Thursday, September 18, 2014

Introducing.... Kevin.

Friends, I would like you to meet Kevin.

His name isn't really Kevin.  His registered name is Assets Until Dark and his barn name was Knight and is now Austin, but B's taken to calling him Kevin and for some reason it's grown on me.  Maybe because I think of that giant bird in UP.

He's a 10 year old Quarter Horse, and was a stud until about three years ago. He bred mares.  That fact would have freaked me out, except that he is a perfect gentleman.  I rode him on Tuesday in the arena with a mare in full-blown heat.  He didn't even look at her.  Looks like he's a gelding through and through.

I haven't sticked him, but we think he's about 15.1 at the wither.... you may notice he's a bit... downhill.  That fact would normally bother me, but he doesn't feel heavy on the forehand at all.

He's a Western Pleasure dreamboat.  By far the best little loper I've ever had the pleasure to sit.  He's been shown in reining, horsemanship, and hunt seat equitation.

As with all new horse & rider combos, there's a learning period where there's some half-hearted boundary testing and there's some groping in the dark for buttons supposedly installed.

I love having something to work on.  With Lilly I spent my time just trying to get her to go up a gait, and honestly I didn't get too far until I grabbed a crop and put spurs on, which made me feel like a failure, but I'm over it.  With Kevin, I've been working on finding buttons, most of which are right on the surface, a few of which are not as glow-in-the-dark.

For instance: The Elusive Pivot.  I can only get him to pivot on the outside hind.  That's not right. Time to study and see if I can figure out how to correct that.  The irony that Junior sometimes forgot which foot to pivot on is not lost on me, nor is the very obvious possibility that it's just something I'm doing totally wrong. Most likely operator error.

Stay tuned for more about Kevin, and more about the rescue saddle I mentioned in my last post.

Cool little sock.

Hi, Handsome.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Diary of the Overanxious Horse Owner: The Reboot

I started this blog because I bought a horse.  I had wanted a horse for as long as I could remember.  I was excited and freaked out including having a panic attack in the truck while my trainer and I drove him back to our barn.  I started this blog as a way to "vent" and to verbally process what I was going through as a first time horse owner.... a very nervous and anxiety ridden first time horse owner.

And now, on what would have been our 6th Anniversary, I'm still just as overanxious, but no longer a horse owner.  Losing Junior is still fresh, even though it's been almost nine months.  It's better now, of course, but there is still a hole in my heart that will never fill completely.  I have a near constant urge to hold his face, to let him snuffle my hair, to go with him on all those adventures we had planned.  But I'm a realist and those are simply things I don't get to have.  The unfairness of it all feels like a vice on my chest, but letting go is getting easier as time goes by.

So what's with "The Reboot"?  Well, it's time to make one more step in moving on, by rebooting this blog and focussing on the future instead of the past. You may have noticed a new look to the blog site. As painful as that is, it needs to happen.  He wouldn't want me to dwell on the past.  It's still going to be the same blog, but I'll be doing less mourning and more doing.   I'm going to try to avoid bringing everything back to Junior, but I guarantee everything I do that has anything to do with horses makes me miss him.  I'm not going to change the name of the blog, though.   I'll be a horse owner again someday.

For starters, I'll tell you about the Horse Show!  It was just a barn show like we did last summer, but our barn shows are so much fun and have ribbons and a real judge.  I think they'd be considered "schooling shows".   I count this as a pretty good milestone, although I did require a kleenex later in the day when Junior's Other People and I were reminiscing.

I showed my Lillypony in Walk-Trot Equitation Pattern and Adult Walk-Trot Equitation (rail only) and we won both of our classes.  I still have difficulty getting her to do upward transitions when I ask for them, but I learned that spurs and a crop sure help... oh ponies.

I am also doing a half-lease on a horse!!! This all happened very quickly and somewhat by chance. Here's the tale:  I sold my western show saddle (Uh, the one you spent so much time finding?  Yeah that one.) so I decided to try an old saddle my friend was trying to get rid of, just so I would have something to ride in until I decide what my next real saddle will be.  I asked B if I could ride Zip in it for a minute to see if I liked it.  She happened to have a horse coming to her farm so she could try him for a client of hers.  I took one look at the horse and wanted to ride him.  If I had been ready to be horse shopping I probably would have bought him right there. Instead I got to ride him and I finally understand the phrase "I could lope this horse all day" means! Her clients decided to buy him and keep him at B's farm while they get to know him and take lessons.  Then after winter they'll take him home to their house.  While he's at B's, or at least until I get sick of him (HA!) I'll be riding him three days a week.

Sporting my "new" 30-year-old rescue saddle.

So that's what we'll be doing for now.  Here's to looking forward.