Friday, November 13, 2015

Hairy Situation

I kept seeing all the "No Stirrup November" posts and figured I would try to do some this month. For me that means bareback. So I have ridden Rosemary, Dottie and Comrade bareback in the last week. Roscoe was up next and I went back and forth whether to attempt a bareback ride with him. The last time I tried was not long before he went to Indiana. That ride ended up with me on the ground because he was able to suck in his tummy and loosen the girth enough to tip me off.
Night eyes and Rough Cob look

You may have figured out I really enjoy riding bareback and decided to go for it. The first test, how does the pad fit? It actually worked with both sides on the last hole. The next was getting on and making sure I had the balls to follow through. Well, my baby is definitely wider and that makes me more comfortable. Plus he has better body awareness and is not so wiggly.
I was seriously impressed with his walk. Yeah, I know I say that all the time, but for this ride he was active and pushing. Even lazy he can over step, so the energy he gave was great. Then I asked for trot. Roscoe did move forward, but it was more of a jog. I was okay with that while I got a feeling for his back. Overall the trot was much better than I expected and I could relax. But when I relaxed, Roscoe was like "this is weird." The full seat feeling was different and he started thinking. When he just does, he moves off fine. If he starts thinking we lose forward. And in this case he decided that trotting was not the thing to do. So now I had a situation. Do I push the point and get him to trot? Or do I refocus on another task? I had to be sure I could follow through with the push if I went that way. Nothing he had done to that point gave me any bad feelings, so I pushed. The first few times I had to tap him with the whip. Then he started to figure out he could move even though I felt different. Roscoe decided that he would move on with a burst and maybe not stop. So we did transitions until he was not sticky at all with either the upward or downward. At that point I called it a win and hopped off. Bareback won't be a normal occurrence with Roscoe, but at least I know it will work in a pinch.
Racing stripe
All the riding we have done recently has shown who needs clips and who can wait a bit longer. Rosemary was the one who was sweaty even before working, while Roscoe and Winston just got sweaty during work. The old guys will stay hairy unless they get too hot on the warmer days. I really want them to retain as much as they can. I had a bit of time after we stacked new hay and decided to give Rosemary her clip. This year I went bigger than normal, but not as much as I have seen online. Hopefully this clip will be just enough for the amount of work we do with her. I did not have time to do anything creative, but that may come later. I still need to do the other two. Luckily the blades are sharp. Now if only there was a way to deal with the hairy situation afterwards. Hay and hair make for a very itchy shirt.
My SUPER patient pony

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