From racing to riding... the training diary of an off the track Standardbred

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tried Some New Things

MUD MUD MUD! Uggh. I hate the mud. Atleast it isn't ice! Anyways... since it is so muddy outside, I haven't had a lot of riding time lately. Yesterday was interesting though.

I went outside to feed lunch hay and decided to brush them all. I curried them all, then hard brush, then soft brush, then hoof pick, for all 3 horses. They are shedding!! YAY! Spring.... please come quickly. I decided to take Biscuit for a walk. Then I thought, what the heck! Why not ground drive him? So I took his harness and put just the saddle part on, threw on his bridle and off we went! We worked in the ring first then went on the road.  We walked up and down it once, then trotted it. There are hills on both sides of the road so it was a work out for us! But I think I was more tired at the end of it. I went back to the house and drove him around the backyard, here, there, everywhere! When we were done, I put him back in the paddock and burshed him again and picked his feet.

Hmm.... what to do with Elsa? It is too mushy to ride in the ring... hop on and walk around the street? Nah... let's try something new! Dad used to have harness race horses so I took the saddle part from that, put fleece on it and plopped it on Elsa. I jingled it around, let her sniff it, moved it around her... she could have cared less. She doesn't have a driving bridle so I just used her riding one. I hooked up the long reins and led her by hand up the the ring. Abby was outside with me. I asked her to walk at Elsa's head the first few times around. At first she had to figure out what I was asking her but after about 2 times around, she got the hang of it! I asked Abby to now just stand still so I could see if she would be ok without her by her head. She was amazing! I was very impressed! I asked her for a trot on the dry side of the ring. I said the word and tapped her with the long reins on her rump. As soon as I asked, she went! She was a very good girl so I decided to take her around the street. I went once both directions at a walk, then decided to ask for a little trot. At first she was a little strong, but then she settled down. She actually has really nice movement and she looked like a carriage horse! Abby wanted to try so I let her take the reins and I walked at her head, just in case. Elsa was great for Abby! Abby wanted to try a trot so I told her how to do it. Abby asked her for it and she went! She was, again, a little strong at first, but settled down. We put her back in the paddock, Abby brushed her, and I decided to try Jet.

Jet was a harness racer. He knows how to drive. He has 27 races, and hundreds of days of training. He was the best out of the three of them. I took him up to the ring and at first all he wanted to do was stick his nose out. Mom yelled, "Play with your reins like you would as if you were riding and see if you can get him to round his back a bit!" Hmmm. Never thought of that. Why not give it a try? So I played with the reins and he lowered his head! I got him bending and doing figure eights! He was a great boy. I then decided to go around the road. We went around once each direction at the walk. Abby finished brushing Elsa and said, "Can I walk Elsa with you?" "Sure!" Elsa came for a walk with us. Both of them were quiet throughout the walk but Biscuit.... oh little BP(Biscuit Pony).... he was neighing up a storm! His little mind was thinking, "OH MY GOODNESS! THEY ARE LEAVING ME FOREVER AND NEVER COMING BACK! AND I DON'T HAVE ANYMORE HAY!" We had to cut our walk a little short because of that... but as soon as Elsa was back, Biscuit was satisfied. I turned Jet around and went back down the road. I asked for a trot. It was an amazing trot! We went half way one way and athe entire time the way back! I tried to keep it short because his feet are a little sensitive with all of the moisture in the ground... and he is overdue to get trimmed, but we have an appointment made!

We got back to the yard and Abby took Elsa out again. She brought her up to the ring and I brought Jet up there aswell. I took the harness off and then thought... I should hop on him bareback! So Mom went and grabbed my helmet and gave me a leg up. We were off! We went around the road again, and did a tiny trot up one of the hills. We got back to the ring and did some actual work. I actually prefer riding bareback than to riding in a saddle. It makes me feel secure and I can feel the horse so much easier and I love that. We worked on bending and bringing out nose down and we actually did really well! At the end of our ride, I gave him a really thorough brushing and BAM! I was covered in Jet hair from head to toe. He is shedding!

Today wasn't as exciting. He was turned out in the ring with everyone. They rolled. A lot. Then they took a nap right next to each other. It was really cute =) I brushed them, then they rolled again. It was getting dark so it was time to take them down. Abby and Jon (my older brother) offered to help bring them down. I was brushing Jet again at the moment so I told them to just take Elsa and Biscuit down. I then lunged Jet to get some of his bouncies out. He had a lot of them! It ring is still mushy so I tried to keep him in the drier half. My grandparents came down for my sister's birthday (which is tomorrow) so that was nice aswell. I will post more tomorrow. This post is getting awfully long.

Type more later =)
Emily and her ponies!

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