Monday, September 22, 2014

Why Your Significant Other Should Be Trained In Basic Horse Management

TLDR version: Make sure your significant other can do basic horse care and management just in case you have an accident and cant’! There’s nothing like having backup when you need it.

I think you all know where this is going right?

I dismounted off Copper yesterday, and I think I some how landed in a small divot I didn’t see under the grass.  I came down on the side of my foot and twisted/sprained my bad ankle (the right one which I had severely sprained back in May).

This ankle has been unsteady for the last three or so odd months, I keep wrenching it, stepping on that foot wrong and semi-twisting it due to all manner of incidences - standing on Duplo (almost as bad as Lego. For reals…), half falling down stairs, falling into little potholes, you know – normal clumsy stuff that is not at all helped by the fact that I’m now 20 weeks pregnant and have a butt-ton of relaxin hormone loosening up my joints and muscles and turning me into the biggest klutz (No, seriously. I never drop as much stuff, stumble, trip and fall over as I do when pregnant. :/  But my OB is okay with me riding, so we are all good. :D )

Conformation shot - 21-09-2014- Conformation shot: beginning of spring… Is there any muscling improvement? I think so -

Anyways, enough back story, onto the good stuff – what I think happened was just fine, what I felt was ALL. THE. PAIN.  So I’m standing there, hanging onto the saddle for dear life as I’m fighting not to pass out right there and then. When my head stopped spinning I dropped down on the ground. The Pon-Pon was all curious and all “Hey, Human, wot you doin’? You ‘kay? Okey-dokey, I eat grass now…”

I just lay there, then I tried to get up and had to sit down again. Copper munched away, but he kept on ‘checking’ on me which I thought was cute! What wasn’t so cute was that I had a horse and a toddler to wrangle away from the arena and back to the yards.

I had Theodore (my three year old son) with me. Usually he plays, and I ride, and we are all good. At this point, he was happily playing with his diggers a couple of feet away from me, but I knew I had to get him, the horse, and myself somewhere safe so that I didn’t have worry about the horse or the child in case I did actually faint.

So I’m organizing the child, making sure Copper doesn’t step on his reins while grazing (the last thing I need is a broken bridle!) as well as trying not to pass out or stand on my right foot.  I helped Theodore pack up his toys, then we walked (I hobbled obviously) to the gate where I had to direct Theodore how to go under the fence when he has a big bag of toys in one hand and a giant stick in the other!

Theo finally got through and out of the way, so I could bring Copper through safely and follow behind. I just didn’t want my little guy anywhere near Copper when I was in so much pain and there was no way I was able to be alert enough to prevent accidents or stop Theodore from doing something silly.

Thankfully, Hubby had arrived by then to pick us up, but while I’m hobbling over to the car I’m thinking “Why on earth haven’t I trained Copper to support me if I do have an accident?” in between having to stop and rest on his neck to keep from keeling over. He won’t walk on with me hanging onto him, but gee, I sure wished he would at that point!

To cut the saga short, I manage to get over to the yards, call Caleb (Le Hubby) and gasp out what happened, then I  had to lie down and direct him on how to untack Copper - although he knows most of what do to already which was sooo handy, because there is no way I could have done it, and I wasn’t in much of a state to be able to do much direction.

I was glad Caleb already knows how to do some of the simple stuff, but I really want to step it up a bit after this event. If he could mix feed and groom well enough to make sure the saddle mark is all gone, that would be good too…

Yeah. My horse got turned out for the first time ever with the saddle sweat patch still there. Not a good look. :S  But at least he got turned out ‘coz there was no way I was going to be able to make it out to his paddock to do that!


Whew. What a story. If you got this far, well done!

As for the ride itself; it was good, but we are still muddling a lot. My current thoughts are that I might be too concerned and fussy about Copper’s frame – how he is or isn’t carrying himself uphill and forwards (not head set – I try not to think about that at all, because I know it will come in time!).

I think I need to stop trying to put so much pressure him to be super light in front and do more work on relaxing his back and producing as much uphill as he can manage while also doing some figures. He is really light while going around the outside track, but we really need to get stuck into our circles and serpentines now, because he tends to dive onto the forehand again when asked to bend. Which is not so good.

You can’t have a half light horse… It means he isn’t truly balanced or carrying himself. So that’s the next step in our training. Transitions and bending. Transitions while bending! Apparently walk-trot transitions on a 20m circle are hard. 

But I’m going to stop now before you all choke on the giant lumps of text.

See ya,


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