Riding Journal for Sunday November 22, 2009
Yesterday I had to help teach a group lesson at a friend's barn. Over the summer I was a camp couselor twice and I trained three of their horses. (two are listed as mine on here, but they're not :P) I am very excited because all three of the horses I worked with are now very good lesson ponies.
So, I arrived at 9:30am and took Phantom, Butterfinger, Harley, Angel and Nibbles (all are ponies accept Angel who is a APH) out of their fields and groomed and tacked them. They were all tied out in front of the barn while they waited for the lessoners to arrive.
Along with the little kids that came, their was a teenage girl who has been riding for a long time and owns Phantom. She has always had a problem with nerves and tends to cry when the horse is bad, which really aggravates me. She was assigned to Nibbles, because she is a little more of a handful than Phantom. Usually, this girl walks timidly up to Nibbles and slowly reaches for the hoof to pick it up. I guess the last few sessions of them together has gone smoothly, so she was more confident and actually groomed and tacked the horse without asking me for help.
The arena is located in the middle of a field and the main entrance to the field was very muddy, so we had to take the long way. I took Harley and rode him through the field to the arena, which also was his first time riding in an open field. (Harley is only four and I started him in June and I've been training him since) Once I'd entered the arena I looked back towards the gait where the kids and ponies were coming and noticed nibbles was looking at something.
The problem with Chloe, the girl assigned to Nibbles, is she's either freaked out by the horse, or she gets overly confident and stops paying attention to the horse. So, Nibbles spooked, and completely freaked Chloe out and I knew exactly what I was gonna end up doing...
...I had to ride Nibbles around to "Calm her down" while chloe rode harley. Nibbles was a teenie bit jumpy after spooking, but besides that she was perfect. I had to ride her with one hand and frequently looking back, because I was in charge of supervising the kids who couldn't ride very well. -.- So, after riding nibbles forever I finally said to Chloe
"Look, I can't watch these kids and ride her at the same time, I thought you
were gonna ride her," as I saw her expression I added, "Never mind, I'll manage," and continued riding.
I'm not usually so mean, but I was sick, I had tacked up all the horses, I was basically giving this lesson while the trainer was looking at a lame horse, and I had to put up with this chick while I rode her horse.
Finally, the trainer's husband said he'd take nibbles for me, which both relieved and irritated me cause I wished that Chloe would take her. He took her to the field outside of the arena and galloped her around to tire her out for Chloe. I don't agree with this, but he was having fun, so...
THEN I noticed that Harley and Rachel, the little girl riding him, were stopped. I walked over and saw she was holding the reins wrong, she was pulling on his mouth, she was slouching, and her heels were up. I was in awe, had this girl never been taught proper equitation?!?
After adjusting her position and rearranging her hands, I told her to ask him again for the walk, which he picked up right away. I ended up doing the same thing to about three other people. -.-
Finally the trainer came down and I was free to ride any horse without a rider. I chose Harley, cause he's my baby. <3 I took his saddle off and rode him around bareback, walking, trotting, and cantering him.
THEN, once again, someone needed my help... And this time, it was the trainers!! The barn owner/trainer's son in law also trains horses and had brought his mare Blondie into the arena. He was trying to mount up, but every time he did, she'd spin around and manage to dislodge his foot from the stirrup, and he'd be on the ground again. The other trainer tried, failed, then handed the horse to her husband, who also didn't succeed. I dismounted Harley, told him to whoa, and like the good little boy he is, he stayed put in that spot. <3
I first tried to mount the mare normally, to see what exactly she was doing. She was spinning towards me. I tightened the rein on the opposite side so her head was turned away from me, so she couldn't spin on top of me. I tried mounting again, and what do ya know, she stood perfectly still.
I dismounted and went back over to Harley, who, of course, hadn't moved and continued riding him till I had to leave.
**I don't ride at this barn, I merely work there as a favor for a friend.**