|Does this stall make my butt look big?|
Well, as you know, Gem has been recovering from a hoof abscess the last couple of weeks. The farrier was out last week and dug a small hole in the bottom of his hoof at the toe. LA supervised and a small amount of pus did come out, but not a lot. We continued with the Epsom salt soak and the iodine poultice. Quite honestly, I don't know what I would have done without LA. There were many times that I was unable to make it to the barn to change his poultice and she always came through for me. Over time, Gem's limp and discomfort became less and less. LA stopped the poultice application late last week. We continued soaking his foot, minus the Epsom salt because it was now becoming quite drying. When I arrived last Friday,
But, I haven't been sitting around idly waiting for Gem. Nooooo....... While he's been dealing with his abscess, I have been cheating on him. I decided to continue with lesson without him. Cold, eh? :-) The first lesson without him, I actually rode LA's former reining horse. Jazzy is occasionally used in lesson and is also used as a teacher of young riders who want to get into barrel racing. This horse LOVES running and consistently wins at local competitions, no matter who is riding her. :-) There was a nano second of apprehension when LA told me who I would be riding and then it was gone. Go figure. I saddled her up and off we went. She is a lovely 15.1hh Bay QH, with a black smudgy nose. Her stride at a jog and lope were much shorter than what I was used to. I tried to relax into the saddle when loping, but I just couldn't; I felt like my body was a jack-hammer. :-) But her responsiveness was spot on and I did enjoy riding her very much; everything was so easy on her! I actually spinned her!!! This is what spinning looks like:
I was very dizzy after I spinned.!! I don't know how they do it!
A couple of days later, I borrowed steady eddy Sally and went for a trail ride with a couple of friends. Jean had an incident on Stu - more on that later. We warmed up in the front paddock and I had Sally up to a lope a number of times. I was delighted at how smooth her lope was and how I managed to keep my butt in the saddle. WTH??! However, I did become a teensy bit nervous when we were out and she called to her herd mates and half a dozen came over and started to surround us. She really to be with them! I managed to convince her otherwise, with DH's Mom's help.
Last Tuesday, I rode Barley. Barley is a tall gelding. LA decided to put me on a horse that would approximate Gem's stride. :-) He has interesting colouring; almost white with a grey and brown mane and tail. He has freckles on his nose and around his eyes,. Again, I had no apprehension about riding a different horse. What's with that? My lesson was....well....awesome. So good in fact, that LA asked "Who are you and what have you done with Wolfie!" :-) Barley is a good all around western and English horse and is used in lessons regularly. He was a delight to ride and for the first time I really experienced collection. It's hit and miss with Gem, but asking Barley for collection was easy and keeping him that way was not so hard. I left the lesson smiling and pumped.
LA said that I could use Gem in lesson this week at a walk/trot, but I wanted to continue on my winning streak with loping. Yes, I chose another over Gem; I asked if I could ride Barley again!! Did I feel guilty....actually, no. And, Barley didn't disappoint. Even with the oppressive heat we have been experiencing, he was willing to work and please. Extended posting trot? Easy. Loping a small circle? No problem. The slightest neck rein pressure made him turn. My butt?? In the saddle!!!! I felt confident and in the zone. It was nice to have LA focused only on my not-so-quiet-hands instead of EVERYTHING. Barley made me look good.
Riding other horses has been a big confidence booster for me. Will I do it again? Yes, if I am having trouble learning how to do something. Gem is not as experienced as these lessons horses and if I can learn something in particular on them and transfer that over to Gem, I think that's a win-win situation. Gem and I are in this together. We do have our work cut out for us, but I think we are both up to the challenge. I am looking forward to riding my beautiful guy this weekend. I may have been cheating on him, but I have missed him terribly! ;-)