the adventures of africanstardust (and Fire) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 09-11-2010, 04:36 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: South Africa
Posts: 92
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the adventures of africanstardust (and Fire)

So I thought I would start a progress thread, partly to keep track of things and partly to keep me focused on the things I need to work on. In short, I'm new to riding and to horses in general, although I've wanted to work with horses my whole life. I'm now 19 and I want to learn as much as I can about everything to do with horses :)

I'm half-leasing a beautiful boy named Fire, who is an ex-racehorse and lives up to his name. He only stopped racing because he wouldn't start at the gate anymore, so he's still full of energy, fire (excuse the pun), He's manageable but a challenge for me, which I guess is what learning is all about. I have some trouble controlling him when he's by himself and even more when he's with other horses/riders. I can't take him on group rides because he gets super competitive and takes off racing. However, I think I've made some progress in the last few weeks, namely with being softer on his mouth and making him more sensitive to what I want [read: I was doing everything wrong and am now doing less things wrong.]

Main things to work on:
1. Keeping my heels down. Holy cow, this is hard. Although, I think my stirrups might be too short...
2. Keeping my hands soft and not pulling on his mouth.
3. Keeping myself calm even when he's freaking me out.
4. My leg position/grip; right now my toes are too turned out so I don't have as good a grip as I should.
5. Sitting up straight and not leaning forward.

That's it for now :) I'll get some more pics up soon (my computer had an incident and I lost my pictures), but for now here's this:

"In riding a horse, we borrow freedom." Helen Thompson
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post #2 of 3 Old 09-11-2010, 09:14 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Good luck with the riding, journal and Fire! He is gorgeous by the way.
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post #3 of 3 Old 09-14-2010, 02:37 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: South Africa
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Thanks! :) I wish I had the money/time to buy him...not that he's actually for sale, but still.

Had a lesson yesterday instead of my normal on-my-own Monday ride because I missed the one on Friday. Everything went pretty well. Last week I focused on being soft on his mouth, and yesterday it paid off. Even though there were five other horses, three of them males, Fire more or less restrained himself and listened to me. Only once did he lose his cool (and that was my fault), during the second round of cantering. The thing is he's hypersensitive to his rider's body position, and because I was slouching a little more and leaning forward ever so slightly, he interpreted it as: race! Gallop! Run! Must win must win!!! Anyway, I'm amazed to see that after just two days of working on being soft in the hands, he's already responding to that and is more sensitive to me.

I've decided to invest in some horsey things. I already have my own bottle of baby oil that I bring, but I think I also want to get my own grooming kit, crop, and halter. That way I'll just be using my own stuff and be expanding the foolish fantasy that Fire belongs to me. Ah, well, what can you do. This is as close as I can get to owning my own horse right now, and for at least the next decade, so I may as well delude myself into thinking he's mine, right? Right. Yes. Good idea. That won't crush me at all in the near future.

"In riding a horse, we borrow freedom." Helen Thompson
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