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 Getting Back in the Saddle Again

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withaTwist
Hanover
just joan
Fiere
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Fiere

Fiere


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PostSubject: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitimeTue Aug 09, 2011 9:45 am

In May of this year I had a trainer come out and work with T and I. Gord gave me instructions to school T at least four hours a week to achieve the goals I had set for us and get my confidence up and his behavior down. I stuck with it really well for three whole weeks, then the weather got bad and I got busy, and so, several excuses later I have not ridden either of my horses since then. So now, with my daughter started preschool full time on Monday, and myself not started school until September, I have a few weeks to try to pick up where I left off.

Both my horses (and myself) are in serious need of work. Amigo is a forward hunter-jumper pony who I need to convert into a lazy western pleasure mount for my daughter. While T and I, well we just don't click like we did before our accident thus I can't progress his training or regain my lost confidence. My lack of regular riding is making me not like to ride any horse as I feel off balance and expect them to act out which makes me nervous and stiff, thus making me more off balance. I need to get over myself, and I need to ride.

It is my hope that by creating a blog of my daily adventures, it will give me the proverbial 'kick in the buttercup' I need to keep me from falling of the bandwagon, as I am very inclined to do.


(I started keeping track of this in a journal on Friday, so I will enter in the last 3 days as new posts to keep things in order [mostly for my own OCD tendencies than anything])
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just joan
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PostSubject: Re: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitimeTue Aug 09, 2011 9:51 am

Ok kiddo........if nothing else, you know I can certainly kick you in the buttercup!!!!!! let her rip!!!! :cowboyhound.gi

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Fiere

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitimeTue Aug 09, 2011 10:01 am

Saturday, August 6th

I spent the morning cleaning all the green fuzzies off my tack and verifying it was in good working order in preparation for my newfound riding ambitions. As you can imagine, the former took up the majority of the morning, leather gets some moldy when it sits around for almost a month untouched.

After lunch, I went to go get my horses. Since Amigo was the one who didn't gallop to the far end of the paddock, it was his lucky day. I brushed him and re-braided him, then took him into the round-pen to saddle him up. I forgot to take his bridle out with me, so I plopped up on his back with just a halter and lead. I then spent the next 15 minutes going around at an uncontrolled snail's pace, as it would appear our spotted pony has no clue how to stop without a bit. Even though he wasn't going very fast, the thought of not being able to stop was a touch unnerving, so I called Dan over to rescue me. Much jesting was then had at my expense about my 'run away pony', so I had a scowly face on and felt more like pouting than riding.

By this time Rae had tired of barn kitties and wanted to go for a ride, so the next half hour was leadline lessons. I held onto the rope and Rae gave the commands, and as it turns out, Amigo listens far better to Rae than I. Of course Dan had to interject with, 'Rae can get him stopped and she is going faster than you! Har har!', he thinks he's god's gift to comedy, that one.

Regardless, I am pretty happy that Amigo responds so well to her, and at least he got a good warming up that day. So day one of 'Meg's Back in The Saddle Plight' wasn't a total flop, my tack is clean and I didn't fall off any one. That spells success in my books!
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just joan
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PostSubject: Re: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitimeTue Aug 09, 2011 10:05 am

Day 1...ended on a Positive Note.....so thats good......hahaha.....

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Fiere

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitimeTue Aug 09, 2011 10:14 am

Sunday, August 7th

A friend of mine came out to ride Amigo while I rode T today. T's hinds are flaring again so after I brushed him I ran the rasp over his feet and there was some heat in his heels. So no riding for T until I figure that out, he has an on-again, off-again thrush problem I can't seem to chake and his hind feet no matter what I do to them won't stop growing in weird ways. He's not off at all, so I fixed him up a bit and let him be for the day. Just our luck, it would seem.

Amigo however had a most wonderful day. He is out of shape (if you discount round as a shape) and so we were taking it easy on him with mostly walking and a few minutes of trot here and there, I just wanted her to really work on bending and collection, but the little bugger was excited as all get out and after walk/trotting the barrel pattern a few times he had a good swift canter around them. He didn't seem at all phased by this and was quite enjoying it, so I attended to T while Amigo zipped all over creation. It was good for him I think, gave him a chance to blow some stink off.

Meanwhile I gave T his heat therapy and took him in the round pen for a bit of groundwork to at least get his mind working if his body can't.
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Fiere

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitimeTue Aug 09, 2011 10:23 am

Monday, August 8th

I went to the barn, fed breakfast, took T out and checked his hooves. No extra heat to be felt and when I trotted him out he seemed a touch more limber than the previous day. So I brushed him down, got out the heating pad, warmed up his hind and his hocks, booted him all up, walked outside.... torrential downpour. So that through a wrench into the works for the day. Our ground is all clay and is too sticky and slippery to work on in the rain. Bugger indeed. So both horses got an off day today and T seemed pretty happy to get all his gear off and not work.

So far I have been at this for 3 days and have rode for 15 minutes (sort of). I wish the weather would smarten up.

Wanted: Dry ground and slightly warm temperatures.
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Fiere

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitimeTue Aug 09, 2011 10:29 am

Today I went to the barn, fed and turned the horses out. It is *supposed* to clear up this afternoon, so hopefully I will be able to get on a horse a little later, even to walk around for a few minutes as the ground is still too crappy for anything else.

Fingers crossed I will have more to post later and actually be up on a horse at some point today.



Joan, feel free to come kick me in the buttercup anytime! I have a horrible habit of just not doing things I need to do just because I am not comfortable doing them. Really the first day I *could* have gotten the bridle after he wouldn't listen to the halter and kept riding, but I decided to sook instead. I need a good smack motivation!
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just joan
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PostSubject: Re: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitimeTue Aug 09, 2011 10:45 am

Getting Back in the Saddle Again 965462 Getting Back in the Saddle Again 965462 Getting Back in the Saddle Again 965462 is more my style rather than Motivational speeches.......but you already knew that.

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Hanover

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitimeTue Aug 09, 2011 3:11 pm

[quote="Fiere"]In May of this year I had a trainer come out and work with T and I. Gord gave me instructions to school T at least four hours a week to achieve the goals I had set for us and get my confidence up and his behavior down.

Just wondering if you could give details as to what work you did with T. Is this ground work, in saddle or both?
Also....do you feel that he improved and if so, in what ways?

Ooops.......hope the questions don't come across as snotty. Really am interested in following T's progress.
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withaTwist

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitimeTue Aug 09, 2011 5:29 pm

yay another blog!!!

sometimes commiting to it (publicly) helps with that kick in the buttercup.

this rain should smarten up tho... talking and thinking about riding just arent the same.

hopefully you get to work on that confidence! i found it easier to get to the barn once i was on the way back up...

good luck!
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Fiere

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitimeTue Aug 09, 2011 5:55 pm

Oh you certainly don't come off as snotty, Hanover! Don't be silly.

To explain what Gord did with us it is important to know T's an my issues: When T is being ridden, if you do something he does not like, he will buck. The more you do something he does not like, the harder his bucks get until he is four hooves off the ground Rodeo bucking. He also bolts. Even at a walk, if you ask him for a turn he will turn his head in the direction you want, but pop his shoulder out and keep going straight. It is a horrible and dangerous habit as you have no control over a horse who has learned to do this because they are leading from the shoulders not the nose.
At first I didn't mind his bullshit and would just deal with it. But 2 years ago we were out on a trail ride and he bolted for the highway, popping his shoulder and ignoring me, so I one-rein stopped him which pissed him off and started him bucking during his out of control gallop. He ended up throwing me into the gravel parking lot, where I fractured my pelvis and slipped two disks in my back. Ever since that, I have a really hard time trusting him under saddle.
With me it has kinda gotten to the point where I can't wrap my head around the fact that if I had of landed two inches to the left those disks would have broken, not slipped. Now everytime I get on a horse I can't shake this feeling that I am going to get in a wreck, it is worse on T.

I booked Gord for two days while he was down this way. Gord previously knew all the background, so on the first day, he wanted to figure out how the horse worked and reacted, what his triggers were that sort of thing, basically, he wanted to drive T to the breaking point to see where it was, what would do it, and how T would react. He did this on the ground at first, and then undersaddle. T doesn't think he needs to listen to anyone other than me, so it didn't take Gord long to push a button (I think they got a full 20 feet out of the barn before T reared up and came at him). Gord worked on his triggers for the majority of the first afternoon. The plan was to push him to the breaking point, ride the break and show T that No, that doesn't work for you anymore, which would put his breaking point farther and farther away.

The second day he worked on exercises that would put me more in control and help to transfer T's respect for me on the ground into the saddle. He then got me to do the exercises, and then I saddled T up and we worked on his under saddle issues, where Gord got a really good sense of how the horse acted for me, and how I acted on the horse. Since Gord just got on him with the intent of making him act out the first day he had not ridden him calmly and properly, he just sort of yee-hawed around the arena. Where as I made T work in frame and stick the rail and all that nonsense while we worked.

While I'm sure I made Gord pretty uncomfortable with my sniveling he was really supportive and I think he really gave me good insight and building blocks for T and I to use to progress. They are really nice people him and his wife and I secretly want to smuggle my horses out to Alberta and move in with them so I can have Gord coach me all the time.

The whole point of Gord telling me to work the horse 4 hours a week after he left is because the foundations Gord helped me build that day were still fresh and they would only become stronger with consistency and time. But I basically failed the horse and myself by letting him sit around for over a month and a half, and I bet any money the first time I get on him he is going to be right back to square one, which is going to do me no favors at all. I really need support when I ride, which I don't get, and this blog is my attempt on getting some of that support by having people able to know when I chicken out and scold me for it (or slap me, as I think Joan may just end up doing one of these days). I really want to ride, I really want to get my horses all trained up nice, but my irrational nervousness keeps winning out, and it has to stop. I know it does. I just need to put it into action.

The funny thing is this time last year I said 'screw this' and hopped right on up and rode like the wind, several times a week, and I was almost to the point of trail riding by myself. Then T blew an abscess in his hock and then got cellulitis and was off for 5 months, so when I got back on him he tried to throw me and I ended up worse off than I ever was. I wish I could get that feeling again, though, that moment where I didn't care if he killed me, I was riding him and that was that. Maybe someday when I stop pussy footing around I will be able to.
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withaTwist

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitimeTue Aug 09, 2011 6:02 pm

i know it wont help with the issues between you and T, but maybe Amigo is there for a reason?
You said yourself that the pony is fat, and too smart for his own good, but you didnt seem to have the same fear of him (totally understandable).

Maybe work on you first, build your confidence with Amigo, then hope that carries over for when you ride T?

I myself, through firm orders from the bf and owner, was forebidden to ride the horse that injured me ever again. I cant imagine how hard that would be, and im very impressed that you are committed to him, and riding him again.
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Fiere

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitimeTue Aug 09, 2011 6:30 pm

It's true, the same fear isn't there with the pony, mostly because the pony is quite a bit shorter than T. I still get nervous with Amigo because he is *quick*, but it isn't the same with him. What does upset me about riding the pony over the horse is that I feel the more time I put into the pony, the worse T is going to get because he isn't being ridden. I really feel that if I sucked it up and rode T, all this would solve itself.

It's just a lot easier to build confidence when you have someone working with you and beside you that can talk you through things and help if need be. I ride alone, so most times if I do find myself at the barn with time to ride, I don't because *if* something were to happen, no one could help me. Which is a valid excuse, but it is still an excuse.

I don't quite know what happened, this time last year I was practicing cattle penning on T by 'rounding up' the pony and moving him into the round pen (I didn't have a cow so I used the next best spotted thing lol), we were going out around the 1/2 mile track by ourselves, I was working on his balance through the canter... everything. I just woke up one day and said 'I'm tired of this, I am riding that damned horse'. And he bucked to high heaven and put up huge spinning/rearing fights with me over stuff and it scared me half to death but I put up with it and got back on next time. But after those months off where I didn't barely ride at all... I dunno. I hate admitting I can't ride my own horse, but I am hoping the humiliation works out for me. I'm usually more proud than anything.

And thanks Twist, but it it nothing to be impressed about. He's my horse so I need to ride him. If he was anyone else's, I wouldn't of got on him ever again lol.

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withaTwist

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitimeTue Aug 09, 2011 6:34 pm

just a suggestion, i thought maybe riding both (Amigo before T), could help things along?

riding alone definitely isnt the ideal, what about this friend that came out to ride the pony?

sadly, time and schedules, along with the weather, play a huge role in this sport/lifestyle.

best of luck, :)
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blackfly

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitimeTue Aug 09, 2011 6:42 pm

Probably not what you want to hear but you will likely never trust him again. Had the same issue with my mare, quick, bolting, spooking, more nervous than pushy. I ended up being catapulted off and luckily only broke a finger. I spent lots of money and time on her and came to the realization that I didn't want to ride horses like that anymore. Life is too short and there are too many horses without issues I could own and ride. Sold my mare to a trainer for next to nothing and have to admit it was a relief. Bought myself a quiet Haflinger and am loving her!
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Fiere

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitimeTue Aug 09, 2011 7:25 pm

Exactly, Twist... time and schedules, lol. We are trying to set that up, for the last three days now. I do have the time to ride them both nowadays, as my days are free until 5pm, just waiting on weather now to bite the bullet and get on. I don't know the best course of action for helping myself get over this, I've even tried taking lessons again but I'd be fine on those nice trained horses in the nice indoor arena, and fall apart on T. I think if I can get on T, I can get my groove back.

Hubby was supposed to be home at 4:30 today but as usually, got told to work late. Looks like I won't be riding tonight, it'll be dark soon. I am still going to hope he gets in at any minute so I can run off to the barn.

Blackfly, I know what you are saying. Truthfully, I do need to get something else, something I can trust and feel safe on. T is not that animal, he is a very, very complicated ride when he is behaving and requires constant work to keep his mind and body focused and his temperament level undersaddle. There is lots of back story on T as well, and frankly I don't trust anyone else with him. It sounds silly but stubborn or stupid this horse is my heart horse and he will never, ever be sold. If it gets to the point where I can't keep him for whatever reason, I'll put him down. Since I can't afford a third horse who better suits my needs, I will keep fighting things out on T.
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withaTwist

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitimeTue Aug 09, 2011 7:29 pm

Fiere - I sent you a PM. its worth considering... as insane as it sounds.
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blackfly

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitimeTue Aug 09, 2011 8:39 pm

Fiere, I know how you feel. I spent 8 years trying to make it work with my mare. I bought her a yearling and thought the world of her. On the ground she was awesome. Very respectful, it was just under saddle that she had issues. She was very nervous and needed a confident rider which after the broken finger episode, I wasn't. She was the type of horse that needed to be ridden everyday and with time restraints and lack of an indoor in this lovely Nova Scotia climate, it wasn't going to happen. I actually felt sick at the last of it thinking about riding her, and used every excuse not to. I considered putting her down but realized a good trainer could help her and I wasn't spending anymore on her when I knew I would never trust her. My new horse can sit in the field for months ( since April as I have been unable to ride because of knee problems, finally got to ride this week) and be the same as the last time I was on her. She is the kind of horse I can have fun with and not feel pressured.
Whatever you decide to do, I wish you all the best. Just stay safe!
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Hanover

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitimeTue Aug 09, 2011 10:06 pm

When Gord left, how did he feel about T? Did he encourage you more one way than another ? By that I mean did he voice any of the concerns that are being put out here? Personally, my heart aches for you. It is not an easy thing that you are doing.

Wonder what he would be like as a cart horse? Seriously. Maybe he just doesn't like to be under saddle. Okay.....just a wild thought :-)

Take care.........give T a carrot from me and Shane.
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Fiere

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitimeWed Aug 10, 2011 12:42 am

Gord said that I put wonderful foundations on the horse and if only I could get over my fears and he his, he could see we would be a wonderful team. Gord likened him to a teenager: I ask him to do something, he says no, I ask him again, he screams no, I ask him again, and he flips out, calls me a bad name, and slams a door in my face, but all the while he still 'loves' and respects me. Overall, he really liked T, and was really impressed with him, aside from the fact that he has a blow up point.

I appreciate your honesty Blackfly, I really do. If it comes to the point where I realize I will never be able to work with him under saddle, he will be a pasture pet and a groundwork whiz, because I never could give him up. It's not just me being selfish, he has been through too much in his short life and I'd rather retire him than give him to a new home. I am really glad things worked out so well for you and your little mare though, if I could have a third horse I would love one like you describe in your little Haffie.

I haven't tried putting him back in the cart as I don't really have access to one, Hanover. But the subject was brought up a few times with folks at the barn, if anything, jogging him a couple miles would make him too tired to act out under saddle lol!

I took Dan with me tonight to feed. It was nine o'clock by the time I got there so it was quite dark, but I saddled T up anyways and put a rope halter under his bridle. We went out to the round pen and I was almost shaking getting on him, so Dan hooked a 15' lead to him and held the end of it while I walked him around in circles and made him stop, back up, roll back and continue on the other lead . After 10 minutes of this I got brave and looped the lead around the saddle horn and continued working him for about a half hour. He did his usual head toss and crow hop when I asked him to do what he thinks is too much bending, but a little smack with the rein ended that. Then he figured he'd get smart and reach around and nibble my boot instead of actually turning, which is really my fault as I taught him to 'touch' my foot to give to rein pressure, he now uses it to his advantage. 'Oh turn? How about this instead, Mom! See how good I give now? Aren't I a good boy?', the little bugger. He also didn't want to step in the mud, and no matter how much I pushed him into the rail in that spot, there was no way in heck he would get over.

All in all it wasn't bad. He went right into frame and we did some leg yielding back and forth and some figure 8's. He wasn't too bad with popping his shoulder out on me either, did it 3 or 4 times through the figure 8s, usually I ride with a dressage whip and tap him in it but I left it in the barn tonight as I didn't expect to do as much as we did, but he didn't blow right through the turn tonight, just sort of made it a lopsided loop instead of crossing his legs and circling. We ended on a good note, I let him walk out on a very loose rein on the rail and then let him stand in the middle while I put my feet on his hips and gave his ears a good scratch. He is a good horse he just doesn't like anyone to experience it, boys must maintain their 'tough guy' appearances, after all.

Having someone right there in grabbing distance makes me feel a lot better. Dan said if I really wanted him to he'd try to do this with me a few nights a week, so if anything, me and T will at least get a short evening walkabout. I wish Dan knew more (read: anything) about riding and horses though, I wouldn't mind more of a critique, but this is better than nothing and I am glad he offered.

So it has been an eventful day and after over a month and a half I finally got to ride my horse, as brief as it was. Tomorrow's weather is supposed to be decentish, so hopefully I will have more good news from the saddle!
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withaTwist

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitimeWed Aug 10, 2011 6:30 am

Thats great news! Im glad you got on him, and had someone on the ground for safety :)

Sometimes bribery of the S/O is the easiest way... Mine "promised" to learn about leads, two-tracking, etc. but I have yet to see it, so I feel your pain, lol. If only this forum could provide virtual/holographic guidance in the ring :)
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PostSubject: Re: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitimeWed Aug 10, 2011 8:17 am

well done MegIvor........glad Dan helped get you On T........ :cowboyhound.gi

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitimeWed Aug 10, 2011 9:28 am

I like that comparison with a teenager and you must have been encouraged by his words about T.

Because of having a retired racer too, I think we share a lot of the same feelings about them.....I just can't put it down in writing as clearly as you do! That goes for the description of your ride.....very good mental images. Keep them coming.

Hey.....maybe our "boys" can meet someday and "talk" over old days at the track......bet they could tell some dandies.
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Fiere

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitimeWed Aug 10, 2011 9:38 am

Oh they would tell some dandies indeed, I think! They'd probably have a few things to say about us as well, haha.

Dan doesn't know what a lead is, despite me explaining it to him about 20 times. He hates horses, doesn't want anything to do with them, and basically nods his head and rolls his eyes until I am done speaking. So I was surprised he offered to walk around the round pen with me at 9 at night, mayhaps he had a lapse in judgment.

I think I might need to rig up a laptop and web cam to the round pen and put myself on skype.
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withaTwist


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Join date : 2010-04-12
Age : 36
Location : PEI

Getting Back in the Saddle Again Empty
PostSubject: Re: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitimeWed Aug 10, 2011 9:42 am

somehow i think the laptop/cam/skype might be spooky, but maybe if you can get feedback in real-time? then again.... there isnt someone physically there to pick you up out of the dirt...

i think maybe he's helping you because he cares about you, DESPITE not caring about horses... keep playing that card, for all its worth, lol.

i'd love to hear ex-race horses talk track - i have 2 myself, and i swear one went "lame" because it got him out of work. he tried it once with us too, too bad it was a different leg every time, lol.
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Getting Back in the Saddle Again Empty
PostSubject: Re: Getting Back in the Saddle Again   Getting Back in the Saddle Again Icon_minitime

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