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Need a Horse Fix

March 22, 2009

My legs and butt are getting itchy.
Not rash itchy. Ew. No.
Ready to ride itchy.
Every fiber of my being is craving saddle time right now. Unfortunately, my dummy herd bound horse won’t let me take advantage of the dirt road leading to the ranch unless he has a trail buddy, and all the horses up at the ranch right now are lame-ish or on the decrepit side. I supposed I could pony one of them while I ride Sir Beast, but I could see all sorts of complications arising and I don’t care to explain to the ranch owners why their 32 year old blessed saint of a kid’s horse is hightailing it up the mountain which a lead rope wrapped around his legs. Of course, the one spot in the county that is still under 3’ of snow is our arena. To make it even more unbearable, I get to hear my friends talk about their new barrel times and their trail rides and whatnot. Good for them. I wish that I was on the side of the canyon that got all the sun.

This leaves the stall area to ride in. The muddy, half frozen, half soupy, uneven stall area with seven other horses and two huge distracting feeders in it. Occasionally I saddle up my steed and ride him in there just to remind him why I keep him around. He’s not thrilled with being asked to work in his house, and I can’t do much with the footing and distractions anyways. I mostly just sit on him and enjoy the view.


I want me some arena and trail time. I have all these illusions of grandeur of what I’m going to accomplish with my horse this summer. I’m certain that he will be a spook proof, sure footed, loyal best friend and dressage, trail, and jumping master. In all seriousness though, I have big plans. This is the first time I’ve had a horse on my immediate property and I think the added space and exercise combined with the closer proximity will mean better training time. In the past, my riding and training time were sporadic and we achieved little more than a standstill. Now I’m hoping we can progress forward.

1)Cross the river
2) Learn to love the arena. If not love then at least not buck buck buck to show our displeasure. I want Kinetic to go quietly.
3) Trail time. I want to be able to walk, trot, and canter on trail without Kinetic thinking he’s a Preakness contender.
4) Quiet transitions.
5) Solid lunging skills aka learning to lunge to the right
6) Jumping. Just want to pop over a few haybales every other week.
7) Team penning. Get him so he’s agile and not terrified of cows.
8) Neck reining
9) Closing a gate while mounted
10) Flying lead change that doesn’t involve confusion, half bucking, and counter cantering

Pretty tall order for four months, but I think I can accomplish a lot of those with consistent riding six days a week. Kinetic will be working a lot harder and will have a lot more room to run and a lot less alfalfa to eat, so I think he’ll be a calmer horse to work with as well.

And then the babies!!!! I’m crazy psyched about starting them.

I want to do it all NOW. But since I’ll be home for April, I guess I’ll have to satiate my horsey cravings by reading up on how I’m going to accomplish all this. I’m thinking some George Morris, Mark Rashid, Jane Savoie, and Kelly Marks should do it.

And I’ve decided to stop complaining about going home for April. It’s going to happen so I better stop whining about it. Where I live in California is pretty and green and lush for exactly ONE month out of the year, and that month is April. So I’ll be getting to enjoy 70* days, warm sunshine, nice breezes, and the classical California rolling hillsides during the month when Colorado is mostly getting mud and slush.

Oh oh. I DID get to go on a trail ride. A friend at a neighboring dude ranch kindly offered to hook me up with one of her horses and we went on a nice little jaunt. It was warm and breezy and I was riding a cute little paint named Geronimo.

I NEED to be on a horse.
Like right now.
I’m yearning for those fantastic moments from last summer. When the work was done, the heat was abating, and we were free to work the horses in the arena at our leisure. It was still warm, but just cold enough to give you and the horse some spunk. Sweater weather. Smelled like leather and pine. Not having to ride turned around to look at guests. Actually riding and schooling. Getting people’s opinions. Good stuff.
Maybe I’ll go sit on Kinetic after work today.

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