forward.
Couldn't find the frigging reins
cause everything was moving around as I
was being tossed around up there.
All I could think of was:

So I did.
I slide off on the right side
to the ground, feet first.

Boy, were my legs a shaking.
of course, soon as my feet touched the ground she quit.

We get to the ditch.
I put Sissy on the down hill so I can get back on.

All was going well, and half way to our turn around,
A horse whinned at Sissy,
and Sissy whinnined back.
(I think the horse called her a bitch!)
It was all down hill from there.

We walked a bit further and within 20 yards of our turn around,
Sissy got it in her head that she wanted nothing to do with going forward anymore.

As I was urging her forward, she was backing up! Yep! Backing up as straight as can be, and
probably would of done it all the way home if I let her.
But not a good thing.

So I stopped her.
Circled her, and we were pointed for home.
By now, my nerves are very rattled!
I dismount!
My objective was to walk her home.
I thought,
I am not going to let her have her way.
So I turned her around, and we walked AWAY from home.
To our goal spot.
I had to borrow a rope halter from T because she just was NOT listening to me
with the bridle and reins.

We get to our stopping point. There is a metal bridge.
My stomache sank! (But I am braver on the ground.)
T walks her horse across first so Sissy can hear what it sounds like.
Then Sissy walks across it like she has done it a million times before.
(I am still on the ground walking-it feels good to walk)

We turn and head for home.
We walk a ways, and then I come to a spot to mount up again.

We start to walk, but Sissy is throwing her head,
dancing a jig, and I know if my whole attention is not on her, she is going to bolt for home!

So I get off again.
We walk the rest of the way home, thru the gate, and into the pasture.

I know I can't let Sissy get off to easy, so I position her on a down hill, again,
so I can get on her.
(Damn she is TALL!)
If I did not have her breeding I would swear she had draft horse in her!

We walk down the sandy part of the pasture, towards home.
She knows it. We stop a couple times.

We get to the corral, and my mind is telling me,
DO NOT let her off easy.
So I make her turn away from the gate.
She danced the jig, I turn her in a circle and walk away from the gate again.
She starts to side pass.
(I am NOT asking her to do this. I actually did not know she KNEW how to do this)!

We did many circles and walking away from the gate.
When I felt her relax just the slightest bit,

By now,
My nerves are frazzled!
My legs are weak!

I did all that I knew to do.

ALL I WANT is a damn trail horse, and if I miss out on trail riding this year
because of:

I love her because:
She does not spook.
For the most part, nothing bothers her.
(T's horse spooked several times and Sissy did not react to it.)
Today, Sissy did spook at a cat, but her spooks are more like a jump and step aside.
(No bolting. No running off because she is scared.)
She has a smooth gait.
I CAN make her do almost anything from the ground.
I have put in a lot of time and money to get to today.
She is not hyper, or high strung.

So I have a plan:
Tomorrow, I will saddle her up just like we are going to go ride.
I WILL be putting her bridle on OVER her halter.
Then I will take a lung line with me.
and we will do LOTS AND LOTS of lunges
and direction changes in these lunges.
OVER in the neighbors pasture.

Then IF and only IF I feel the time is right, or good,
I will ride her.

She knows I am boss on the ground.
I have to teach her who is boss while in the saddle now.
And this part is scary for me.
(Mostly because I do not know what to do)
Yes I could pop her on the butt.....
But I don't know if that would create a buck.
I do not want to ride with spurs
because I do not know how to use them, and I do not want to injure her.
If I got scared or something, I could gouge her.
I know she needed a good hard work out too, but
I am not comfortable trotting or galloping at all at this point.

I am OPEN TO ANY and ALL advice here, so feel free to interject some.

So Third ride,
not so well.


Reddunappy said...

Young ones are a challenge. Glad to see your wearing a helmet!!
lots of time and wet saddle blankets on a young one. Thats what the old timers say.
I have trained four that we have had all their lives. It is a great feeling to ride a good horse you have trained yourself.

Cactus Jack Splash said...

Time and sweat. You did a good job with her and stuck things out rather than quit. Use you one rein stop, that will allow you to shut her down sooner.
A good spring tune-up by a trainer is always an option. Paul Rogers of Remuda International will be at the Mustanger arena in Pendleton on March 20-21, he does a variety of things and specialize in just the kind of problems you are having. His fees are good and he is effective. Call him at 509-899-2928 and tell him Syndi Duehn (his webmaster) told you to call. Paul did the trail horse boot camp with Jack and did a grand job.
Also the young man who work with Sir Darby is good at trail tune-ups and not too expensive.

Mikey said...

Yikes, you be careful!!! Keep after it, I think you're doing all the right things. Just keep trying!!! Boy she's testing you left and right!

Scrappy Doo said...

Glad your OK and boy do I know the leg shake feeling.

Jocelyn said...

Keep up what EXACTLY you are doing right now. Don't hesitate, get off if you feel uneasy but keep working her, just cuz mamma got off doesnt mean I get to take a break! Take a lunge WITH YOU, if she gets squirrly, lunge right then right now.

and remmebr to breath, find your center and earn those wet saddle pads!

Karen V said...

Hurray for you! (I'd have pee'd my pants!)

Last time a horse buck under me I sailed off and landed on my pelvis.

If you find yourself in the market, I've got a very nice, dead broke, been there donw thaat, yup even in the mountains, Missouri Foxtrotter for sale, cheap!

Reluctant Cowboy said...

Well you're showing your grit keep on a ridin :) As said wet saddle blankets is great but in doing so your confidence and ability will increase.

Spurs: if you should happen to go this route please remember it is a raking motion not a gouge or poke.
Large flat rowells not small pokey things. You place the rowell on the horse and lift up. From slight pressure to stiff depending. When you use them the first time be ready for the horse for he/she can get cranky. I would practice the motion first without spurs so you can learn the motion. Sometimes just using the heel of the boot will give you a better response than bumping.

Keep up the good work

phaedra96 said...

I think you need a pat on the back 'cause you stayed with her. That said, I would do the lunge line thing. Made being a snot sooo not fun.

Sara Wagner said...

Oh crap! Not fun, Jody! Like what others are saying here, lots and lots of wet saddle blankets. Ride every day, if possible, until your guts fall out. And every day, push yourself just slightly past your comfort zone. Don't be afraid to make mistakes ... you will, but with persistence, you'll learn from them, and overcome them. Also, figure out a strategy to make her uncomfortable bucking THAT WORKS FOR YOU (I always use the one rein stop, combined with smack, smack [bucking is one dangerous habit I don't put up with ... I give myself 4 seconds to KILL the horse, after which any discipline is pointless]). She'll need correcting about 20 times at least, before she figures out that bucking is unacceptable, and she'll have to come up with a better way to express her annoyance with a situation. My BLM mustang mare went from bucking like a bat out of hell, to merely tossing her head when something pisses her off. Took about six months of consistent correction.

Gail said...

I am designing velcro seated riding pants to go with my saddle and hope I can stick if this ever happens to me. Oh, wait, you have to get in the saddle first!

Sounds like you did a great job to me. I would have been tossed and either sold the horse on the spot or set her free to run with the wild things.

You are way ahead of me! I am so proud of you and know I will get my brave on so I can saddle up.

Dan said...

Everyone is leaving encouraging notes and you should feel good about the support and assurances that you are doing what's necessary to reach your goal.
Are you sure you don't want to just trade that horse in on an iron horse? LOL
I believe this summer will be the turning point and you will reach (and surpass) your goals with Missy Sissy (I'm sure that Pissy Sissy was just a typing error . . .)