Lacey's Journal (aka the trials and tribulations of a loved old lady)
I've come to the conclusion that perhaps I should start a journal for Lacey since I'm all the time posting random posts about how cool she is. It might be better if they all had one place to be. Heehee
So basic Lacey stats:
Breed: Arabian, Polish on her dad's side. Her mom is completely a mystery.
Age: 25, this spring.
Quirks: She has distinct views on everything. Her face tells it all, if she doesn't want to do something, you will know by her facial expression; if she can't wait to do something, you'll know by her facial expression. She's a trail horse extraordinaire. There is nothing she likes better than a good trail ride. She hates heading back the trailer, she will try to turn around and "force" you to head back out. She's also one of those horses that you feel completely safe on, like you could get into any sort of situation and she would figure out what to do even if you have no idea. She needs a confident hand though, she's very dominant and she will take control if she feels like you don't have a clue. And her kind of "taking control" is not safe taking control, she'll do anything to scare you into getting off if she thinks you're a pansy. :lol: Once she realizes that you are dominant and "the leader", she won't question you at all; unless she thinks you're being dumb, then she will very respectfully disagree.
I acquired her/started working with her almost two years ago (it will be 2 years in July). She was "trained" but hadn't been worked in over 5 years, dangerously obese, and horrendously spoiled. I used to say that she was only green-broke when I got her, but I think she may have had more training than that since now that she's calm, I've been able to get some rather non-green broke things out of her. She evidently does know her leads and other stuff that I can't remember the names of, but she knows them! Haha
It took us about a year to get really comfortable with each other and for her to stop being crazy with me. She used to buck and rear every time I got on, just cuz, yknow, she had to check and see if I had become a pansy. Heehee Now, I think she's finally figured out that I'm not going to be scared of her so she generally puts up with me; we haven't had any bucking or rearing episodes in atleast 6 months!
Currently, we've been working on her jogging ability. She has the worst, absolutely THE worst, sitting trot. EVER. It is a trot that posting was thoroughly invented for. I can sit any horse in the world, practically (I haven't met one yet that I can't sit since I've been building muscle with Lacey, but I don't want to get cocky cuz I know there has to be something out there worse than her), except for Lacey. And since she wants to be a trail horse, she needs to be comfy since I do not want to try to post in a western saddle out on the trail. I just don't find that fun. She has a lovely comfortable jog (compared to her trot) once she gets herself slowed down a bit, but she's still building muscle to be able to keep it up long term over varying terrain.
I'm also working on her cantering stamina. She has a lovely canter, but she prefers to trot, so she doesn't spend a lot of time at the canter unless she's pushed. So, I'm trying to work up to cantering for 5 minutes without needing a breather. We're at about 3 minutes so far so we have a little bit to go but she's definitly getting the idea. Instead of cantering at the pace of a train, she's slowing it down and conserving energy. I've been doing most of this work on the lunge line just because I'm not as well versed at the canter as I should be and so I have a hard time directing her at the canter because I get hung up on "omg, cantering!". So, I'm going at this from the saddle a little, getting myself more comfortable etc with cantering and working on not freezing up, and I'm working on her muscles and balance on the lunge so we only have to worry about one of us at a time (we started first with her muscles and balance, lol). She's also beginning to enjoy cantering more; I've actually had to pull on her face a few times recently to slow her down where I just had to say "easy" to get her right into a trot before (imo, that's good because when she's enjoying something she doesn't want to stop, she has way more go than whoa).
I'm also trying to get her as fit as possible for this summer where I'll be riding her about 3 times a day, for about 4-5 hours total everyday (she's coming to camp with me and we'll be heading trail rides, etc). It will mostly be at a walk but I'm also hoping to take her for long excursions at all gaits atleast twice a week, as well as doing some arena work to improve our skillz. That seems like a lot all written out but I suppose that's why she needs to be as fit as possible! haha Obviously, all that is subject to change if she shows she can't handle it, or if there's another horse that needs significant Wallby-time. :D
But anyway, I think that's all for now. More to come tomorrow, maybe. Actually, probably more like Tuesday since I don't think I'll have time to go out to see Lacey tomorrow. :-( Dumb dentist appointment!
Before we go though, a thread like this would not be complete without a mug shot of the lovely lady herself!
Woo Lacey :):) To be completely honest, I only came to look at the lovely pictures of her :) She's stunning, for an old lady.
Haha Gidji! Well, I guess I'll just have to post lots of pictures so people stay interested. XD
So, I showed up at Lacey's house today. She was not super excited:
The poor girl had sweat on her chest when I got her out of the field. All that hair isn't so good once it warms up, eh Lacey?
It was kind of a bummer, it started pouring down rain practically as soon as I got there so I didn't get to ride since I felt like a jerk putting a saddle on Lacey's wet back, yknow?
I was able to mostly groom her before it started pouring and oh my! SOOOO much hair was coming out of her. I was literally grabbing her fur in my hands and pulling it out. By the time I was done with her neck (I didn't get to really groom the rest of her becuase it started pouring), the ground looked like there was an entire mini down there. It was pretty neat though, once I got done with her neck, it was basically all summer fur. Now she kinda looks like a poodle with a really bad haircut, her neck looks shaved and her body is dang woolly. I think I might give her a bath tomorrow since so much hair is coming out, a bath might be the most effective/cheapest way to get rid of it all quickly.
Then I lunged her and she was pretty un-psyched about that. She was very irritated that I was making her go the direction that caused the rain to be blown into her face. She told me I was a failure of a human. :lol:
But she was good. She cantered really well and I had no issue getting her to canter or getting her to stay in a canter. I'm kind of proud of myself, I'm beginning to be able to see right before she breaks into a trot so she didn't fall out once today.
Here are some other pictures I took, I didn't feel like there were enough to post an actual picture thread. Haha "enough" :lol::lol::lol:
She has such an awkward stance in this one. Heehee That's my girl! Doesn't she look mangy? My goodness. Look at her nekked neck!!! :shock:
Naaw, I love the 2nd photo of her. You're coming into spring over there aren't you?
I have to say, I love Lacey. She's such a beautiful horse. I hope to hear more from you! :)
Haha! Sounds like a plan. :lol:
Gidji- we are coming into spring here, finally! I've missed the sun so much. haha
Thanks horseluver2435! I love her too, but I'm a bit biased. :shock: :lol:
I went and saw my poneh today! I gave her a bath because she is shedding SO badly that I felt like a jerk not trying to do more about getting the hair off. she was pretty good about the bath.
Funny story: I dropped her lead rope on the ground while I was going over to the faucet to turn the water on, thinking that Lacey would just stay put, eating grass etc. Well, not so much. As soon as I got to the faucet she must have figured out what was coming because she started walking very purposefully in the opposite direction. My BO's farrier (and his jerk son) was there trimming the other horses hooves and they stopped and started watching her (and laughing at me). Lacey walked past them and just took off in a very Arab sort of trot, tail way up, all bouncy, yknow: the good stuff (haha). Then, she got to a large clump of grass way on the other side of the farm and just stopped. Dropped her head and started eating. I was expecting to maybe hafta chase her a bit to get her back or something but oh no, she let me get all the way up to her and didn't bat an eyelash. So funny. I swear that horse has a really excellent sense of humor.
So, I got her back and started washing her with no issues. She isn't a huge fan of baths, she'll put up with them but she doesn't adore them, so you can probably imagine the facial expressions she was making. :lol:
Then, I decided to lunge her a bit to help her dry off and boy, I could tell from the second I clipped the lunge line to her halter that she was as full of it as a mexican jumping bean. She was trying to charge ahead of me to get to our lunging area (which she NEVER does) and she broke into a trot from a walk at least 6 or 7 times during the walking portion of our warming up. I let her trot a bit but I could see that that was going to get us nowhere, she tried to buck twice on the line and she never bucks. So I decided to take her to the arena and free lunge her once she was thoroughly walked out, since I didn't really want her bucking on the lunge line. Goodness me, as soon as we got into the arena, she just TOOK OFF. This horse is twenty-freaking-five, she should be more sedate than running around bucking like a crazy person! :lol: She was cantering for no less than five minutes straight, with no urging on my part, both directions. I was very impressed.
She also busted out some of the nicest trotting I have ever seen. I mean, she has a really beautiful trot to begin with, but she was busting it out on a even more intense scale! It was the kind of thing that makes my insides cry a bit that she is so old and it would be so unsafe for her to have a little one.
She was feeling really good and it was excellent to see. Especially since 2 years ago, she couldn't even canter a step at all!
Also, I'm SUPER SUPER SUPER proud of this: as she was drying off, I hopped up on her with just the halter and lead rope. And, for some reason, I decided "Lacey's being crazy today, I'm not wearing a helmet, I have hardly any control over her, why don't I practice my bareback trotting?!" *sarcasm* But, for some reason, it went really well. I actually trotted her around quite a bit, did some turns, and big circles, and most importantly: I didn't fall off or even feel like I was going to! She wasn't even jogging either, she was big trotting. It was like we melted together somehow... weird stuff.
We had a good day! :D
And, I have lots of pictures to post so a picture thread is going up! =)
congrats. sounds like a good day.
It was around 75 degrees out today so the poor old lady was SWEATY! She had a wet saddle blanket today! Haha
We did a little lunging and she was ok. We didn't do a bunch though since it was so hot.
Then I realized that I haven't ridden in a saddle and bridle in about 2 weeks so I decided to do that today. It's interesting how being ridden bareback has made her a bunch lighter to my cues. Before I started riding bareback about 3 times a week she was pretty...not dead sided, but she didn't understand the whole "keeping turning until my leg comes off your side" thing very well and she didn't respond to subtle cues. She knew what I wanted but she wouldn't go in circles off just leg like she does now.
Then, we did a little trotting. Mostly posting trot because she was being very go-y today and I just couldn't seem to get her slowed down for very long (I was trying all my usual tricks but she was just really...really enthusiastic about life today, haha). We did some figure eights and serpentines and I worked on being on the correct diagonal while posting, which is something I really need work on, so it was all good. It was also good practice using my leg while posting, which is something I don't feel very effective at.
Then, I was SUPER brave. I cantered her in a circle! I have an issue with becoming a passenger at the canter and stopping riding, so usually I just cue her for the canter and let her go. And then, she has previously tripped around the corners of the arena at the canter, scaring me and making me worry about cantering at all. Well, today I figured it out: she gets unbalanced and trips around the corners because I've dropped her. If I have contact in the reins and guide her with my legs around the corners, she doesn't lean into them as much in an unbalanced manner and then she doesn't trip! Along with that, I had been concerned about cantering her in a smaller circle that the entire arena because of the tripping thing, but today, after my epiphany, I cantered her in a largish circle, twice, and we did just fine.
It's interesting, with Lacey, more than any other horse I've ever ridden, Lately, I can feel what's going on with her without anyone telling me, as long as I'm feeling her and not tuning her out. I can tell when she's on the wrong lead, I can tell when she's on her forehand, I can tell when she's unbalanced...I can just feel these things with no instruction from anyone. It's an interesting thing. :D
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