Monday, February 25, 2008

A Baby Boomer Dreams of Arabian Horses - Rhythm's Story - Tommy Garland - Part 7

Part One of the Baby Boomer Series

Rhythm's Story starts here

The Arabian horse arrived in Virginia the second week in January snorting and blowing and talking to the girls. If Tommy Garland was anywhere around, I'm sure he rolled his eyes and shook his head. He probably even half chuckled as he walked off and left the horse to the assistant trainer, Greg Peak, to deal with. Rhythm's adventure had begun.

Now, I don't have a blow by blow account of what has happened at the Garland's training facility in Virginia because evidently Greg Peak doesn't talk much. But I have enough of the details I can probably fill in the blanks pretty darn well. Our boy Rhythm was......well......our boy Rhythm after all. The horse had his own ideas of how this whole adventure should go.

To be perfectly frank, I hadn't really thought much that the horse might see each new person in his life as one who would have to prove that they could be in charge. Most of my horses just hand off to any human and do what they've been taught. While Dave and Lindsay didn't lead Rhythm anywhere, they only worked around him or loved on him in the field, he still always respected their space and moved around using the cues he had been taught. He was a good boy most of the time.

Now, I do, however, remember clearly the first time I put someone onto the horse besides me. He'd been under saddle for a while and was past that point I would call green. I wanted to see what the horse looked like from the ground. So I asked someone else to ride the horse so I could have a look.

It never occurred to me that the horse would object to someone else on his back besides me. Frankly I've never heard of a horse doing such a thing. But that is what Rhythm did........he objected, loud and clear.

The rider put her foot in the stirrup and he looked a bit nervous but stood. But when the rider's weight actually hit that stirrup as she started to mount, Rhythm's eyes bulged and the horse collapsed like he was going to lay down. There was no way he was letting that woman on his back.

I can remember I was clearly shocked and a little bit embarrassed. I'd never seen a horse do such a thing. I scolded the horse and pulled him upright. Rhythm scooted off sideways trying to escape and got in big trouble for his efforts. Then I pulled the horse back over for the rider to mount and she got on no problem.

I never really thought about it after that time because I never had a problem with it again. I just assumed that the horse would be fine with anyone who had the experience to ride him. I guess I shouldn't have assumed.

I took Rhythm and Legs once to the Daffodil Summer Show, I believe. The classes I was to ride in were really close together. Legs's class was first followed by only one class and then Rhythm's. Had it been the other way around, I never would have worried about warming the second horse up.
Because Rhythm was unshown under saddle, I asked my friend Angie if she would warm him up for me. Again, I wasn't thinking that the horse would be a problem. Angie is a great hand, the horse would just know and things would be fine.

Angie and I have been friends for years. She knows what my training is like, we even use the same cues. She trusted me when I said the horse was broke and readily took on the task of warming the Rhythm up.

Rhythm stood just fine. She had no trouble mounting. He jogged around the warm-up like a prince. The lope was a different story. The horse bucked a couple of times at the transition and Angie was concerned mostly because she didn't expect it. Not because the horse did anything particularly dangerous.

When I came back from the show ring to swap horses, Angie asked me if Rhythm had a problem bucking at the lope. I was surprised by the behavior but decided to cancel my class. I didn't really know what I had and didn't want to go into the class with a naughty horse.

I got on the horse to school him and figure out what was happening. I rode the horse around the warm up just fine. He was being so good, I really could have ridden him in that class. Again, it didn't occur to me that the horse might be protesting having a different rider.

I didn't even log the behavior away in my list of things I always tell prospective buyers. I want them to know each and every quirk. Brittany and the young trainer had both ridden him at the park with me by their side without incident. I just didn't get this was a quirk.....until I heard about his behavior at Garland's.

To be continued................

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  1. That's interesting. Errika is somewhat the same way. She doesn't buck or anything, she just tries to take advantage of someone until they prove they can handle her. She's probably giggling all the way back to the barn afterwards.

    So I take it Rythm objected to the new trainer?

  2. Funny boy. That's sillier than the huffing and eye rolling (well, practically!) that Mira does now whenever I put a toddler on her... Rhythm is definitely full of personality :-)

  3. you know, i am not a fan of arabs...but I thoroughly enjoy your posts. all these horses are beautiful.

  4. Wow do Rhythm and Diago share a LOT of the same quirks. Ya know...that's my big fear with Diago is that he's going to do something not so nice when someone else rides him. He doesn't handle others messing with him well so the thought of someone else riding him worries me a tad although Jason has offered...LOL. I'm not totally sure how he'd handle it though. Anyway...looking forward to your next post! :)

  5. omg, look at that beauty, what a gorgeous mane.

    Rhythm is certainly careful about who he allows on his back....naughty fella!

  6. inkeq, Rhythm will probably always be a horse who tests people. But whenever I would throw my leg over him, the horse would just go right to work just exactly like his dad. So this behavior did catch me of guard. I didn't put it together until afterwards.

    l, yes, he is a funny boy. Hearing about this did make me laugh in a knowing way. He can be a goof ball that's for sure.

    jen, thanks, I appreciate you taking the time to read them despite your feelings about the breed.

    equinespirit, funny how that happens sometimes. I guess it's true that there are basic types of horses. I wonder what combination of those things results in horse like these two knuckle heads! lol

    ishtar, the horse does have quite a mane and you wouldn't believe how thick it is. You could part it down the middle and he'd have more than enough for both sides. lol

    barngoddess, now I wonder if he's going to get over this little quirk.

  7. I noticed his mane too; kind of blonde, so I nearly cracked a joke along those lines!

  8. His mane is gorgeous!! My mare is really good, but she will try green riders! Not bad, but she does! I really enjoy reading about your stories, but have not owned a Arab before either. Hope you are having a great day

  9. Ooooh boy I smell lots of trouble brewing for our poor boy.

    My filly Lori will let someone else ride her but she wont take her eyes off of me the whole time, almost pleading with me to save her LOL.

    Looking forward to the next instalment. ((((Hugs)))


  10. Meant to add, didn't you once tell me that the Arabians never trim manes, it is frowned upon? I love long thick flowing manes.

    Oh and you can add Lori to your two knuckleheads, she is number 3!


  11. I always feel like I should get a big bowl of popcorn before I hop in to your blog.
    Silly pony all full of himself

  12. Ok, I will try to keep this comment short.
    First, Rhythm is a lucky horse, to have people in his life pulling for him. It was a wonderful fit. Good Job everyone.
    Second, this is not related, but I have to tell someone. I had an awesome ride today. I got the horse in frame, had soft hands, and rode much more quietly. I reached all my goals for the ride! I love riding!

  13. You think my horses are pretty? Arabians are my favorite breed. I was born into a stock horse(QH & a few Paints)by absolutely love Arabians. Someday I am going to own a horse "just-because" and the Arab is on the top of my list. Your horses are absolutely gorgeous and Khemosabi is my all-time favorite Arabian.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog - I am adding you to my favorites.

  14. Okay - sorry about the wierd comment "You think my horses are pretty?" It is late and I thought I clicked on Jen's comment. But the rest stands true. I'm gonna sign off now before I make anymore silly mistakes. LOL

  15. kahless, kinda blonde is right, they call it flaxen. Crack all the blonde jokes you want, he deserves it. lol

    kris, thanks for reading even if arabs aren't your thing. For me, the underlying thing is loving horses no matter what.

    lori, I think the problem for Rhythm was there wasn't someone he trusted there.

    The breed specs are long, thick flowing manes and tails if I remember correctly. Arabians and half-Arabians are to be shown with natural manes, tails and forelocks. They can be braided for the appropriate classes like hunter, sport horse and dressage. Horses shown only in those classes sometimes have pulled manes to do those little button braids.

    20 meter circle, if you come with popcorn, you have to share!

    lovelee, I'm glad that you had a great ride! Way to go!

    browneyedcowgirls, well if Khemosabi is your favorite, you should love Reflection. He is the most amazing horse and looks and acts like Khemo.

    Don't worry about goofy comments. I think I've done my share of those.

  16. What a beauty! Sure wish Rhythm would share some of that gorgeous mane with poor ole Buddy with his appy mane that sticks right up straight!

    Make sure you come over and get your Horse Award that I have for you!!! You sure deserve it for all the wonderful posts that you do and your love for horses!!