Borrowed Knickers- and other college equestrian problems - Page 24 - The Horse Forum
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post #231 of 247 Old 08-29-2019, 03:48 AM
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That is really wonderful to hear your bf is starting to feel better, health issues are such a frustrating beast.

Misty is so charming and such a cat I always enjoy her stories. Glad you've had what seems a very full summer before the start of semester from he!l *Wish could insert theatrics of lava* but it sounds like itll be quite intense!

I think with highly intelligent horses with an unknown and abusive past, it just takes time to work through all the layers. It isnt like working with a clean slate or taking something through without a past. Sometimes have to try unconventional stuff or take a different approach or be creative. But you've done great with Nick and Im glad he has grown and changed in your care

I hope clicker training continues to go well! I love the selfies!! And all the pictures in the wilderness!
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post #232 of 247 Old 08-30-2019, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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So in spite of giving myself either a hernia or a cyst jumping stirrup-less I took Nick out on a trail ride after class. We rode up on an old rail trail, with the aim of riding a few gallops, since in theory we will event at the end of September and my half seat could do with some conditioning.

Honestly I feel so lucky to be able to ride where I ride. The scenery is incredible, and this broad low gradient Sandy trail was just begging to be galloped (and we did). The rail trail cut through a lot of granite, so we rode through a lot of canyonny (not true canyons) area that had ME thinking of mountain lions, so I'm not sure how McNickers managed to be mister cool cucumber, but he didn't care a bit, so we had a glorious ride. He was also quite the game little pit pony and went straight through the tunnels without a pause (he must not have been gelded right either since theres the balls of Chuck Norris im sure hanging under his tail) And there's a video of it, although it stops when I had to dig out my headlamp so we could see.


This may be incongruous for a dressage rider- but I don't really believe in arena horses. I don't think that all our show sports should be the end-all, be-all of horsemanship, and I certainly think the horses are happier if they get to kick around on the trail or doing some job. Also health wise- the variety of footing and excercise is a way to build the strength they need for the arena work without stressing the joints, so its a win win. Also you dont find out about your partnership in the arena where everything is controlled. No, trust is tested where both the horse and the rider have to operate and make decisions independently with the other in mind. Its perfecy possible that these thoughts are a coping mechanism for not wanting to work on our half-pass, but there are only so many sunny days, and plenty of miserable winter ahead to practice going sideways.
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"Stay ON the horse IN the arena" -my trainer.
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post #233 of 247 Old 08-31-2019, 02:05 AM
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Originally Posted by lostastirrup View Post
He was also quite the game little pit pony and went straight through the tunnels without a pause (he must not have been gelded right either since theres the balls of Chuck Norris im sure hanging under his tail)
I agree! Super brave! I'm sure Chuck Norris would ride in the Toaster too, just because he was that studly he didn't need a trailer that said so.
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post #234 of 247 Old 08-31-2019, 02:43 AM
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Go Nick!! That's a really brave pony! He's come a long way from the pony scared of everything to going through a dark tunnel. Im impressed! It's a testament to the trust he has in you

lol how dare you shame the arena by leaving!? The arena calls you back home to do laterals where you must suffer in silence! :P Nah I think it's important to do more than just arena work too. I think horses who do a variety of things tend to be less sour, happier to work and stay sounder longer. Variety of terrain, having to negotiate their feet and footing. Working on hard ground strengthens the ligaments and bone. The body adjusts based on use.

But I have to say I am so glad I dont have to worry about mountain lion anymore, when I lived in Oregon and Washington and went out a lot. It was a concern. I remember being with my old event horses and running into coyotes and another time Im pretty sure wolves. But they left us alone. We dont really have wild predators in Denmark.

Nick is so handsome, I love his alert expression. He knows he's good looking
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post #235 of 247 Old 08-31-2019, 03:31 AM
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Looking at your photos is like going on holidays for me, @lostastirrup .

Your summer seems to have been a full one, but with a little bit of you-time!

Also, my diaphragm and intercostal muscles usually get quite a workout coming here. Pony vs Doom Tunnel!

Good to hear you've found a better training method than pressure-and-release. Did you ever see this? Similar to the technique you've adopted, and amazing to dip into this blog!

https://augustusthemustang.wordpress.com/

Hope you have a happy autumn!

SueC is time travelling.
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post #236 of 247 Old 08-31-2019, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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@gottatrot
I thought he was quite the macho Man. I wasn't going to make him ride the tunnel, since they make me, a human being who is logically aware that it is likely safe, nervous, I can't imagine what kind of instinctual alarm bells go off for Pony. But he just kept walking so on we went.

@DanteDressageNerd
Maybe it's also a symptom of wanting to step back from the dressage training world. Don't get me wrong- i love dressage and I love riding it, but I think I think I'd do both Nick and I an injustice if we didn't get out and explore the world.

@SueC
I'm glad I can provide some amusement. I have such a wonderful time up in the mountains, glad you can enjoy it vicariously.



In other news I'm off from riding for 8 days and will be hopped up on pain meds. So hopefully that ride will keep me for awhile.


"Stay ON the horse IN the arena" -my trainer.
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post #237 of 247 Old 09-08-2019, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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An excerpt from a letter I sent a friend.
More pictures and full description of 14 mile ride to follow at some point sometime.


I had an experience yesterday that I want to share with you. I was riding Nick up on the old Milwaukee rail trail that was put in in 1941. It's a super cool trail all through the Butte Highlands, and because it was a rail trail there is a relatively easy gradient and it's wide and well kept. There are also two tunnels and a bridge over an 160ft crevasse. Last week I rode through the first tunnel. Yesterday I rode the whole trail and a few extra miles besides. I came up on the second tunnel and from the distance I thought it would be shorter than the first, because from a distance- the physics makes the image from the other side project like a camera obscura almost- so that looking in- the exit is almost the same size as the entrance. Easy I thought. We'll be through this in a minute. Well it was not shorter than the first tunnel. It was much much longer. As you start in the light from behind makes it so you can still see a little, but as you get farther and farther inside, the light from behind fades and it's darker than the inside of a cat. I could not see the walls. I could not see Nick beneath me. I could hear our footsteps but that was it. I think that was the closest I have ever come to complete and utter darkness. And when it's that dark, you can't see proportionally, you can't see how far you've come or how far you have more to go. All you can see is the tiny tiny light that is the exit. Horses have better eyesight in the dark than humans, so for the previous tunnel I had counted on Nick's ability to navigate- but he was stumbling. He couldn't even see his feet. So to keep us straight and get to the other side I watched that tiny light with more focus than I think id ever given anything. I kept it in the center of my vision and kicked Nick on. We stayed straight. We watched the light. And after approximately an eternity we came out the other side into the beautiful connifer forest. I had the thought- this is how we are in our troubles, when we get into trouble we don't get the privilege of knowing how long they will last or the complete nature of them because the darkness is so accute. But. If we keep our eyes on the light, and the hope of Christ, and move straight on the narrow path, we are assured in Christ that we will reach the other side. We don't get to know when or how, but the only thing that can pierce that darkness is the light of Christ and he has promised a safe passage.

Colossians 3:2-5
Set your minds on the things that are above not on the things that are on Earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears then you also will appear with him in glory.

1 Thessalonians 5:5-11
For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep... For God has not destined us for wrath but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Who dies for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up just as you are doing.

Hebrews 12:12-14
Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight the paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone and for holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

Micah 6:8
He has told you oh man what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.



Hey. I may make a Sunday school teacher yet. maybe you could use my analogy in your book since it has tunnels.

The last picture is of Nick over an 160 foot crevasse looking for all the world bored out of his mind. He is much braver than I. "I've crossed bridges hundreds of times- what's another to me?" Quite the change in a horse that used to think butterflies and streetsigns were scary.

Please call sometime. I'm available in the evenings always.

Love you.
-grace.
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"Stay ON the horse IN the arena" -my trainer.
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post #238 of 247 Old 09-08-2019, 06:23 PM
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Oh wow, that was just beautiful. Thank you so much. I needed that as I go through my long dark tunnel with only a tiny pin***** of light ahead of me. Thank you again!
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post #239 of 247 Old 09-08-2019, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Oh wow, that was just beautiful. Thank you so much. I needed that as I go through my long dark tunnel with only a tiny pin***** of light ahead of me. Thank you again!
Boy the anti-swearing algorithm is getting touchy lately eh? Glad you liked it and it could encourage you.


"Stay ON the horse IN the arena" -my trainer.
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post #240 of 247 Old 09-09-2019, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Toaster Adventures

So technically Sunday was the first day I was allowed to ride, but I started back Tuesday and felt fine with light riding bareback and enjoying cool evening walks. Because of a horse camp, none of the barn amenities (like the arena) were available to me or any other boarder not enrolled in the camp, so we had a weekend of trailering out for adventures. Friday we ended up just doing conditioning on the sand hill behind the barn because there was a thunder/rainstorm and I don't haul in storms (much less enjoy trail rides in them) and the Indoor arena was off limits (camp). But Saturday, while the clouds looked dubious- was still nice enough to get out and about, so we headed a few miles down the road to the national Forest. This was the trail i previously posted about, though I had a significantly longer ride (14-15 miles). And we worked our way up into the highlands. We rode two tunnels and a bridge 160 ft above the river +road. And Nick was a very good cookie. I swear I don't know what made him so faithful and willing. I was telling another boarder when I got back to the barn "I'm not sure why, but this horse has never told me no." And I have asked him plenty of questions that had I been a horse I would've screamed and turned and ran. But you put your leg on and he walks on without a pause, dropping his head to be careful and delicate over the bridges and into the shadows. Part of me wonders if I have asked him to do things so outside of his nature that his instincts don't even flicker- a horse in the wild would never be in a tunnel or naturally find itself standing in midair with a few planks beneath him. So maybe- these experiences are just alien enough that he can take them all in stride and wander on like "well that was neat! Got any of those trail signs for me to snort at?" Whatever it is, I can't take credit for him, I can just enjoy what he gives me. The horse no one can catch, the horse that used to rear and go over backwards, the horse that wouldve been labelled dangerous and unmanageable. Well he rides out in a halter on stormy nights and he happily puts himself to the dressage and will wander off into the unknown with both ears *****ed forward and a spring to his little araby step. I am so very thankful for him, and how lucky I am to have a horse while in a period of life when most have to give up riding, and that he has turned out to be everything small horse-less me at 7 years old was pining for while reading King of the Wind. This one is one in a million.
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"Stay ON the horse IN the arena" -my trainer.
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