O, Beautiful

Monday, April 14, 2014

What a difference one week can make! Saturday I was down in the ring, setting up some cones and a  few obstacles and Lilly and I were audibly overwhelmed by the wood frogs and the peepers in the ditch that runs the length of the ring itself. There were frogs hopping around everywhere! I could not resist investigating this egg blob.

You can just barely see my brumby in this photo. Pretty cool!!! After my frog watch, I got on Lilly and trotted her around, practicing side passes and yielding her hind quarters and also changing direction, weaving around cones like Clinton trotting around those trees on his ranch. We even walked over the teeter totter several times perfectly. Lilly was excellent at everything... except the canter. Let me rephrase that: I know she is excellent at cantering. However. There is something about the ring that makes her detest it. I didn't get a canter. I got the notorious tanter. This means lots of crow hops, some ridiculously fast trots and crabby resistance in general.

Reasons why a horse might throw a temper tantrum when being asked to canter (IMO):
1. Rider not cueing properly
2. Rider sits the canter incorrectly so canter feels uncomfotable to horse
3. Rider pulls back on reins and therefore horse is thinking HUH?
4. Horse does not know how to canter
5. Horse does not like to canter
6. Horse hates the ring
7. Horse sees rest of herd nibbling hay and not cantering and is thinking: Why me?
8. It is feeding time and horse is hungry and crabby
9. Horse has an injury or her feet hurt
10. Horse is opinionated and thinks cantering is dumb

Some of these I have thought seriously about many times over the years I have had Lilly. In the end, I always settle on #5, 6, and 7. Occasionally, if I ride after work, #8 is definitely the case. Maybe in the past #9 has been the case, but that is a 100% excusable reason and I would never push Lilly to run around when her feet are hurting. Since her feet have been very sound lately, it wasn't near feeding time and I know she has a beautiful rocking chair lope, I am led to focus on #1, 2 and 3. #10 may be true and maybe that is part of the trouble. Hmmmm . Of  #1-3 I was verrrry careful to make sure I was not doing #3. That leaves #1 and 2. I want to say it cannot be #2. But what do I know? I need Canter Coach. YES! That is the answer! I need someone who can become my eyes from the ground while I am cantering in the ring.

Any ideas for cantering coaches? Any one person in particular? I can think of one. More on that later.

 The good news is that today (which is Sunday) the weather was so splendid we headed out on the trail.

Lilly was not too keen on this strange cube of remaining snow. I didn't blame her. It is weird that it is still hanging around.

 There are so many cool things to see on a spring day. This little clump always bravely pops up each year. I don't even remember what these are. Daffodils maybe. Lilly sniffed at them but [luckily] didn't think they smelled good enough to eat.

It is still a bit soggy around here. Instead of taking the trail and mucking it up when it is so wet, I stuck to the road. But as you can see, the road is as lovely as the trail.

That is, until I see something like this. Then I become outraged.

Onward. This is the gate that last weekend made QTee and Lilly freak out. The one where Christine thought it was a bear and I wasn't sure what the heck happened. This time though, all quiet. It looks like quite an appealing little path in there. But in reality, it peters out as soon as it begins.

The peepers are out! Here my brumby and I stopped to gaze at their little world, full of quacking wood frogs and peeping peepers. There are few things more wonderful in April. To get the full audio, click right here! It will make you smile, guaranteed.

This will not make you smile. Here are all the cans I picked up along the side of the road during my ride. I have written a short note to the person who thoughtlessly left them for someone else to clean up:

Attention, littering, beer swilling asshole: I cannot help but observe that most of your purchases are of American beer. Is that because you love America? Because I can tell you plainly that none of its beauty has anything to do with you. Frankly, I think you owe my brumby a thank you. Because she is the one who carried all of your stinking recyclables down the road to an appropriate receptacle...and without a single complaint I might add, even though the way they rattled in her saddle bag made her eyes get wide and wild. Littering, beer swilling asshole, GET IT TOGETHER.

But who wants to leave a blog post on such a sour note? Not me. Here are some pictures I snapped of Kestrel who we dared to crawl though a hollow log in the woods. Naturally, the kid could not resist. I love how teens always have something to prove. 

A few steps down the road from the log, my husband is flying around like Tarzan. Oh, it is springtime all right.

Lunar eclipse this week! Don't miss it!


Willow said...

You have such a fun and adventurous family ~
and Brumby :))

Melody said...

I have to assume that hollow log is bigger than it looks!? I'm feeling a little light headed at the thought of getting stuck inside!! Always amazing at what disturbs a horse one week is nothing the next~~
Makes me wish so often that I could be Dr. Doolittle for a moment, ~ so I could just get an answer about what goes on I their minds!!

lmel said...

What a great post on so many levels--from how to get a canter right, to spring sights and sounds (frogs and snow oh my), to littering assholes, to fun family--enjoyed every bit of it!

juliette said...

You and your brumby sure do live an exciting life! From froggy babies and all the new spring woodland things (and trash - ick) - and then Kestrel and Brandon. Looks like winter is over finally up there and great spring and summer rides have already started! Hooray!

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