pyrsandponies: (Joy)
Those of you who are horsey, and probably those of you who read this journal regularly, will understand that horses have Personality aside: I am borrowing [ profile] dancinghorse's use of the wayward capital for emphasis. Many thanks for the effective technique ;). . And that is Good.

Geldings have personality, but fewer hormones, so they tend to be the even keel members of the horse world. They also tend to be the lowest on the totem pole if they live with mares (and stallions cannot abide by geldings. They are a Threat.) So in our little horse society, Beau has opinions, but he is fairly used to being told (by the girls) that they don't count, and he is also exceptionally kind and well meaning and he listens to his humans, mostly. Though occasionally he hides in the field at dusk, hoping that we shall not find him and he can graze all night ;).

Mares are often disparaged in the horse world for having excess personality, and strong opinions. I find this terrible, and I am one of those people who LOVES mares. I love the ways they think (or occasionally DON'T think when there is a !!BOY!! nearby and they are in season -- and the !!BOY!! needn't be intact to be intersting ;) and I love working with their intelligence and their opinions. Even when it can be infuriating, it is rewarding. And in the horse world, Mares Rule. Stallions are allowed to believe they head the herd, but the head mare really runs the show. And stallions are only allowed to do their thing at the favor of the mare -- if she says "yes, please, sex today," he can have his fun, and she may have hers. If he pushes the issue, he may well wind up missing some rather crucial parts. At the very least, he'll be nursing a hurt pride and likely some bruises. No really does mean no in equine circles ;).

Ayrabs are, as a breed, known for being smart (and often flighty/hot/spooky but this is, I believe not excessively true -- my walkers are WAY more so that way than my arab). And Opinionated.

This means that an Ayrab Mare who leads the herd is an opinionate thing. And also a wonderful amazing partner when you work with her, rather than trying to tell her what to do. I joke in semi-seriousness that with darling Shaughns, we have a 60-40 split on who is leading. And who gets to be majority leader on any given day just depends.

But of late, Shaughns has been feeling Neglected. And so, she is More Opinionated than normal about things.

Viz yesterday at lunch. I go to take her out to the field (she'd had hay in in the AM, and stayed in when everyone else went out because she is a little rotund these days). I intended to put her in a field with Beau, a field we access by passing through the field that Juno and Joy were in.

Shaughns happily accompanied me into the first field. And then PLANTED HER FEET when I asked her to continue onto the second field. No. she said. I'll stay here she said. Take my halter off NOW she said. I am NOT Moving. I am bigger than you and more persistent and NO.

15 mins later, much patience, one moment of complete and utter frustration (never ANY use with Shaughns, who looked at me bemusedly as she knows that even when I am at wits end I would never hurt her or get too strong in my requests), a stroll down the driveway and several different attempted paths, she deigned to accept that the field was the only place she would be allowed to eat. (The one rule was she could stand there, but her head could not drop to the grass). And she accompanied me to the field.

But ai yai yai! There are days I wonder WHY I love my mares so. Geldings are lovely. But I will always love mares. *eyeroll* There is just something so rewarding about them. Even when they are CLEARLY looking at you and saying hey, twit, I am WAY smarter than you. Quit being so silly ;) We'll do this my way or not at all


Apr. 17th, 2006 08:31 am
pyrsandponies: (Joy)
I so cannot ride anymore. I took a couple of months off and oh dear me! I've been up on Joy a bit, and Shaughns, too, so it hasn't been totally off, but *sigH*

Yesterday, a friend's daughter M. (14 or so) came up and I had promised some riding. So we borrowed Beau and tacked him up and she got up and rode for about 45 mins. It was her first ever ride, and Beau was terribly sweet and kind and careful with her. And also VERY much a teacher - 'ask for the turn right or I'll do my own thing ;).' Anyway, M, after figuring out steering and basic balance and stuff, wanted to go faster. Now, Beau does NOT usually see the point of ring work. He's a Trail Horse thankyouverymuch and why bother going around and around in circles anyway? ;). And so he can poke along in the ring, esp. with beginners (he feels he needs to take care of them, and they don't know how to ask right, anyhow!).

Mom happened to come outside right about then, so I asked her to give M tips for getting Beau to move out (using a dressage whip like a metronome works WONDERS with him). And so Mom went and grabbed her helmet, hopped up, Beau said "YAY! MOMMY!" and moved out beautifully. It was a wonder to behold. Then Mom worked with M for a bit and got her to go a little faster. Then she was tired and got off, and Mom said that I should really ride Beau, as he was in a great frame of mind.

So I hopped up, and we did some intermediary gait work once I was warmed up. Beau's intermediary gait is the pace, which is NOT precisely what he "should" be doing as a walker, but he is 20 years old, had been allowed to pace for years, Mom doesn't mind and he's not a show horse, anyway, so we don't worry about it. He's comfy, and that's good for us. But because he is such a lateral mover (in a pace, the two feet on each side pick up and go forward together, side=lateral), he can be tetchy to get into canter (which requires diaganol movement). But we got the canter, likely as much in spite of me as because me. I was stiff, and relying completely on way exagerrated leg aids (outside leg behind the girth) rather than on my seat aids and opening my pelvic girdle to allow him to come up into me. I've also been working using a "hool-a-hoop" motion with my hips/seat to ask for and maintain the canter, and I could NOT. GET. IT.

My aids and my seat were ALL OVER THE PLACE. *sigh* Beau was kind enough with me and we had fun, but really, I rode like a sack of potatoes. I'm lucky someone didn't throw me into the pot, boil me till I was tender, then mash me up and put me on the table!

If I ride like that at the two upcoming clinics I'm attending I will be So. Embarrassed. I really really ReALLY MUST find an in-town instructor for regular torture sessions. I simply won't progress without it. The problem is FINDING someone who teaches the kind of riding I want to learn, and finding someone I can work with. But I am really stagnating and that is just No.Good.

Also, I think I threw my upper back out at aikido Fri night. I'm still stiff and sore and headachey. *sigh* And I am at work.... At least it is quiet. But it is beautiful and sunny today. And I haven't ridden Joy in weeks (Saturday's planned ride turned into ground work because it was windy and Joy was wired and it was the better choice for both of us. We still had fun and learned stuff.). Ah well, if I can escape work early enough, perhaps I'll get a quick ride in before aikido. Or perhaps I'll skip aikido (prolly not, though, because aikido is So. Good. for me ;).


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