Monday, May 26, 2008

I lived another day

I rode Hormonal Mare for her first ride at her new place. First, we practiced NOT being terrified on plastic bags. Then, we ran around for a few minutes and crow hopped from the feel of the saddle. I want to add that the crow hops did not help my confidence level, but I crossed my fingers that this was not a cute trick that Hormonal Mare liked to pull under saddle. At this point, I climbed on board and forced myself to relax.

My trick is to go into a calm like trance when I ride. It is something I have been able to get fairly good at. In fact, it's almost like being in a "Zen" state. Of course, I have never been in a "Zen" state and this is just what I would imagine it would feel like. Hopefully, you readers out there (the few of you) will get my point. My belief is that as long as the rider remains calm, this transfers to the horse who, in return, also remains calm. It usually works with great success. Of course, I have had a few horses in the past that get a little crazy with me, but so long as I remained calm, they eventually settled down.

I also focus on keeping soft hands and a soft seat. It's hard to transfer calmness to the horse if you are gripping the reins like a life line and squeezing your rear end like their is no tomorrow in sight. This is why, I try to let my body go as limp as possible without losing my posture. It really helps, so try it the next time you ride (if you don't already do this).

Now back to Hormonal Mare. She was a tad forward at first. A bit more so than when I rode her at her previous owners house. However, she did settle down after a few minutes and went beautifully. One problem I noticed is that her previous trainer taught her to canter off as soon as she finished her pivot. We nipped this right in the bud and she caught on quickly. She also had not been asked for a headset in a while. When I test rode her, she started to buck up a bit when I tried to put contact on her face. This didn't bother me as she was in a tomb thumb, so I am sure it was pinching her mouth. However, I put a slow twist snaffle on her and she automatically started dropping her head. As you can imagine, I was pleased as a pig in a mud. Rolling in some mind right about then might have been nice, because it was hotter than you know where.

Hormonal Mare did a great job for me and she didn't spook once! I still don't trust her not to spook, but we will see how she rides the next time around.

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