Sunday, July 21, 2013

Lesson 41: Level Up a la Super Mario

The heat wave finally broke on Friday. But it didn't go without a good fight. If you were in the city or in the surrounding areas of Southern Ontario, you'll have endured tornado watches/warnings and severe thunderstorms. This thorough process of putting out warnings and being more conservative with the information was likely in response to the last flash flooding we got from an unexpected amount of rain. Last time, I was left in the dark for a few days and many others experienced flooding damage in their homes.

This time, as we were on our way out (without knowing if we were okay to go for certain), the sky over the city was changing from blue to grey. It was only 6pm but the sun had already been blocked out by the clouds and it looked more like 9pm. I get an email from my mom titled "hail... has arrived". We head out quickly so that we don't get caught in anything like golf ball sized hail. Strangely, the more west we went, the less armageddon cloud cover there was. Eventually, the skies cleared up enough that we felt like we started in one far away place and ended up in another. It was surreal.

It's a semi-private lesson because NR and Kent are away so the lesson was shorter. I was assigned Trinket and ADW was assigned Rock. Trinket is a pony sized Bay Thoroughbred with a sweet demeanor and Rock is (as the name suggests) a heavy half draft horse cross who's as big as he sounds; not so much tall as fat :)

Trinket is notorious for having a heavy forehand when she canters and I've seen her take a little girl for a wild ride around the ring when she's cantering and racing around. It can be pretty scary because if you let her, she'll pull you right forward and down. I don't know why that is the case but I was prepared because Sheri had told me already. This lesson turned out to be a "fun lesson" as for both of us, these were horses that were very new to us and Trinket is considered a more advanced horse to ride. So, we worked on just getting used to things and doing circles and loops and the different gaits. This was not one of my more graceful lessons and my positions were really all over the place; but the point was to get familiar with these horses and the way they move and are.

When we arrived at the moment that the canter was a possibility, I took the opportunity to do it and just go. I figured that since she's a Thoroughbred, she should be pretty zippy and eager to get into a higher gait. I was half wrong. We did the fast pony trot for half the ring before getting into the canter. And, this includes me falling all over the place when asking for the canter and just being a general mess atop the saddle.

A few times, the pony trot made me tired and I actually realized I wanted to grab the saddle because I was tired of trying to balance and stay strong. My legs were all over the place too and I even lost my stirrup during one attempt. In addition to that, my hands were god knows where (not in that context! :P) and my eyes were down. This didn't help.

Despite all this, I persisted as did she and we got into a few short burst canters around and that was good enough for me! I was getting a better feel for her movements and the balance required to stay with her. I hope to ride her again and work on my seat with her because she is challenging me in other ways.


  1. Trinket is weird to canter and she is still learning. Fun fact- did you know that Trinket is a twin!! cool huh?
    Getting on a horse you arent used to is hard for everyone and thats probably why you found yourself flopping around. From what I saw you did great.

    Rock is a Belgian Quarter Horse btw :) great pony to get muscle! ADW will hurt but after rock, most horses will seem like a piece of cake! :)

    1. really? trinket's bio says she's 12 years old... unless she wasn't ridden previously? i think that's so cool that she has a twin! and it makes sense about her name. how come denise didn't bring both to the barn?
      it was a tough ride....

      rock is hilarious! he doesn't like me poking at his fat. but he's so fat! :D it's really cute.

  2. I'm not entirely sure of Trinkets full background but she was ridden before, I know she switches her leads alot and I think it may be due to racing at some point:S I'm not sure. Jess F and I are trying to do more research on her to find the twin. The old owners told Jess about the twin. :)

    Rock is one of my favorites. My first love <3

    1. lenka mentioned a changed lead during a canter stint! and she broke out of the canter into a trot. sounds about right then. i'd love to learn more about trinket's twin too! if you need help or find out more, i'm happy to lend a hand :)

      i've never ridden rock before... maybe i should try. but i'll need to do some massive stretching towards a side ways leg split... he's a big boy :S

  3. rock moves like a rock. nice guy but he sure takes a lot of effort to move! just like a rock!

    1. he's kinda squishy :D i think that's the best thing about him.