Thursday, November 27, 2008

Dead Batteries, Murphy's Law, and Ouch

If you can't spend Thanksgiving with your family, spend it with your horse. I expected the barn to be a lonely place today on Thanksgiving, but there were a few fun people out. I discovered that the digital camera I got for Christmas last year does NOT have a video clip time limit like my last camera so tried an experiment today. It looked like I could do about 15 minutes. I set up the tripod in the corner of the stall so I could try to catch how I deal with him moving his butt into the corner and how naughty he has been with bridling lately. I did have to ask him to move over right after I turned the camera on, but when I got the saddle he moved to the corner. I had to put the saddle down and move him. When it was time for the bridle he (because my life is like Murphy's Law) dropped his head down and let me put it on without any fuss at all. Even held it still while I did the throat latch and straightened his forelock. It was a nice change.

Of course when I got home and uploaded the video to my computer I discovered that I only got about 5 minutes of film. I couldn't figure out why at first but then I tried the camera and it was blinking low battery so It must be that. It's the only thing I don't like about that camera is that it will not give you an indication of how much battery you have until it's almost gone.

Anyway. He was good. I lunged and then rode him. Most of his lope was really good, but he 's still requiring a lot of leg aids to stay upright. That's probably the most normal thing in the world, but because I spent so much time with the horse you couldn't touch with your legs I'm not used to even using those aids. I still think he's a bit of an eight-legged moose compared to every other horse I've ever ridden. I've never had a horse that would misstep as much as he does. Hopefully that will come with more and more hours in the saddle. He's gained some weight which I like. He wasn't necessarily underweight when I bought him, but because he's so TB his croup was pretty flat. It's filling out now. Even KAT noticed during our last lesson that he looks a little thicker. I've been keeping him blanketed so he's only fuzzy on his legs and his neck. It was about 50 degrees out so after I cooled him out I rode him out into the field. He's getting better at neck reining when he wants to be. I have less control of him one handed so if he doesn't just accept the cues I have to resort back to direct rein. I'm still in a snaffle with him, but KAT is going to introduce him to a shanked bit during his Christmas tune-up. When he seems to be amenable to the neck reining he does really well so I know he can do it.

So halfway through the ride my lower back started to hurt. I have a history with that so I'm not too worried about it but it got worse and now I'm in a fair amount of pain and am having some difficulty moving around, bending, etc. We'll see how it is, but I doubt I'll be able to ride tomorrow.

That video I took today isn't very interesting but now that I know I can take long clips with the camera I can start to record some riding to show you.

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