Crazy Cow Country Farm

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This time the canter was intended

May 14th, 2008 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

Oh my heavens, so much has happened around here recently and the days have absolutely flown by.  With gorgeous spring weather it seems the minute I’m finished working I head out to the barn and don’t come in again until evening!  So many updates…… so little time.  So I’ll give you my favorite update of all – I cantered Buck today and it was fan-freaking-tastic!

After much armchair riding and analyzing what I did wrong last time in the pasture (to the point of nearly re-creating the event!) we realized that I was seriously escalating my body language – leaning forward, raising a little in my saddle, etc.  I think I am picturing Buck having his little rodeo in the pen and bucking people off (yes, it’s happened twice and it’s damn ugly let me tell you).  So as I’m riding him I keep picturing these people flying off and him doing his bucking thing so what do I do?  Brace myself, tense, and escalate like off the charts.  Buck did exactly what I told him to do, panic and bolt to safety – the barn.  The only good thing I did was get him stopped and continue the ride so we ended on a good note but short of that, I totally sucked.

So I spent some time practicing on Cartman keeping completely relaxed and really monitoring my body language.  Since Buck hasn’t had anyone on his back in a canter for over two years we decided to have Jen in the pen to move him out.  This allowed Buck to concentrate on her rather than the bit and reins as well as allowed me to concentrate on relaxing.  The most interesting thing to me was that Jen kept saying he was in his nice comfortable slow little jog but in the saddle he felt more like a very fast trot — the boy just has a really fast trot, even at the jog.  So I got over that and then she asked for a canter.  I forced myself to breath It was the smoothest transition and the most wonderful ride! 

And here’s where I admit something.  Men (namely my Damn Brother in Law Nathan and my husband) should just look away before you scoff loudly and tease for me years to come.

We both knew what was coming and after a quick turn around the pen she stopped him then held him while I got off.  You see I was shaking so badly from holding back the tears.  I know, I know, how silly is that?  I mean, the men at the prison cantered him all day long so it’s not like his first time or anything but it’s the first time it’s been a woman and it’s the first time I’ve done it.  And a few months ago I could barely get up to him to pet him.  And he’s bucked people off while he was just standing.  And two years ago he was running wild with a herd.  And, and, and…… well you know, I couldn’t help it.  The instant my feet hit the ground I left him with Jen and just sobbed with joy.

Then I hugged him and thanked him for not killing me.

You know I read in some book, I think it was Monty Roberts, that women (never men) would say quite often that a horse he’d trained for them or was selling to them was “too good of a horse” for them.  They had a hard time believing they were worthy of such a wonderfully trained animal.  I often have that mindset.  I’m an overweight 40 yr old mother of three who’s only been actively learning about horses for under two years and I have that mindset.  Even though everyone who’s seen me with Buck is so impressed with our connection I just don’t feel worthy of it.  I don’t feel worthy of this guy letting me, me of all people, receive his respect.  But when I look back to all the times he could have bucked me, could have had me off in a heartbeat but didn’t.  He’s been scared, oh yes.  He’s been confused, definitely.  He’s done what I (incorrectly) asked him.  And he’s protected me every step of the way.

He’s mine.  Today I felt it and today I accepted it.  We’re going to be great together.

And I promise to have pictures from the prison and updates on the kids and all kinds of non-female-mushy updates tomorrow.

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