Olympus Ranch Stables

Saturday, February 21, 2015

My First Clinic

I had so much fun today! I rode in my first clinic! Let me start from the beginning:

I got to the barn at 8 AM and fed my horses. My scheduled ride was at 1:45 PM so I knew I had to plan my day carefully. After Varro got done eating I took him for a walk around the barn and into the arena to explore the scary corners. I lunged him for a few minutes and he was pretty good, almost bored. I put him back into his stall and the lecture portion of the clinic started at 9 AM.

The lecture was amazing. I learned quite a bit about the geometry of the arena; natural and mechanical aids; how to apply your aids correctly and how they affect the horse's movement. As part of the demo, the clinician had us all "trot" in a circle and tell her which one of our legs was bearing the most weight. Then she had us "canter" in a circle. I was SO surprised to figure out that the OUTSIDE hind is the one that is controlling the weight and movement in the canter! WOW! LIGHTBULB!

After the lecture there were several demo riders who showed examples of what she had talked about in her lecture. After the demo we broke for lunch. I took that opportunity to get Varro out and do a quick lunge and then put him back. Lunch was delicious! The barn owner/manager made some Mexican tacos/nachos with cornbread. Goodness!

Once lunch was over the first rider went. I loved watching and learning. Then, it was MY turn!

I got Varro out and tacked him up quickly. We did a quick lunge and then attempted to mount...He was SO fidgety at the mounting block. We started our lesson and BINGO, Varro started bucking and carrying on. Once we worked out the bugs, he settled right down and went to work! It was a wonderful ride! We worked mostly on moving forward willingly and doing trot/walk/trot transitions. I felt amazing after the lesson! I even got a round of applause for staying in the saddle while Varro was throwing his fit!

What a great day!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The aftermath

I had my first chiropractor appointment today and it felt really really good as I left the Dr.'s office...until I fell down the stairs. That coupled with my rough ride last night makes for s upper sore body tonight. By the time I got to the barn tonight I was wiped out! I ended up just feeding my babies and coming home. Tonight is a bust.

On a happier note I am riding in a Dressage Clinic on Sat! I am hoping to get some great pictures and will post all about it then!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Brat Attack

Varro was a complete and utter BRAT tonight during our ride. Let me start from the beginning:

I went to his stall and called him from his turnout. He came right up to me and put his head in the halter. I thought to myself, this is going to be a great night! (how wrong I was) I took him to the grooming area and started brushing him out and he would not stand still, at all. I thought to myself that maybe I should have lunged him first, but was still optimistic about our ride. I finally got him tacked up and went to the arena to lunge him.

He was a good boy! He did everything I asked and was having a good time. There was another horse in the arena (a young green broke OTTB) and Varro was polite and didn't act up...until they left the arena. He started bucking and whooping it up. I thought "Oh boy, here we go!" We lunged for another 15 or 20 minutes and then I bridled him up and get ready to get on. He would not stand still at the mounting block but I managed to get on and he was NOT wanting to work at all.

I started with walking the short ends and trotting the diagonals. He immediately started bucking and carrying on when I asked for a trot. BRAT! Every time I asked for a trot he would buck and act the fool. We did some collected walk, free walk transitions and I finally got some good trotting out of him. When I asked for a nice relaxed walk, more attitude! REALLY??? I spent the next 15 minutes trying to find a positive stopping point! UGH!

Once I had even the slightest try on his part, I pat his neck told him he was a good boy and hopped off. Then he lost his bloody mind! He was sooo uppity that I could not take his bridle off and put his halter on. So, I said, " You wanna be a brat? You'll be a sweaty brat!" I lunged him until he was tired and covered in sweat. He was still a bit excited but controllable. I took him back to the barn and untacked him and groomed him until he had cooled down some. I put him to bed with dinner and put his blanket on and headed for home.

I'm still a little frustrated, but honestly I can't expect him to be a first class citizen until I have been working him regularly! Tomorrow is Aspen's turn! I sure hope she is better than he was!