Sunday, April 19, 2009

Boy were my horses spoiled today. They got to meet all kinds of horse crazy kids. I just love seeing horse crazy kids feeding handfuls of hay and grass (and leaves, whatever's handy) to a horse. Especially my nice horses.

We rode the loop today and about 3/4 of the way through the ride these strange creatures started approaching us through the tress, kinda creepy-like. Or at least that's what Tonka thought. It was actually a couple of very eager kids in their own yard, nothing creepy there, and they were dying to pet the horses. Their mom even went and got her camera, and the little girl's too, so they could both take pictures. It was great. One of the girls was about the tiniest kid I've ever seen actually walking and talking. She got up to Tonka to pet his nose and then screamed and ran away, saying, "Too big!" It was super cute. She did eventually pet him when her mom picked her up and put her more on his level.

This afternoon PCEI had a crew here planting 105 little baby trees. It was a 4-H group, with lots of little sub groups like robotics, rabbits, cats, dogs, gardening... You name it, they probably do it. Liam had a blast showing off his horses to everyone, and they all fed them hay and grass through the fence. I got to talk mustangs with some of the adults there. None of them were really horse people, but one was sheep people, and she had heard of and was asking about their hardiness and strong feet. In return I asked her about her hair sheep, and she said Dorpers seem to be more personable than Khatadin (sp?) which was good to know.

Pictures, of course, are required. I didn't get any of the kids, besides I probably shouldn't post strangers' kids on my blog. But there are a few pictures from our ride.

My mom and Soxy:

John and Cisco. They look short from way up here. :)
(John loves his new Tipperary helmet by the way.)

Me and Tonka. I like this one because I don't look as fat as usual, but if you look too closely you'll see my tongue is sticking out. I do that a lot when I'm thinking.

I saw this picture and thought the color was wrong. My horse isn't that red! But this is Cisco.
I realize I should write more about Bella's first ride. I have to be brief though. As much as I'm capable of being brief, that is...

I took her into the round pen and tried 3 saddles on her. None fit just right. My dad's was the closest, so I saddled her up. She's been saddled before but didn't like the cinching part. She'll get used to that. I take it slow and gentle. I flapped the stirrups, patted the saddle all over. Then I moved her around on her long lead rope at the walk, flagged her a bit, and then lunged her at the walk and trot. She wasn't too worried about the saddle but it took her a couple minutes to warm up to the flag. I made sure to flag her a lot over her back, in case I wanted to get on. We did some lateral flexing on and off. Then I hopped next to her, rubbed my leg all over her barrel, thumped her on the butt. After that I put my foot in the stirrup and bounced. Then stood in one stirrup. Then leaned over her back. Both sides, several times of course. Then I finally decided to go get my helmet and climb on. And I did. And she stood there. Eventually I disengaged her hindquarters in both directions. Once I'd done that she was comfortable enough to move forward a few steps. She was worried enough that she kind of forgot how to steer and stop. She would do it, but with a LOT of stiffness. We went both directions, avoiding the muddy part of the round pen. Then I got down and tied her to the trailer and unsaddled her. Happily uneventful for a first ride.


Kara said...

John and Cisco look so happy together! That helmet IS cool!

Linda said...

What is a tipperary helmet? I like it.

Sounds like you did the right thing, getting off Bella tonight. Go with your gut! She's doing great.

Andrea said...

Tipperary is a brand of helmet. John tried one on at the Albany horse expo and really liked the way it fit a lot better than his old Troxel helmet. I think I like the way it looks better too. Not quite as bubble-like.