Update on Drifter

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Horse owning is starting to feel a little more routine now. In a good way. Me and horses are creatures of habit, after all. I am particularly enjoying riding after work on Mondays and Fridays – two days when you can only ride if you have your own horse as there are no lessons on those days. Still, every so often it still shocks me that I have a horse.

I have given in and bought him a new bit. He does seem much happier in this one, silly animal. Doesn’t he know the one he rejected is ergonomically designed to fit his palate, using a specially made alloy and a kinder design than the new one? Apparently he doesn’t care. He likes the new, basic, harsher one. Sigh.

I have learned that he likes pears more than carrots, and apples more than anything.

He is no longer a woolly monster as he has been clipped. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture which is a shame, but he looks very smart. It’s only a partial clip – his neck, chest and belly are clipped, as is the bottom half of his head. Everything else is still warm and woolly. He didn’t have to be sedated to clip and he hasn’t been too fresh. It’s stopped him dripping with sweat after every exercise session which is a relief in this cold weather.

Riding is going quite well. We have problems on the right rein (i.e. going clockwise). Perhaps he’s a witch’s horse at heart because he always wants to go widdershins. We’re working on this and sometimes I think I see some improvement – sometimes I don’t.

One of the greatest difficulties I have is knowing what is his problem and what is mine. When he doesn’t do something I ask, is it my fault for asking badly or did he choose to ignore me? I usually assume it’s mostly my fault, but some horses just take advantage and “say no.” How much of the right rein issues are his fault and how much are mine? I’ve done a lot of work on sitting symmetrically but I know my musculature is asymmetric from years of sitting wonky in my pre-riding life and I know I don’t twist as naturally to help him around corners on that rein. I suppose that in some ways it doesn’t matter what is whose fault – we just need to learn together to do whatever we need to do to be able to make that direction as good as the other one.

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4 thoughts on “Update on Drifter

  1. mellchan says:

    Hi there, I love your blog and have nominated you for the Versatile Blog Award. Check out all the details at: http://mellchan.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/oh-goodness-a-blog-award/
    I look forward to reading more about your new life as a horse owner! Keep the photos coming.

  2. Lamar Jacobs says:

    Keep in mind that this is all based on the horse understanding the cues. To review, the left rein is the indirect rein. It executes or shows and supports what the inside rein is asking for. The left leg tells the horse where to go. Once the horse has executed the movement, the aids must immediately be released. Every horse in every discipline should know these aids. It doesn’t matter if you are a dressage rider, hunter/jumper, a western, trail, or endurance rider. What matters is that the aids are executed properly and the pressure released quickly. Sometimes our use of the aids is confusing. For example, if you want to turn right but you pull too much on the inside rein, you create a big bend in the horse’s neck. The horse then goes off straight or to the left. That is not good communication. It is not riding effectively.

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