Sunday, February 20, 2011

High winds, high adrenalin! (video)

My trainer, Riley, Feb 19
Saturday, Feb. 19 was a WINDY day -- gusts of 50MPH. A lot of people chose not to ride in our rattling, wind-besieged indoor, but  Riley and I had a lesson.  Ri was oblivious to the scary sounds and movement (I was so proud).

Midway through our lesson, we were coming around the short side of the ring, and Ri (who had actually seemed pokey that morning) was losing energy. I whacked him smartly with the whip, which is normally no big deal.

His reaction took me by surprise -- he bucked and took off at a hand gallop. I sat up and pulled back, first with my fingers and then with my elbows.  I had zero control-- we weren't careening, he wasn't wild-eyed, it wasn't quite a "bolt." I feel Ri was making a point in the only way he knew how -- Lose the whip, you lulu. We went down the long side and around the corner.

Now I  tuned into my trainer, who never lost her upbeat, encouraging tone even as we galloped around. I think she saw what I was now starting to feel, which was  that Riley settling, and that for once, he was offering me a balanced left lead canter. Her words:

 "You got your forward -- now ride it like you want it!"

I closed my fingers on the reins and touched his belly with my ankles, and Ri-Ri shifted his weight back -- he was still pissed off but now he was nicely forward, cantering straight, and listening. We made a couple more laps of the ring (first time I'd held a canter more than one lap!). The rest of the ride went really well, with Riley nicely between my leg and hand.

I rode almost 50 minutes and then Olivia got on. Here is footage from her ride. He was a little tired, I think...


  1. Looking good! I'm surprised it's as quiet in the indoor as it is--some ambient noise in the background but not as loud as that wind could have sounded.

    I like the concept,"You got your forward--now ride like you want it!" Apparently all you need is to make Riley mad and he'll work? *just kidding* But good way to ride the moment and use that energy for good purpose.

  2. Love the comment and the concept!

    Lookin' good!

  3. Riley has a sick trot! That is amazing :)

  4. Mmmm, love that trot!
    Ha ha, Riley, she's gonna make you work, one way or another!

  5. I think this is the best he's looked yet, Stacey. He's really a gorgeous boy, and you can see how hard he's concentrating and how much he's carrying himself. Oh, and I adore the salmon saddle pad on his big chestnut back. I may have to run right out and get one for my goofy chestnut horse boyfriend. :-)

  6. Way to ride the wave! I agree that he looks a little tired, but they will not get stronger unless you push them just a little further. Nice footage.

  7. lovely video and enjoyed the 'backstory' this often happens to us, i nearly have to get to the point of going 'argh sod you horse' and then we're working LOL! he knows when i really mean it :-)

  8. Amazing how he is looking so much more like a dress-saj horse all the time. Once when I was riding my spooky Arabian, a bicyclist went down our road, something that never happens. I managed to catch the spooky, bolting energy and turn it into a lovely uphill canter.

  9. I know I have probably said this a couple times, but to me, Riley is just completely STUNNING. Love him, he's a lovely horse. And I love that color saddle pad on him!

  10. He is looking so lovely, Stacey! Beautiful reach...and you can see he is concentrating:) Sounds like your ride was one for the journal...and one to remember:)


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