Need a new name - Page 5

bassbonediva

I was cleared to ride yesterday, actually!

I have the most awesome friends EVER!! Christina took me to the tack shop this morning and bought my saddle for me! I do have to pay her back, but SQUEEE!! This is the first time I've owned my own saddle...can you tell? lol

Anyway, today was...interesting. Got Aires all tacked up. Decided to try the red AP pad again and Aires was like "Eh, whatever" about it. Weirdo. It's about 2-3" too short for the flaps of the saddle, but it works for right now. Better than that massive sheep skin thing. I think I'm going to try to make my own saddle pad in the same style as the AP. Should be pretty easy. Anyway, borrowed a pair of Cam's endurance stirrups, just to try them out (OMG! I'm in love!).

Aires has now decided that the round pen is going to kill him and refuses to walk to it. So, we have to drive him. Today it took me on his lead rope with Cam whacking his bum with his lariat to get Aires into the round pen. Aires actually bucked when Cam whacked him the first time (biggest buck I've ever seen him throw). But, once he was in the round pen, he was an angel and listened REALLY well. Then it came time to mount. I have to use a mounting block because my ankle won't support my weight the way it needs to so I can get into the saddle and my ankle won't bend at the correct angle to mount, either. Aires could care less about the mounting block. I let him sniff it and then the monster wanted to play with it. So, I led him up next to the mounting block (I was alone in the round pen...Christina was sitting on the viewing bench watching and taking pics) and asked him to stand (a command he knows okay). As soon as I moved back toward the saddle, he would move with me to keep it so that his head was next to me. I tried saying "Ho" and it didn't work. I tried everything I could think of, even sending him out to lunge again for not listening, and nothing worked. I got seriously frustrated, especially since Christina refused to come in and hold him while I mounted because "he will become dependent on someone holding him to mount" (her words, not mine...ummmmm...yeah, no).

Anyway, before I got any more frustrated and ticked off, I took him out of the round pen and went to go unsaddle him. I hadn't even tied him yet and Cam asked out our ride was. I explained what happened and he told me to tie Aires loosely at the hitching rail and then act like I was going to mount. I did and Aires moved back until he felt that he was (kind of) tied, then he stopped. So, Cam had me get the mounting block and mount Aires while he was standing tied. Trouble is, Aires automatically starts to walk forward once you're in the saddle (he's new at all this, so we give him a break, but he's starting to get it). So, he started to walk forward and ran into the hitching rail. Luckily I have a very solid horse because I know other horses that aren't greenbroke that would have spooked at that.

So, we're standing there and all of a sudden I realize that I'm having serious flashbacks of what happened with Gypsy (the mare that threw me that STARTED this whole mess!)...and then Cam walks up and unclips Aires' lead rope and starts giving me instructions. "Turn him to the right and walk him four steps, then make him stop." That sort of thing. We rode for about 10 minutes in the driveway and I was trying to keep myself from shaking like a leaf the whole time. Every time Aires would flinch or start to take a step back that I didn't ask him for, I flashed back to what happened with Gypsy and I'd have to mentally calm myself. Riding in the driveway didn't help (at least not for my first ride on Aires) because I kept picturing someone pulling in and Aires flipping out (not that he probably would, but I was in that mode).

When I dismounted, Christina (who didn't get any pictures of me riding) said that I looked like I was a new (novice) rider and that I looked really nervous. I went to the Cam and told him that I'm not nearly as bad a rider as that ride made me look, but that my confidence was not as recovered as I thought it was from being thrown. Cam looked at me funny and said "You looked fine. You just need to be more assertive." His idea of assertive is yanking hard on Aires' mouth to get him to turn. :-/

I do have to say that I am SERIOUSLY in love with my new saddle, though! I've only ever ridden one Aussie saddle and it was WAY too small for me (a 15" Aussie and I ride a 17" Aussie). I liked that I could feel Aires moving more than I would have been able to with a western saddle, but I still felt as secure as I would in a western saddle. I was also loving not having a horn because I tend to use that as a safety net and I had to focus more on balancing myself than grabbing the horn if I felt unsecure. It was also SUPER comfy (helps that I have a horse that doesn't feel like he's even moving when he walks lol).
 

LyndaB

It takes time to recover emotionally from a horse dumping you. In my case, it was a horse I was testing out, planning on purchasing. Went on a trail ride with the owner and her friend. They neglected to tell me that at a certain turn in the trail, they always broke into a gallop. So, my reins were too short, he went to extend his neck, but couldn't so cartwheeled over and I landed under his front hooves. The doctors said that a centimeter over and he would've crushed my windpipe. I did up end up with a busted hand, still have the scars, and a huge dose of fright. I went back to visit the same horse, knowing that I had to, and I couldn't get on him. And he wouldn't have let me. It's too bad because that would've been a great horse for me, fabulous gaits, really comfortable. It took me years to recover but that's because I didn't buy another horse and so my interactions with them were very intermittent. Eventually I got another horse but I have to admit I've never been the same as a rider.
 

bassbonediva

I think my nervousness was a combination of two things: first, the mare that threw me was a black and white paint, so every time I glanced down at Aires, I'd flash back to her, even though I know they're not the same. The second was that we were in the driveway, which is VERY open and where there are tons of distractions for an already "flighty" (at least yesterday) two-year-old, and that made me very nervous in and of itself. I was more worried about something spooking him than I was about him throwing me, to be honest.

I'm hoping to get to the barn today and work with Jenn a little in the round pen. I like her style of teaching and riding much better than Cam's. She also knows what I want to do with Aires and how I want him to respond, so she's more likely to not say "Yank as hard as you can on his mouth to get him to turn." We were turning just fine when I was applying steady pressure to the bit, it just wasn't the instant turn that Cam apparently wanted.
 

LyndaB

Sounds like working with Jenn is just what you need....
 

Shine

Congrats on the saddle--what a nice friend

Doesn't sound to me like he's actually 'scared' of the round pen. I'd say its more of a spoiled--but I don't wanna go in there! Its hard work!! kind of behaviour. And as to having the horse held when mounting....in my experience its the human that gets dependent on the second person being there, not the horse. I've certainly become that way with Kestrel... 'course he bolted as I was mounting once, and I got thrown into the side of the round pen as he pulled a 90* turn with me not even seated. Its over a year later, and I still don't trust him to stand on his own as I am mounting--go figure. I have no problem with trusting any of the others though, just him, so after a couple good rides on Aires and you'll probably shake the remaining nerves. If you had been riding anything but a green horse (hence: somewhat unpredicable), you'd likely have felt fine, and wouldn't have been so 'tight'
 

bassbonediva

I have only ever mounted horses that someone else was holding. At the Girls Scout horse camp, we weren't allowed to mount on our own, even as wranglers. The only time I've mounted by myself was when just the riding director and I would go on rides together to exercise some of the more onnery horses (although I always ended up having to ride the same horse, Paleface, because she hardly ever got worked because she wasn't kid-friendly, so we couldn't use her in our group lessons, only as the lead horse on trail rides). These were dead-broke polo/trail horses, though.

Oh, his refusal to enter the round pen is DEFINITELY an "I don't wanna work!" thing. Christina suggested just lunging him in the arena, but Cam (and I) squashed that flat fast. His reasoning (which I agree with) is that if you make them run around in circles in the arena, that's what they're going to think the arena is for.

I didn't make it out to the stable today. I have a massive tension headache (I hate working nights) and I have to be at work in 33 minutes. BLAH! Oh well. I'm off tomorrow, so we're going to do a lot of work.
 

Shine

I'm finding needing a second person around for mounting to be a real pain. I've gotten on by myself for YEARS. But now every time I want go ride Kest I have to phone and ask if someone is going to be there--it drives me crazy 'cause there's been lots of days where its perfect riding weather and no one is there... so I miss out on riding! All because I don't trust him to be sane about mounting.

I don't know about the lunging thing... I lunge just about anywhere--round pen, corral, pasture, in a open field... For me its about the horse learning he has to listen to me no matter where we happen to be lunging. Not go; WOoo-hoo open feild!! Guess I should sprint off! lol

Hope the headache goes away soon, and you get a good ride in tomorrow... hate those things
 

bassbonediva

I'm finding needing a second person around for mounting to be a real pain. I've gotten on by myself for YEARS. But now every time I want go ride Kest I have to phone and ask if someone is going to be there--it drives me crazy 'cause there's been lots of days where its perfect riding weather and no one is there... so I miss out on riding! All because I don't trust him to be sane about mounting.

I don't know about the lunging thing... I lunge just about anywhere--round pen, corral, pasture, in a open field... For me its about the horse learning he has to listen to me no matter where we happen to be lunging. Not go; WOoo-hoo open feild!! Guess I should sprint off! lol

I think for a little while I'll have to have someone hold him, just because he IS so green and doesn't get it yet.

As for lunging...he's two. I'm not afraid of him not listening, I just don't want him to associate the arena with "Let's run around in circles now!" That's what the round pen is for.

Some pics of my handsome boy in his new saddle. The saddle pad is a bit short (it's just a basic English all purpose pad), but I'm thinking I might be able to make one to fit the saddle. They're kind of expensive to buy (my AP pad cost me $17 shipped...an Aussie pad of the same style costs $40 shipped).

Looking at me...he's really good about that...and then he'll wait until I beckon him in before he comes to me:

This was right before he decided the mounting block was his new toy and he tried to pick it up with his teeth lol
 

LyndaB

I've always had trouble mounting by myself because of the disease in my legs, however, there are times when something happens out on the trail and you really need to just mount from a rock or something. You have to keep working with him so that he allows you to mount in whatever fashion you need to. I'm sure he'll catch on quickly as he obviously respects you and he's so darn smart and willing. If he'll allow you to get on the top of the block and then maybe just lean forward and put your body across the saddle, he'll get used to it. Worked for me. If necessary, put him between the side of the pen and the block so he can't really go anywhere.
 

bassbonediva

I can get on the block and act like I'm going to mount with no problem with no one holding him. The problem arises when he thinks that his head needs to be even with me, so he backs up until his head is next to me. Otherwise, he'll stand by the block all day with no problem if I'm standing there as well. When I mounted at the hitching rail, I mounted from the block and he could have cared less. The only reason I was able to mount at the hitching rail was 'cuz he was tied and couldn't back up so his head was next to me.

Christina teased me that I have him trained way too well on the ground.
 

bassbonediva

I rode Aires again today. We were going to go on a trail ride, but it started raining lightly, so we decided to ride in the arena instead. I was riding with Christina (who was on her arab gelding, CJ) and Jenn (who was riding one of the boarder's horses, a saddlebred named Nate). He was doing really well and was responding to just leg pressure to turn him at the corners of the arena, but Christina and Jenn kept trotting and cantering their horses and it was making him want to at least trot, which was making me nervous (confidence is better, but still not 100%). At one point, we were on one side of the arena and Jenn and Christina were on the other. I was turning Aires and accidentally gave him a little heel with my outside leg instead of just leg and he took off at a trot. I am ashamed to admit that I panicked at first because he is notorious for pulling/running through the bit and refusing to stop. I started to do a one-rein stop on him, but I'm left-handed, so I automatically started to turn him left, which happened to be into the fence. By the time I recovered, he had stopped right behind CJ and was like "Hi! What did I miss?" We spent another 5 minutes in the arena after Jenn left (she wanted us to work by ourselves so that he got used to working with ME, not her) and did several beautiful, tight figure eights working with leg pressure.

I do have to say that the only difference I really felt between Aires' trot and his walk was the fact that the ground was going by faster. It was AMAZING! Also, I felt VERY secure in my aussie saddle, even without the horn. I loved it! I've been "run off with" at a trot in a western saddle on other horses and felt like I was going to come off within a few strides.

Does anyone have any advice about him running through the bit like he does? I have tried shortening my reins (right now I ride with my reins adjusted so I can feel his mouth, but not be on his mouth all the time, if that makes sense) and pulling straight back to my hips while saying "Ho!" which is his verbal cue to stop, but generally speaking he completely ignores me and just keeps plowing on until he thinks he should stop. I ride him in a loose ring french link snaffle and he responds to it great when we're turning.
 

Shine

Gypsy did a number on your confidence didn't she? Amazing how sometimes we don't realize at first how things affect us. Each ride should get better for you. Your boy is amazingly steady for a 2yr old, and as you get used to each other things will continue to improve.

Its great that the AUS saddle is working out so well. I assume at the moment you are using 'voice, rein, seat' to ask him to stop... and not getting the response you want. You could try being 'louder' with your aids, but aside from that the next thing I'd try is circling. It is a lot more work for them to circle (tightly, not just a big loop). While still asking for the walk or halt as you circle. Its not something you should keep up forever (nor have to), but if the horse is ignoring you after 5+ strides it's an option. Aires is smart. He should pick up quickly that it is going to be harder work to ignore your first aids, and still doesn't get him anywhere.
 

bassbonediva

I asked him to one-rein stop after our trotting incident. He got kinda ticked and did a little sideways hop away from the side I pulled toward when I asked him. Oddly, I rode that better than the trotting. lol

I will try the circling and see if it helps.

I was much better today than I was on Wednesday. It helped that I didn't have Cam "yelling" at me to yank on his mouth and we weren't out in the open where he could bolt anywhere (and the ground is softer in the arena ). What didn't help was him getting all excited when Nate and CJ were trotting and cantering around us and he wanted to GO.
 

bassbonediva

I need some help, guys.

I rode Aires today. Was a bit nervous (and apparently looked it), but he did great. He only spooked once and what spooked him would have spooked any green horse (a dog suddenly started barking behind us). His spook consisted of a small start, then he trotted forward to the safety of the other horses. He randomly started trotting a second time because he thought he was being left behind by the other horses.

I, however, didn't fare so well. I'm getting better, but it frustrates me because the stuff that he does used to not even barely make me bat an eyelash. Now, he barely flinches and I freeze up. When he spooked and started trotting, I actually shrieked and leaned forward and pulled up on the reins...total knee-jerk reaction My trainer (who was with us, luckily) said "Sit back!" and it was like all of a sudden my brain was part of me again and I was calm and got him back under control (sat back down in the saddle and deepened my seat, then settled my hands where they needed to be and gently pulled back). I finally got so frustrated with myself and jumpy at any flinch he made that I had to get off and walk back.

I am just so frustrated with myself that I could cry! I know Aires isn't Gypsy and I know that he's a good horse. The stuff he was doing wouldn't have even PHASED me a month ago! I rode Reno's random trotting and bull-headedness (which including wading through a freakin' BUSH) with too-long stirrups and no problems! I even handled his major spook coming off the highway on the way home with no issues.

But now, if Aires so much as SNEEZES, I tense up. I was actually relaxing quite a bit...but then that dog spooked him and I was tense again. After he trotted the second time, I was even more tense. Then, Christina was riding Cassie, her mare (she would have ridden CJ, but she'd just ridden him on a three-hour ride), and she kept wanting to single-foot to catch up with Jenn, who was on a boarder's horse, but Christina kept holding her back so she could stay with me. Cassie got ticked off and had a little fit behind us and it kind of freaked Aires out...and that was the last straw for me.

What can I do to relax? I feel like a spring that's wound too tight when I ride him and I hate it. It's not good for Aires, either.

On a lighter note...he is doing SO good! I barely have to squeeze him and he moves off. he turns really well using leg pressure, too (found out my problem with him trotting off on me because I gave him heel instead of leg was due to the endurance stirrups I was using...I'm not used to them and they feel just WAY too big...I used regular Western stirrups today and we were fine...I think next month, when I have three paychecks, I'm going to order myself a pair of four-bar irons made for Aussie saddles).
 

Shine

Sad to say, but aside from time, I'm not sure what can help. Given that you have transferred the association from Gypsy to Aires, it might help if you had a older, well trained horse to ride for a bit. One that you could trust not to bolt or do anything dense regardless of what was going on around. That didn't work for me, but then... I never transferred my 'baggage' from Kest to any of the other horses. Only riding him consistently has worn the edges off the tension I developed with him. And as I said earlier; I still don't trust him to stand while I'm mounting without an extra person there. But then Kestrel is so high strung that relaxing when riding him probably is a good way of not staying on!

Personally I think if you have another horse you could ride a couple times that's well trained it could help, but in the main.... its going to take time to work the edges off. You could also stay in the arena for a couple weeks and give yourself time to get used to each other. Its great that Aires is pretty centered though. I mean, Cassie was getting uptight and jumpy behind you because she wasn't getting her way--and she is, in theory, trained. Aires isn't more than green broke yet, and he sounds like he's doing fabulous. Just give yourself time... and try not to get too frustrated with yourself
 

bassbonediva

The only horse I can ride without paying that's remotely well-trained is CJ, Christina's gelding.

We were going to go on a trail ride today with my friend, Wendy. But, just as we were leaving, it started thundering and lightning REALLY bad as we crossed the road. So, we all turned around and went back to the stable. It ended up raining HARD for a good hour and a half, so we didn't ride at all.

My friend, Wendy, was awesome. She got her horse, Tam (a quarab), as a two-year-old and she was the first person to ride him. She was way greener than I am when she got him and he was a bucker. She was terrified of him, but rode anyway. She appointed herself my "protector" of sorts. I was really freaked out about riding Aires across the road, so Wendy got down and said "Why don't you and I walk across, then I'll boost you up when you feel comfortable." So, she walked beside me and we chatted. Then, when everyone turned back (and pretty much ditched us 'cuz their horses bolted back for the barn), she stayed right with me. She was impressed when I was able to hand-trot Aires across the road and he slowed down when I asked him to. He did kind of halfway freak when he realized that CJ wasn't waiting for him, but I kept him under control and he was fine. I'd say out of all the horses riding with us (Christina on CJ, Jenn on Noel and ponying Jazzy [a boarder's two horses], Hassie on Hop-along, and Wendy with Tam), Aires was probably the most calm about everything. Wendy was incredibly impressed with his level-headedness and how well he listens to me. When Wendy said something about it in front of everyone, Jenn said "Well, he should be well-behaved! She's been able to do nothing but ground work with him for two months!" lol

Also, Cam expressed concern to Christina that I was hand-walking Aires at first. She told him that my confidence was still shaken from Gypsy. So, after Christina told me, I went to Cam and told him exactly what the problem was. I told him that I was going to mount up on Aires after we crossed the road, but then we had to come back. He said that was fine, but then said "You can't be afraid of that horse." I quickly assured him that I'm not afraid of Aires at all. It was ME that was the problem. He seemed better with that than when he thought I was afraid of Aires. But again, he basically told me that I just need to get over it. Easier said than done, unfortunately.

ETA: Okay...Christina and I had an idea. We hashed it over and over and came up with it's not that I'm afraid of Aires and not that I'm transferring my fear from Gypsy to him...it's that I'm afraid of my reaction to his actions (like his spooks). I need to get my confidence back that I can handle his actions. So, I'm going to ask Jen if we can do a lesson together on the trail (since I'm okay with Aires in the arena, really). She can ride Aires so I can see how he acts on the trail and what "sets him off," so to speak (she's been dying to get Aires out on the trail anyway lol), and I'll ride one of the calmer, saner horses, like Bubba (14-something hand QH gelding who is built like a tank and is bombproof...he literally looks like someone took a draft horse and cut it off at the knees). That way I can get my reactions under control (and realize that I really can do this still) and I can see how Aires acts on the trail, so I'll be prepared for it when we go out.
 

LyndaB

Having been in your shoes, I can say that my personal feeling is that you'll feel the jitters no matter which horse you're on. You are already well connected to Aires. Of course, he's going to be confused by your signals when your reaction is based on the fear of going down again.

Maybe you can work on finding a mental "happy place" or even humming a song to yourself as you're working him. Ride him for the sake of connecting with him, not for any lesson it might offer him. Just take the time now to bond with him.

And remember to breathe....... deep breaths in through the nose and out the mouth. When you focus on your breathing, your body can't go in another direction. You'll still be able to pay attention to what's around you, but you'll be in a much more relaxed state, and so will Aires. Let him get used to feeling you on his back, and not the others who've trained him so far. Just bond.

Slowly, your fear will subside.
 

bassbonediva

Okay, so haven't updated this since August. Been too busy with Aires and work. Anyway, A LOT has happened.

I joined this horse forum when I first got Aires back in May and it's been a blast and a very good learning experience. There's this thread on there called "The Big Girl Panties Thread" where all of us put up goals and such about how we're going to pull on our BGPs and do what needs to be done, or we brag about pulling on our BGPs and getting stuff done. Anyway, as a joke for the thread, I said I was going to make a photo montage of putting on my *literal* BGPs and riding Aires (get a pair of big ol' granny panties and put them on over my riding pants). Well, I said it as a joke, but due to overwhelming response, I decided to do it for real. So, I tacked up Aires and had my friend take pics of me putting on these huge white satin granny panties I bought at a local thrift store, then take pics of me riding in them. It was amazing what that little joke did for my confidence! All of a sudden, I wasn't afraid anymore. Aires was an absolute ANGEL and listened sooooo well. Anyway, we were on our way back up to the barn after about fifteen minutes of riding and Jen (the trainer) urged me to walk Aires behind the mare she was leading, to get him used to following a horse out on the trail. Well, that mare apparently REALLY doesn't like Aires, because all of a sudden she pinned her ears, backed up and kicked him...with me still in the saddle! Aires saw it coming and tried to back away, but when he saw she was too close, he half reared, spun to the right and trotted away. He still got kicked in the bit, though. Jen and Christina were FREAKING because they thought I was going to freak out, but I rode it out without any problems or fear and was more concerned about Aires than about the fact that he "spooked." I rode all the way back up to the barn and dismounted there!

So then two weeks ago, Christina and I decided that we were going to go on a trail ride. I hand-walked Aires across the main road (was still a bit freaked out by crossing the road on horseback...especially after what happened with Reno) and then mounted up using a railroad tie in someone's driveway. Aires stood like a statue for me to mount and catch my right stirrup. Then away we went! We were gone for THREE HOURS!! We only had one argument, which I won. There was this part of the trail where there are some big rocks that the horses have to kind of scramble up. There's three ways to get up and Christina (who was leading) let CJ (her gelding) choose his own path. He went up the middle way, which is relatively easy. Aires took one look at it and was like "Well, it's been fun" and turned around toward home. After five minutes of circling, Christina brought CJ back down to where we were and said that the way on the left (which is the easiest way) was open now (it used to be blocked by a downed tree), so she went up that way. I got Aires to follow fairly easily...and then the bugger stopped on top of a bush at the top of the rocks! lol Before we got over the rocks, he was really unsure of himself, but after the rocks, he was like "Whatever. This is easy!" By the time we headed back, I was riding him on a loose rein, one-handed (was holding the reins by the buckle 'cuz I use English reins), and just guiding him with my legs mainly. We did have one incident on our way back that caused Christina to nearly fall off CJ she was laughing so hard. We were going down this really rocky trail (took a little bit longer way home on a trail that the dude string trail rides go on) and Aires didn't like the rocks, so I was letting him pick his own way. Yeah, apparently his way involved plowing straight through a freakin' TREE!! Not just any tree, though. A nice juniper (if you don't know what a juniper is, google "alligator juniper"). Basically, the poleys and high cantle on my saddle are the only things that kept me from being dragged out of the saddle!

Anyway, here's a couple of ear shots from our ride (only pics I got lol):

And here's a shot of Aires modeling our new English bridle (had to order a draft sized bridle!!):

We also got a new, slightly bigger ('cuz he had already outgrown the 5" O-ring french link snaffle we were using) eggbutt french link snaffle bit, but I don't have any pics of him in it. Needless to say, he LOVES it!

Aaaaaaaaaaand...I forgot another brag! lol

On Friday, I drove Christina to the barn early (7:30am) because CJ was getting his shoes done and she needed a ride. So, we're standing there while the farrier works on CJ and I notice that Cam and Colby (Cam's 9yo son) are saddling up a couple of the dude string horses. I helped Colby halter one of the mares that they use as a lead horse sometimes and then walked up to ask Cam when the ride was leaving and how long it was going to be gone. He said it was leaving at 9am (it was about 8:40am) and would be gone an hour. So I asked if I could tag along and he said "Get your horse saddled." So, I pulled Aires out and saddled him in record time. Had to fight with him a bit to get the bridle on (our bridle was at home in pieces 'cuz I was oiling it, so I borrowed one of Cam's and used one of his O-ring regular snaffles...which Aires didn't like at all), but I think he needs his teeth done, so it was understandable. Anyway, I finish getting him saddled just as Jen is getting the two ladies who are going on the ride mounted up. She swings up on Jazzy (lead horse) and it's my turn to use the mounting block. Aires WOULD NOT stand still as I basically chased him around with the stupid mounting block! lol He kept turning away from me as I'd try to get it positioned. So finally, I gave up, got him close enough so I could get my foot in the stirrup and then swung up as he walked off. At this point, Jen already had the two ladies out onto the road that leads to the main road, so Aires speed-walked to catch up with them. We crossed the highway (I was still mounted up) and hit the trail. Aires was being a two-year-old, but was overall pretty good. My proud moment happened on the way back, though. We were almost back to the main road (to get to the trail you have to ride through this neighborhood, so we were on the road leading back to the main road) when this big diesel dump truck turned onto the road we were on. Jen was in the lead with Jazzy, then came one of the ladies on Jack (older dead broke QH gelding that Jen uses for kids' lessons sometimes), then the other lady on Bubba (QH that came from a ranch in New Mexico at the beginning of the summer and is usually a good, solid horse) and I was riding drag. As soon as the guy sees the horses, he starts revving his engine! Jazzy and Jack were just like "Whatever" and sidled off to the side of the road, but Bubba FREAKED! Luckily the lady riding him grew up on a ranch and knew how to ride because he bolted into the fence at the side of the road and kept trying to run through the fence. The guy started revving his engine HARDER AND LAUGHING when he saw Bubba freak! Here's where my proud moment comes in, though...Aires didn't even FLINCH! I put the reins in one hand and was shaking my head emphatically at the guy and making a "lower" motion with my free hand and Aires just kept walking along. He didn't even move toward the side of the road when the truck approached us. He just kept on going when the truck passed within ten feet of us!! As soon as the driver saw that his antics didn't bother my horse, he stopped revving his engine and just drove off. Jen was so impressed with Aires (and me) and the ladies couldn't believe he's only two, just because of how calm he was through the whole thing. We told Cam what happened when we got back and he said "I swear that horse was born broke!"

In other news...Aires is now 15.3hh at the withers and 16hh (maybe 16.1hh) at the butt. We're going through another growth spurt. lol I wager he'll be 16.1hh by Christmas.
 

LyndaB

Yay for big girl panties!!!!! Sounds like you've really been doing great. Aires, too. Well done.
 

Shine

That's HILLARIOUS! Its great that the BGP ride got you back on stride. Humour is great for relieving nerves

You guys are looking great together. Keep up the good work
 

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