You know how a good ride can make you fall in love all over again? I was looking back at some pictures of when Dixie first arrived and they are pretty funny to see. Man he was ugly!!! He is now very classy and has earned a special place in my barn of horses. Of course he is for sale so he won’t be here forever but when I want a relaxing ride on the trails on a horse that I can depend on it is always him that I chose.
Yesterday, I took off work to get my back fixed. Remember that fall I took around New Year’s where I fell on my head well it hurt. Then I fell off two days in a row on the same horse this month..silly tb’s and their spin moves Last weekend I woke up and my neck was stuck and wasn’t moving either way. Some muscle relaxers helped me but it was time for the chiropractor. I feel better already.
Dixie has some visitors coming to see him this weekend so I am nervous as always. It is fun when horses get new homes but selling them is so stressful. I want them to go perfectly so people realize how great they are but horses are horses and have their own agenda.
I tacked up Dixie and headed out to the farm land behind the farm. The wonderful thing about Dixie is you can ride him alone on the trails and he just doesn’t care. I mean really the other horses are hollering to him as we leave the farm and go through the woods to get to the big fields and he is looking but otherwise just happy to be out and about. I can walk on a loose rein just enjoying the nice weather and scenery.
My goal was to do a brakes test. My friend was commenting he was a bit strong at the last hunt so I wanted to see what I felt. Started out with a trot lap around the field which was lovely and then some soft cantering. Even though we are in a huge open field maybe 50+ acres of farmland I am doing transitions with him. Horses need to learn that just because we aren’t in the ring they still have to listen. So several trot/halts, canter to walks and various other transitions to get him tuned in.
Then came the fun stuff There is nothing better than letting a TB really open up and gallop. Get down low to the ground and just fly across the field. If people were watching they would probably think I was out of control but I was not at all. I took a big straight away where I knew the footing was good and crouched down and off we went. Lord he can really fly and it was amazing. They get so low to the ground and it feels weird. My legs were burning!
Now he pulled up fairly well for me but I did have to stand up and do a bit of one rein and then the other rein. He didn’t at all fight me but I suppose horses aren’t going to go straight from a dead gallop right back to that bouncy canter. We worked on gallop to nice canter transitions several times. We were both in a full sweat but we would take a break which was again cool because here is a horse that I am allowing to open up into a full gallop who is now just walking on a loose rein for me. Then I would do some trot, canter and then gallop and then back to the trot.
What I found was that as we did this he didn’t become bad but he built in his idea of forward. I could walk on a loose rein but when I went back to the trot he wanted to go faster than necessary in the trot and he was tense. I found this to be very normal and really who cares because he was listening and not being bad but I do think he could use a slightly different bit because out hunting there is a lot of stop and go and if he keeps building you are going to end up hand riding more than necessary.
We did one big lap at the walk around the field to let him catch his air and then walked back and jumped a log on the trail. He got a bath and he was really happy about it.
He has this spot above his tail that is really itching him. He just got a powerpak recently so I am not sure what the itch is from but I scrubbed him and itched him to his delight and used some microtek spray on him. His mane and tail got a nice conditioning and then he went in his stall with a hay bag to dry off.
I could tell he was tired but almost a look of content in his eyes. I am not in shape for that long of gallops so I want to keep practicing some more. He is really great to practice your gallop on because he is not going to spook or get silly where some of my other horses are guaranteed to not be focusing on galloping because they are total goofballs.
Allie claims her horse Phinny is super fast so perhaps I will challenge her to a race