Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Brisk Sunday Gallavant

Disclaimer; do not look at my right leg asking for bend. Do not. Only look at sexy horse neck.
Brace yourselves, Bacardi pictures are coming.

I somehow got lucky enough to have The Boy offer to come out with us at EIGHT AM, on a Sunday, in 20* weather to come video, since we haven’t had any in quite some time. If he is not a saint, I don’t know what he is besides amazing. I don’t think even my own mother would do that for me unless it was the AEC’s or something like that.

I had approximately 80 screenshots from video to narrow down and I was so in love with almost all of them that I apologize in advance if this post is lengthy. But I’m  also not sorry, because pictures.

My last post  holds true unfortunately (firebreather), especially since it was incredibly brisk, yet sunny, when I rode.

To say that he was fresh is a massive understatement. I think he piaffed, quite wonderfully and worthy of GP dressage, the entire time I tacked up. He scared The Boy into the tack room who kept peering out, wide eyed and even asked, “are you actually getting on his back today?”

Yeah, he was that jazzed about being a horse.

"Wheeee I am Bacardi, watch me do horse stuff"

It didn’t help that there was, of course, a jump lesson going on inside and as soon as we tacked up, the barn/indoor began “raining”. I’ve never experienced this before with this barn/arena, (or any, TBH) since I always ride at night, and was highly perplexed at first. 

Apparently when it “warms up”, heavy condensation forms and then falls pretty rapidly for about 30 minutes. Science. 

Even with the quarter sheet on,  Bacardi was not opposed to showing his disapproval of the wetness hitting his princess hide, and it was then I decided that his ass was getting lunged for a good 20 minutes. 

I wanted to ride, but I didn’t feel like dying.

Normally I despise lunging to get the sillies out and silently judge people who do, since *I* believe lunging to be a tool and not something horses should associate with play. I just dont like my horses ot play on the lunge. Call me a hypocrite, I lunged his silly butt for 20 solid minutes before he stopped squealing and bucking enough for me to feel safe mounting. I don’t even care. Total hypocrite. One who is alive still.

Not repeating last winter again.

Then, after 20 minutes of lunging, B was still not happy with the water droplets falling, so I begrudgingly took the party outside and played with possible death.

Kidding, but in all seriousness, he has not been out in over a week, it was a brisk morning, and we had to ride in a field since the outdoor has now frozen. To say I was overly cautious and utilizing my half halts, and where applicable, pulley rein, is very very accurate.

Bacardi wasn’t totally batshit like last year, but he did not have a very firm grasp on his marbles.
A few times, as we warmed up outside together, he let me know how very excited he was to be outside with the grass touching his hooves.

ew, grass, what are this, how do I dressage

Thankfully, the “explosions” were nothing of the caliber from last year, and relaxed completely after about 5 minutes of giraffing.

I was freezing, and not riding great (per evidence of the video and pictures taken) but he gave me a decent and solid effort. You’ll note most of the pictures are to the left and I am sure s few of you are asking yourselves why. Lately, he’s been exceptionally stiff to the left, therefore, the majority of our rides consist of unlocking the neck and shoulders and swinging freely on that rein.

If only my inside hand stopped floating  to my lap

If only my thumbs didnt constantly point inwards


Inside rein release as reward for bending like  proper horse

While warming up, he was only mildly reactive to changes in direction, but maintained concentration as well as any fresh baby brain could. He was reaching nicely; active, mostly loose in the shoulders and neck and gave me lovely transitions.

Then I took off the quarter sheet.

Then horses started getting turned out. For the first time in almost two weeks.

I think his brain fell out of his head.

Cue stepping back about 3 steps in training for about 15 minutes straight. It was nearly impossible to get any sliver of relaxation from him, and all he could think about were the horses running about in the pastures surrounding the XC field.






I couldn’t be mad though. Truly. Poor guy has been cooped up forever and his friends were all playing and he was being asked to swing through his back and have non explosive canter transition. How horrible.

From there I pretty much wanted to call it a day, but knew I should try and get one, *ONE*, nice transition and some form of relaxation in his tense neck and back.

To the right, his brain seemed a little more inside his skull and could concentrate for more than 3 seconds at a time, so I left that direction alone after a few transition up and down, for the sake of living & ending on a good note.

Not horribly loose, but not horribly tense either

Deeply thinking about bolting while pretending to be a good horse

One day my position at the canter wont resemble a newborn child
Then, for approximately 3 minutes, I got his attention long enough to nail a majestic up transition, combined with his best leg yield right to date.

Seriously, what majestic creature is this?
 Very soft, not  distracted trot work...

...one ear turned to the pastures

And BAM! Fucking gorgeous leg yield...


...into one of the best canter transitions of our lives even though very (VERY) sticky in the bending area. Seriously look how hard I am kindly asking him to please move his ribs the fuck over.

Ribs...must swing...left
WHA-BAHHM! We have bend, reach, activity, relaxation & magical clip powers

I could just DIE looking at this picture. All of it. This. 
From that maybe 2 minutes of work, I asked for a polite transition downward and we could be done.

A whopping 20 minute ride.

It OK though, I felt like we got some solid work put in, and even with some resistance, I dont threaten to sell him anymore when hes bad. He my horse and I truly feel that now. It easier to laugh off his shenanigans and get right back to work, rather than both of us melting down completely.

Hes mine and I love him in all his special pony glory.


  1. I think it's just fantastic that you are now able to ride through Bacardi's ridiculous tantrums and end on a good note with a horse that is focused, on the bit, soft, etc. So, so awesome!

  2. Ah, the good ol' removeable brain. Needs moar superglue. In all seriousness though, he's looking a lot better.

  3. i'm a little surprised by how good he looks in red/yellow for a chestnut. yay for eking out a productive effort from a horse that would rather melt down ;)

  4. YAY GOOD MOMENTS! Haha I love for those.

  5. That reach tho. And I kind of love his carousel horse impression even though he's being naughty. Btw, is that a new quarter sheet? I don't remember the Newmarket fanciness last winter.

    1. It is! What a good memory you have :) I bought it off his old owner for like 60% off retail price. Couldn't pass it up. And thank you. He's a majestic naughty beast

  6. Do you ever run into issues not having the stops for the running martingale? I've never bought any and I still ride in a running if necessary, and I sort of worry but nothing bad has ever happened not having them.

    I think my favorite is the "what is happening over there?" Lol

    1. I knew someone would comment on that haha. I cleaned my reins and totally forgot to put them back on an realized it as soon as I mounted. Didn't have an issue this time but I def didn't like it thinking about what could happen if it caught on the bit somehow!

      And I know he's an adorable brat lol!

  7. Love that stretch! My tack rooms "rains" in the same way. We have to keep saddles covered and occasionally de-mold our bridles.

  8. First of all no apologies for pictures. LOVE the pictures! Second... I know we all do it, but quit criticizing yourself. You both look amazing!! You've made so much progress with him and come such a long way from last winter when most people would have given up on him. Riding green horses isn't always pretty and we know that. :) I'm proud of you and the work you've done with B. I love the red and yellow on him too. I never would have thought of those colors on a chestnut but wow he pulls it off amazingly. He also wins the giraffe award! Holy cow how does he get his neck that vertical?? :D