Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fun With the Boy

Brandon & Jewel, circa winter 2010

I can't believe I took NO pictures today!  Well, this photo is from the last time my son Brandon (now 20) came to the farm with me, probably 2 1/2 to 3 years ago.  He's since moved out to go to college, but he came to hang out with me today and ultimately we decided to go hang with the horses.

We couldn't find them when we got there, so we figured maybe they were in the woods, and took a hike.  We found them deep in the woods, in the clearing by the river.  It's kind of funny because when I first got Abbey she wouldn't voluntarily go into the woods much at all.

I coaxed them to follow me through the woods so they joined us on our hike... walking in the woods with a string of horses behind you, loose, is kind of fun!  We usually walk on the trail, which is paved with gravel, but the horses don't care much for walking on that so they showed us the cow path, a way through the woods I've never taken, stopping and giving us confused looks when we took the wrong fork - I'm constantly amazed at what horses will tell you about if you give them freedom and the opportunity, and consider their ideas as valid as yours!

One thing is for sure, walking through the woods with my horses makes me reaaaallly want to ride through the woods.

Then we got back, I fed them, and asked Bran if he'd like to try riding.  He's been on a horse only a handful of times, and Storm is pretty sensitive, but I was pretty sure she'd be a good girl.  I kept her on a lead rope, just in case - I certainly don't need to be responsible for any more riding accidents.

She did basically what she did the last time I got on her - stood rooted in place and had to be coaxed to move.  Bran's not a super balanced rider, not having ridden much, and it was pretty plain to me watching from the ground that my hunt seat saddle wasn't helping either of them (frankly I think it was causing the balance issues).  Also, she kept balking again, and every so often she'd reach around and touch her nose to near the girth, so...   

I think the saddle is really bothering her, or possibly just the girth.  Gonna try a mohair girth on it, but my anniversary/Christmas wish is either a good bareback pad or possibly a Barefoot treeless saddle, with a mohair girth. And a bitless bridle.  Meanwhile... I may try riding entirely bareback to see if she acts differently, or maybe try Russ's saddle on her.

Besides not really wanting to go, she was great for him, because she always is.  I love my pony, and Bran had a great time too.  <3   Thanks for being awesome, Stormie.