This blog is dedicated to my friend, my mentor, and the best teacher I have ever had. Without him, I would not have embarked on this amazing journey. Split, this blog is for you!
Ponderosa Misty Icon, aka "Split," is a handsome gray Welsh pony who came to me via a phone call "out of the blue" (actually Peterborough, Ontario). Our first few months together were rocky to say the least, which made me question my ability as a horse owner, as a horsewoman, and as a rider. Forty years of horse ownership had not prepared me for this little gray pony!
But we muddled through and because of Split, I have begun a journey that is both spiritual and enlightening. I hope something here resonates with you and that you'll check back now and then.
We leave you with one of our favorite quotes: "The best whisper is a click!"

Monday, June 28, 2010

We Ride!

Yes, folks, the world's biggest wienie rider actually rode today!! My husband finally mowed all that over-grown grass in the riding ring and it looks awesome - like a REAL riding ring! I'd spent some time last March and early in April working with Split and the mounting block. At first we would just walk up and stop - C/T. Then it was walk up, stop, line up at the block - C/T. That culminated in me getting on and riding away. I wondered how much Split would remember from those fews months ago. As always, he makes me wonder WHY I'm such a worry wart! When we first got to the ring, we played Why Would You Leave Me in both directions - very successful. And then I led Split over to the mounting block to see what would happen. Psh! He was way ahead of me. He was like, "Oh, yeah, let's see here. I walk up, survey the area, place my feet just so.....and stop. TA DA!" ha ha ha I actually thought he was beginning to "paw" at one point which is what he'd done when he first arrived and he didn't understand what I wanted him to do under saddle. He'd paw furiously, clearly saying, "For gawd's sake, just TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT!" LOL! But no.....he was just placing his front feet carefully so that he would be lined up nicely. Hmmmm.....coincidence? Let's try that again. Nope - he knew what to do! After messin' around with that for a while, I added another part to the loop:
Lead horse to mounting block, human steps up on mounting block, horse lines self up. COOL! We nailed it on the first try. But we practiced a few more times just to be sure. And THEN, because I'd "remembered" to plunk my helmet on my head, I decided to add "mom gets on" to the loop. I had no intention of riding, actually, but once I got on Split and felt his lovely, warm, even energy, I thought, "Ah, what the flip! Let's go." We had a great ride - just amblin' along around the ring. We watched the birds down by the pond and did serpentines and circles and actually, I started "refreshing" him on neck reining! I don't own a saddle (well, I do, but they're ancient and really not useable) so I ride bareback with just a halter and lead rope. Neck reining is definitely a valuable skill to have when one rides like that. At first Split wasn't quite sure what I wanted (use it or lose, it guess) but as soon as I reminded myself that I DO know how to use my legs properly and I added that leg cue, he instantly complied. What a guy!!!!
I'm happy plopping around my riding ring. Split's happy plopping along with me. I'm a firm believer in that old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." And right now we ain't broke.........

This is a great quote for riders like me:

“Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.”

We'll be workin' on accuracy for a while! Enjoy the day, friends!

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