Sunday, September 24, 2017
Okay, Team Tucker did the trail trial. We went in the schooling class as a novice in the 50 - 64 year old division.
I was up at 5am to make sure Tucker got his breakfast
Tucker did great. I am exhausted. We spent 4 1/2 hours in the saddle. We spent part of that time waiting for others to complete their obstacle. We waited quite awhile at the end to dismount.
One of my take aways was when you have a chance to get off where you can get back on using a tree stump, do it! I didn't and I had to get off without a mounting block and then lead the horse into a ditch to get back on. Also, I should have checked my cinch while I was on the ground. I did successfully mount without a mounting block and I am proud of that.
The first obstacle was a small bridge. We got a 9 out of 10.
Second obstacle was the branding station where Tucker saw that pink rendition of a cow with boa feathers between its horns and said "Nope, not doing it." We managed a 5 because he did let me pick up the pole with the chalk dauber on it and we did manage to return it to its bucket. I told the people we were done after I tried to get Tucker near the pink monster several times.
Then we did the steer drag. The drag was really tough to pull but I didn't have to try to rope anything so that was good. We got a 7. We lost 3 points because I did check the cinch first :)
We tossed boots at a tic tac toe on the ground. Tucker got an 8.5.
We opened a mail box and put in a pamphlet. We got a 10 on that one.
We did a circle at a walk over several fat logs and then turned and did it the other way. Tucker got a 10.
We did a tee-pee challenge where you walked up the path, stopped while someone asked you a trivia question and then we backed out straight. 10 for that.
We had to go cross country to get to the watering hole. Tucker was in his element on the cross country portion. We were going up and down hills and along ponds and through brush. Tucker loved that! At first he took me by surprise to trot up the hill but I asked him to walk after the first couple of times and he did!
We reached the water obstacle and Tucker went right into the lake and we did great. 9.5 for that.
Back across country a different route and through some mud and back onto the dirt road.
Once Tucker and I went across country and we were standing at the next obstacle, I swear Tucker looked back at me and said "You are doing great!" His head dropped and he looked more relaxed and less lookey loo.
We did pole bending with a stop at the end and a back for 5 steps. 9.5
Finally, dismount and shoot an arrow at a target. 9.5 My friend said check your cinch. I said I already did and it is way loose but I think I can still get off. She came over and tightened for me. There was no mounting block so the dismount was extra difficult.
Total 88 points out of 100.
The weather was beautiful and the people were nice.
Saturday, September 23, 2017
I almost feel like crying. I got in the saddle at 10:07 am and it is now 2:47 pm. Do the math. We did get out of the saddle some but it was too long of a day. I bet that was 3 hours in the saddle. A few weeks ago that had me too tired to move and too sore.
I tried to go home earlier but she was like "No, we aren't done yet."
I am going to the trail trial tomorrow and I hope I am not too exhausted to want to try. I am only doing schooling and my friends told me it would be fun and I could skip anything I wasn't comfortable with and it felt so low pressure.
I need to learn how to throw a big fit or something. I need a watch I can wear on my wrist so I can be like " Oh, noon, gotta go." I gotta come up with something.
I thought we had done more than enough even though I did not know what time it was until I got in the house Getting home this late is incredibly frustrating.
We practiced way too many things. We went over too many points of interest like how to hold the lead rope and how to blah, blah, blah.
And trotting, and standing and trotting. My personal plan was if we had to trot, I would just have the horse jog but no, we practiced trotting which I kind of suck at. It still takes a lot out of me.
Fortunately, I am not too stove up right now although I am afraid it will all catch up to me shortly. I haven't even had lunch yet.
I was just going to go have fun with my friends and do my best and Tucker is a very good horse and now I feel like I am a reflection on my trainer instead just a reflection on me and my beginner status :(
I know she just wants me to grow as a rider but I have a limit.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Team Tucker had a gorgeous morning to go out for a ride....alone. No other peeps.
I shined up my saddle and turned the stirrups while it was windy yesterday. I'll keep turning them with a broom handle. I do think it helped.
We started out by going through our home obstacle course. Kind of a warm up. The wind was gusting a bit. The computer is saying about 10 mph.
Tucker is good in the wind but once we went down the driveway and got on the road, he acted very alert.
I decided to go to the right instead of the left today. Tucker was on making sure he was keeping an eye out for us. Not ridiculous but definitely watching for trouble. He wanted to turn for home at the end of our fence line but I kept him turning until we were facing leaving once again.
We got to the dog corner and no dogs on the right but a new dog barking on the left. I had to encourage Tucker to continue forwards. I told him the dog was safely behind the fence!
Tucker was pretty hesitant all along there and when we got to the next corner, I could see two dogs running loose in the desert. I let Tucker rest and watch them. They didn't seem like a threat but I decided to circle the mailboxes and then turn us around to go back the way we came. I wanted it to be my idea that we were turning around.
At the dog corner I said "Surprise, we are not going home. Make a left and go east young man." He did that nicely. He was still being a lookey loo. I asked him to jog and walk and jog and walk for that half mile. We actually got to trotting a bit and I think I was posting the trot for 200 feet or so. Woot! I did NOT start bouncing like a rag doll at any point!
We made a right turn and walked and jogged to our sandy road home. Surprise again, Tucker. We are taking the big loop trail through the desert and then back to our sandy road. He did quite well at listening.
I think we were riding for about an hour and a half. I think Tucker is still not sure he can trust me to be a good leader when we are doing a new route alone. We had been on that road before but from the other direction and with Brownie the Wonder Horse. I think the way to overcome that is to make sure we keep going out by ourselves.
Here is is standing at the patience pole at the end of our ride.
Sunday, September 17, 2017
Team Tucker has another first!
It wasn't smooth, it wasn't great but it was an accomplishment.
We opened a big 14' gate at the neighbor's house. I did start rushing which was not good but.....we undid the latch, stepped back to the first third of the gate, pulled the gate open, got turned and got around the end of the gate [almost caught my foot], got side passing to pull the gate closed, backed and closed the latch. That was a real accomplishment.
It was a lovely ride to my neighbor's house with a bit of a breeze and 80 degrees out.
Up the sandy road and a bit of jogging which felt pretty comfortable today.
We went the back way through the desert. I didn't pick up the trail right away so I had to turn back on the road. Tucker thought "hey, we are headed home." No we are not!
I managed to find the trail. We turned on to the trail and I rode the trail with very little reins just using my body and legs to guide the horse until we got to the tricky part where there were squirrel and rabbit holes on the sides of the trail.
When we got to the neighbor's house, I told Tucker to go through the obstacles. He said he didn't want to. I patiently made my position clear and he did go through the dry pond area, over the bridge, around the trail and then we headed to the back.
Brownie the Wonderhorse was tied up waiting. We measured Tucker and he needs an 82 inch blanket. He is one long horse.
The horses stood tied for quite awhile until we were done chit chatting and then off we the four of went, through a couple of more obstacles including the real pond which we splashed through all by ourselves with no help from Brownie who was no where near us. Then over to the gate where we were a success!
Took the long way home through the desert, down the sandy road to my house. I asked Tucker to make a left and do a couple of obstacles before heading to the home pen. Of course, he started to object but decided to go along with the program.
I maneuvered us through the home pen gate and we closed it like a couple of pros. He side stepped to get me over to the gate. He is such a good boy.
I jogged him around the home pen once and called it good. I told him to line it up at the mounting block where he stood like a rock for me to get off.
I felt so relaxed and peaceful finishing up, brushing, checking feet and feeding and watering all the critters. What a lovely time we had as the sun was heading due west and getting lower and lower in the sky.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Tucker Time....filed under Don't try this at home.
I lined Tucker up at the mounting block.
I got on Tucker bareback...sort of...I was laying on top of him clinging to his neck....he decided that he needed to go backward while I said "Whoa, I mean that ..whoa! ... whoa .... whoa...!"
He finally did stop but then I had to figure out how to get off him without dying. I grabbed some mane and slithered my off side foot over his rump and managed to get off.
Tucker looked relieved :) I pretended like it was all good and took him out to the big pen for the day.
All's well that ends well.
Thank goodness my new saddle pad arrives tonight. Tomorrow I will try this again..with a saddle on the horse.
Monday, September 11, 2017
What do you do when your client cancels? You go to yard sales and buy a metal cabinet for your tack area. Only $5. I'll need to get the tacky tape off and repaint it some time before the end of October when it turns cold.
What do you do when she cancels again? You organize the tack area....bathe Tucker...and bathe the cutest little mini, Wiseguy. The tack area is so organized now.
Usually I would ride Tucker but I am waiting for the new swayback saddle pad to come in the mail. So, baths was my next best idea.
Tucker was a good boy. He was a bit like "knock it off already." He did mostly cooperate but I got after him for moving around a couple of times. He tried to push me with his head. I think he appreciated looking good at the end. He got the full spa treatment including shampoo, conditioner and comb out.
Wiseguy got the spa treatment, as well. His mane was a complete mess including some dreadlocks. He got a couple of carrot treats for being reasonably patient about the whole brushing the mane out from below and above and being parted and brushed in the middle. He has more mane than Tucker and he is 1/6 the size :)
I went to get the scissors to cut Wiseguy's overly long tail and give him a nice bridle path. That is when I noticed that Tucker was untied and getting a snack. I decided to put his fly sheet on and his fly mask. By the time I got back to Wiseguy, Wiseguy had gotten untied from the rail and managed to roll in the dirt even though he was still wet. He had to have some more brushing.
It was a nice day and I laughed when it became a bit of a three ring circus. The warm days are to be enjoyed now that fall is approaching.
Bonus photo of Obie the Giant goat who is probably about 11 years old now.
Thursday, September 7, 2017
Team Tucker is going through a rough patch. Nothing too major but a rough patch none-the-less.
So, today I decided to take Tucker out and let him graze on our meager grasses and then had him go to the big pen.
I worked kind effectively on watching me and not getting into my space, I think. I did rather poorly on getting him to move out in a circle using the flag.
I let it go and gave him some hay and hoped a change of scenery would do us all good. Wiseguy went out to the round pen. Pony stayed in the little guys home pen.
When I went in later to get Tucker, I asked him to back and he did so without much pressure. I told him he couldn't have any grass. I do think his attention was more on me and less on everywhere else.
I put his flysheet on and he took off for the feeder the moment I took off his lead. I shooed him away and then he stood waiting for me in the middle of his home pen. I put his fly mask on, gave him some love and pets on his muzzle and called it good.
I may try to ride later using our old saddle pad set up.
It is break time.
Well, a bit windy, kind of smokey and I am tired from yard clean up and I have to work for two days in a row still this week....I decided to just run Tucker off with the flag at feeding time. I had to do that several times since he has been getting away with "I'm not looking" and not actually moving his feet. Today I got out the flag and said "Move back, buddy."
I think a little respect work will go a long way with a nice character like Tucker :) I probably do baby him a little much. I'm pretty sure the cowboy that owned him told him to listen up and fly right :) Not in a mean way but in a "I'm the boss " way.
Tucker is acting a little spoiled. Having said that, I believe that Tucker does not like his new blanket/saddle pad combo and I do have a sway back, contoured pad coming in the mail. Should get it next week.
I think a couple of days off with a bit of groundwork might be best anyway. I've been pushing myself hard and maybe Tucker is feeling my tiredness.
That is just an adorable photo of Cash the Giant Rat Terrier helping me with Tucker.
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Tucker was kind of a brat today. I had a couple of hours to ride so I decided it was a great idea.
I am trying a blanket folded under the contour pad for his sway back.
I think something was pinching him with the blanket underneath. Tucker threw a little fit when I asked him to jog.
I am thinking about trying:
Both are priced within the realm of reason.
Tucker did really well in his diamond wool pad with a contour pad on top with his old saddle so I am leaning towards the diamond wool pad. I will probably be able to use it without the contour pad on top with this saddle ???? Hard to know without trying it.
Hate to throw money at a situation but need my horse to be happy and he does have a swayback and high withers. Not sure what I want to do.
PS - I have decided to try the reinsman swayback contour pad. Hope it helps.