Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sometimes I get to ride too!

In between all the craziness involved with running MLE, I do find time to ride. As is the case with most professionals, my own horses get pushed to the bottom of the list. So we'll have to talk about them at a later time.

Now let's meet Maine Moose Tracks! He belongs to friend Holly Erdely, and he's a 17.2h Appaloosa/Belgian/Thoroughbred cross. To be more specific, Moosetracks is 1/8 Appaloosa, 1/4 Belgian and 5/8 Thoroughbred. Yup, you read that right ... someone bred this on purpose too! But in all seriousness, I ride this big guy 1-2 days a week. As Holly puts it, I'm his personal trainer. I push him to do the things he can't do and lay down the law when he tries to rebel.

I've been working with Moosetracks consistently since last November. Some key words for his training program include: obedience, suppleness, go forward, and put your f-ing head down. To say that Moosetracks has been a challenge is an understatement. Thankfully with some consistent work, he seems to have developed a bit of a work ethic, albeit a small one. But hey ... I'll take it!

This March he cracked his right hind coffin bone, but thankfully it was soooooo slight, that we didn't have to coop him up in a stall. Also thankfully I was allowed to hop on once a week for a walk work out on good footing so when we got the go ahead to go back to work, I wasn't dealing with a feral beast.

Fast forward to this past weekend, the Waredaca Starter Horse Trials. Thankfully working there has it's benefits and I was able to sneak him into a BNYR division for a dressage test. Now Moosetracks and I had just had one of our biggest blow outs earlier in the week. Needless to say, I wasn't quite sure what to expect for our dressage debut. I gave myself a solid 40 minutes to warm up, expecting him to misbehave. So imagine my surprise when he just put his head down and got to work. I had this moment of, "well shit, now what?!" but then decided to just keep him supple with short bursts of work. Moosetracks continued to surprise me by staying with me the whole time, even when he got tired. And boy did he get tired! For the first time in a long time, I actually felt a little bad for him. It was blazing hot and here he was actually trying to be good.

So in the ring we went, after about 10 minutes too long of warm up. And out we came with a respectable 37 and a broken arena board. Apparently balancing a 17.2h tired draft-cross is a bit more difficult than anticipated, and as he rolled down the slope at the canter, we almost left the arena. Luckily a sharp right spur kept us in, but left a dressage board knocked over and in pieces. Oops! I'll probably be getting harassed for that for months. Ah well. I tried getting off at the end of my test to fix it but to no avail.

So onto the next adventure. Stay tuned!

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