Riley was born April 2006. It took me a few days to give him a barn name because I wanted it to match his personality. A lot of people thought I was crazy for waiting so long time but it had to be perfect! He was injury prone from the beginning. He cast himself in a stall, he ripped his eyelid inside out and had stitches before he turned a year. He even fractured his pelvis early on. No one knows how he does the things he does!
I took him to his first show at 17 months. It was the state fair and I remember just about having a nervous breakdown when we got there. To the left of the ring was a demolition derby and to the right was the Tundra truck challenge. The stalls were up against a fence across the street. I just wanted to turn around and go back home! I was glad I didn't. He won Grand Champion in halter that weekend.
As a two year old he earned a third place ribbon in a walk jog class out of twenty three exhibitors. We were off to a great start! He got stuck in a tree that year too. Riley has some special qualities!
He won the end of year division for junior horse as a three year old at a local level show and as a four year old he won points in a couple divisions at AQHA shows.
Our up streak slowed after that. We had a bout of cellulitis and then we had some back pain, abscess after abscess after abscess and so on and so forth... This year is hopefully going to be our come back year....
So let's let our saga begin!
We got new shoes on Saturday. Hot shoes for the first time ever with a bar. Today was our first time riding in months. He rode very sound at the walk and the trot but didn't want to canter. I started to force it but thought better of it because I want to move forward and because Riley is no outlaw, I know his refusal to canter had everything to do with not being ready and nothing to do with attitude. I did force three strides in each direction only because he did say no. After that I got off and did a little ground work and then turned him loose to graze.
Hoping for more out of him tomorrow!
I climbed on him bareback to day for a quick walk trot ride. I didn't ask for the canter although he felt a hundred percent sound. I don't wan to rush anything. When I finished with him I climbed on my old horse and can you believe, that old blind beast reared! 29 years old and still full of himself!
He felt a little off the last couple times I rode so I didn't ask to canter. Today I just lunged and he was 100%. He was also a major jerk. He always has been fairly nasty on the lunge line because I never had much knowledge of how to do it properly so he very quickly ended up in charge on the ground.
We've been working through these issues and today I think I walked away with a win. I'm not feeling overly excited though. He bucked and kicked towards me and then even reared once but I pushed him through it and in the end, I was in charge. He never did lick his lips though.
We did some showmanship as well..... I wish he was a little more willing to work on the lunge....
I rode hunter today (like hunter/jumper style) and had a great ride. Walk trot and canter one direction. He wasn't lame or even off to the right but he was a teensy bit short strided still so I didn't want to push the canter that direction. To the left it was beautiful. I had a blast. It was one of those... I love my horse days.....
Well... I rode last night and things were seeming alot better. My son had some friends over and they were tromping around in the creek just behind my riding arena, back in the woods and making tons of noise. Riley looked and cocked an ear but never even got a little nervous or up, just rode around like a pro. He cantered beautifully on the left lead but when I asked for the right he felt short so I pulled him up after just a few strides. He went into it without any argument and was willing to maintain it, which means he's feeling a lot better... but not there yet.
I'm getting a little excited becuase I think with the next set of shoes, I may have a sound horse.
Also I talked to a trainer at the reining show over the weekend, he said that he has lesson horses I can use. Another place I had left a message wtih called me back as well. I may try to call them today but I won't be able to set anything up until after the governemt opens again. Can't go spending money right now...
He was really good today. I started off with a western jog but he was really tail swishy and unhappy so after about 15 minutes I gave up on it and went with a long and low English trot. Tail swishing stopped and he really moved forward. He got a little racy a couple times and I had to collect him up but he is definitely much happier in an English gait. I think we may have to give up western all together. I asked him to canter on the left lead and it was really pretty. He did get racy a few times but again, he collect with no argument.
When I asked for the right lead he got a little cranky but I asked for it anyway. I've figured out that when he gets nasty, if I stay gentle and talk in a cooey type voice, he usually settles right down. If I get mad or rough he gets tense so I cooed and asked for it again a couple times. I think it took three tries and then we got the canter. It wasn't great, kind of choppy and I think that's maybe some soreness still. He had zero limp this time so he's improving. I'll adjust the shoes in a couple weeks.
I'm excited about the improvement and I think his lameness issues have made me a better horseman because in the past, had he given me argument about the canter I would have stayed on him for two hours if that's what it took to perfect it, now I just ask for a good note. Once I have it, we finish and I've noticed the arguments are getting shorter because of it.
He's my boy....
He is so handsome. Its a shame he has lameness issues. He deserves to be in the show ring.
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After 5 straight days of rain I finally got to tack up and ride. My ring was really wet so all I could do was walk/trot on half the ring (it's grass so it gets slick).
I think it was the best ride we have had in quite some time. He was rounded and gave to the bit and his ears would go forward and then one would flick back as he listened to my commands. I had to revert back to some pretty basic stuff like holding the reins in two hands and lifting them up until he gave and then I had to continue with them in that position so that he would only find reward if he set his head properly and I had to use a lot of leg and but because he likes to drag himself around on his front legs rather than using his butt.
Over all it was nice, he was rounded and in a nice frame and fairly consistent. I'm really happy today....
Today we had the best ride we've had in a very long time. I need to get his feet done again and I think this time I'm going to see if we can put a tiny wedge on the left front. He was SOUND today. We had a gorgeous trot, very rounded and nice. When we loped on the left lead it was really pretty and he was moving awesome. On the right lead he was a little choppy and short strided so we aren't there yet, need that adjustment on the shoe but he was SO good. Mellow and happy... It was a great ride....
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