Thursday, March 27, 2008

Baby Boomer Dreams - Dandy's Story Part 6

Part 1

Not long into the dressage lessons, Betty Chapman (who by then owned GS Khochise, Dandy's dad) decided to come by during our lesson at the Tacoma Unit to get a good look at the Arabian horse. Betty had heard about how big Dandy was and wanted to see for herself.

My dressage lesson with Tom had not started yet as Betty came walking into the arena. I could see from her expression as she walked our way that she was not believing that Dandy was 16 hands tall. From a distance no one believed the horse was that tall because he was so refined. As Betty got closer and closer the realization dawned, the horse was much bigger than she expected. By the time she stood next to him her mouth was wide open and she could hardly speak taken back by the size of this Arabian horse.

It kind of tickled me to see her reaction. She's been in this business a long time. She was convinced I didn't know what I was talking about on the size of this horse. So to be able to "prove" something to her was a big deal to the little old beginner at the time me. Having a 16 hand purebred Arabian as refined as Dandy was an accomplishment, let alone having him be the first horse I ever bred.

I didn't take time to visit with Betty however, because Tom was there for my lesson. He gave me a leg up and we went straight to work. Betty watched a while from the sidelines wanting to see how the horse moved.

By this time Dandy was getting the hang of moving out. His trot was getting to be very fluid and fun to ride. Tipping his head slightly to the inside or the outside was working great to push the horse up underneath himself. He was also picking up his leads correctly.

I was feeling pretty comfortable with the hunt saddle. About the time I started to get off the horse, Betty hollered at me. It seems my girth was loose and Betty didn't want me to fall as I got off. Tom held an iron for me so I could get safely off.

The first thing I did was look at the girth. How did Betty know from the rail that the thing was loose. On my girth was loose all right ......very loose in fact you could see about 4 inches of air between it and my horse. I looked at Tom disbelieving that he would let me ride that way. He grinned this little english grin of his and said "I was really enjoying watching the great balance you ride."

I have to say that I wasn't impressed with his answer. When I looked at the gap between that girth and the horse, I was scared. All of the things that could have happened to me had I fallen raced through my head. After that experience I had a bit of trouble trusting Tom.

Six weeks into my dressage lessons, Tom decided that Dandy and I should participate in a dressage schooling show that was to be help at the Tacoma Unit. I didn't think I was ready to be riding in any kind of dressage show....even a schooling show but the man twisted my arm. He had been trying to talk them into doing a dressage schooling show for a while and I think he wanted help getting the numbers up so I was just a patsy.

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


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  1. I would have been upset too. I was picturing a bit loose where the saddle would slip a little maybe, but when you said inches... Scenes of major injuries went through my head.

    I've never shown a horse and I really can't imagine going to a show after 6 weeks or so of training. I can't wait to read the next installment.

  2. Oh now, that is just cruel leaving us hanging like that... Hope you post early tomorrow - LOL.

  3. Oh now that was NOT nice of him! That's dangerous!! Can't wait to read your next post though and see what happens! :)

  4. I love proving people right!!! Would have loved to have seen the look on her face when she realized you were right on his height.

    I would not have been happy with that trainer at all.

  5. Dandy is a handsome boy. I would have been a lot less trusting of Tom after that girth incident. On the other hand it is good to know you have great balance,still injuries could have happened. Can't wait to see how the show went.

  6. Yay! Its Dandy again!

    Was that a bit of a "rubber" arm that Tom had to twist?

    Look at it this way- if there was air between your girth and horse, A) he wont gall, and B) You Have Excellent Balance up there! ;)

    Cant wait to hear how the show went... write fast and post early! LOL

  7. I've seen pictures of people jumping without girths -- insane! I don't know that I'd ever have the guts for that.

  8. Sheesh I must say I would have had the same reaction as you, in a way it was wonderful to know how balanced you and Dandy were, but what if he had spooked at something, horses are so unpredictable even the ones you think you know completely. That is my fear, falling off and then who the heck is going to look after my horses when I break something!!!!! We dont bounce as well at our age as we did when we were younger!!

    Looking forward to the next instalment.


  9. lady of chaos, even to this day picturing that big gap between the girth and horse it makes me shudder. I was horrified.

    browneyedcowgirls, I think I've been accused of such cruelty before. lol

    equinespirit, those were my thoughts. You can bet I check cinchec and girths very very carefully after that.

    beth, I wish I had a picture of her expression too. It was one of the only times she showed much interest in any of my horses though.

    grey horse matters, it's easy to forget that just a few weeks before this horse had been terrified in that arena and took off. Believe me that was the first thing that went through my mind. It was very unsettling. Good balance would not have saved me.

    mrs mom, nope, no rubber, lots and lots of twisting. lol

    rachel! I'm with you but it has nothing to do with guts, I'm just plain smarter than that! lol

    lori, just the thought of this can give me nightmares. I was lucky nothing bad happened for sure!