Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lesson 4, The Freedom is Mine!!

At tonight's lesson, I dragged the Husband along with me, to be my papparazzi. I got tired of putting up others' photos, and thought it'd be nice to prove I can haul my cookies onto the back of a horse. Unfortunately, husband failed. He whined about not having a flash on the iphone and that the camera we'd brought along wasn't working properly. next day lesson I'll have him take more photos. Ugh. At least I got one....this was during the "follow the leader" part of the night.

As the riding portion of the lesson was starting, I looked up, and my husband was smirking at me as I talked myself into mounting Casper. I talk myself through alot of things in front of the horses. This is my basic mounting speech:

"Ok, get on the mounting block. Stand up straight, put foot in stirrup, pointing to the left. Now swing right leg up and over horse quickly, but gently, and down. Now go."

Keep in mind, this whole thing is said aloud, while I'm standing on the mounting block, not moving a single bit. Just standing, telling myself what I expect my body to do.....not sure if it helps or not, but I sound darn confident when I'm chatting it up. Even on the "now go" part, I still haven't moved. I'm sure my teacher thinks I'm a nut.

I learned about moving the horse on the ground with body language, commands, and touch, how to back him up, move his rear over, and move his front over. I don't feel like I'm getting the body language thing down. My husband said it looked like I was overthinking it by way too much. I'm way too worried about which way I'm supposed to face that I end up confusing the horse in the process.

As soon as I did all of the motions correctly, I mounted up (after my mounting speech, of course), and I was given the reins. I started off by following my instructor, which was easy, since the horse naturally wanted to follow her, but it was good for me to get used to putting the reins in the correct position.

After a few circles around the arena, she stepped back, and I was free to maneuver my horse anywhere I pleased....What freedom!!!

It was only walking, and my horse, being a lesson horse, made everything way too easy, but the feeling of working as a team with a horse was awesome. We turned in every different direction, practiced stopping, starting, and turning.

I got all proud of myself- my teacher said I look really balanced in the saddle. I feel balanced too, I don't feel like I'm going to slip off, and I don't feel nervous on a horse either, so I hope learning groundwork gets better, since I hope to have a horse someday.

Oh, Trivia Answer!!

What's the difference between a horse and a pony?

In some cases, ponies are under 14.2 hands or less, and horses are more, but it's also about ancestry and breed, since some horses are shorter just like people are shorter or taller.

WikiAnswers says this, "Different ancestry, living conditions, and conformations. However, the technical distinction relates to height. Anything measured 14.2hh and under is considered a pony anything measured 14.3hh and over is a horse.
However there are anomolies. For example a in the game of polo all equines are referred to as 'ponies' regardless of their size or breeding."

Oh, and a "hand" is 4 inches. So if a horse is 15 hands, he's 60 inches tall "at the withers", which means that's how tall the highest point of a horse's shoulders are, which is that spot right behind the mane...sometimes there's a bump there. 

Till next week, happy riding y'all!

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