Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Work Outs Begin

When I did finally try to get my you know what back into the saddle, I couldn't even get my foot up into the stirrup without using both hands. My leg was so stiff it did NOT want to bend. It's a good thing my horse is trained and would stand still while I fiddled around trying to get this task accomplished. Who knew putting one's foot in a stirrup could be so difficult?

Once I had my foot in the right place, I couldn't seem to get any momentum to get myself off the ground and into the saddle. I was dragging myself up there with the saddle sliding my direction. Poor Legs looked at me with this question mark on his face. Don't know if he was wondering if I needed a little shove from him or maybe he was thinking I needed a diet. Either way I wasn't making it into the saddle that way at all. My arms gave out before I'd made enough progress to even think about throwing my leg over the horse. It was time to get the mounting block.

Maybe Legs thought he had been patient enough about this whole first attempt at climbing on his back because now he decided he wasn't standing anywhere near that mounting block. It's not like he's afraid of the thing. I've mounted the horse that way at least a zillion times. I guess he just figured if he had to work, then so should I and that meant getting on from the ground like normal folks.

Each time I moved the horse over to the block, he moved just as I asked. It was when I went to climb up on the block that the horse moved away. Just a nice couple of little side steps away from me, making it a monumental leap to make it from the block to his back. If I couldn't get on from the ground, I sure wasn't in any shape to be testing my spider man type skills.

I'm pretty sure my horse was howling on the inside. Obviously he didn't dare just laugh out load because I'd have killed him. Still I think his sense of humor was clearing involved in his evasive behavior.

I gave him a couple of chances to stand still before I smacked him. I got that great deep sigh Legs is known for and he planted both feet. Then, and only then was I able to climb aboard my horse. I was already exhausted and I hadn't even ridden yet. Getting older is indeed the pits.

I did my own deep sigh as I picked up the reins. I had already worked Rhet and Tag. Rhet I had lunged and Tag I worked in the long lines but just doing that had worn me out. I was wondering how I'd ever thought I could work a trailer load of horses on my first outing.

Luckily, my adrenaline kicked in as I began moving my horse off my legs. The very thought of finally working on the issue with Legs got me perked up enough to get my brain engaged. From there it was easy as I put my horse through the paces I knew would get him using his back.

Poor Legs was the one making noises then. The horse was grunting and groaning as he worked at lifting his back. That's always been one of those things about the horse I've appreciated. He always tells me when something is hard so I know I'm on the right track.

I began flexing and bending the horse off my legs like I always used to do before Richard began helping me with the horse. Once Richard began with his ground work, I guess I figured the horse was already warmed up and I had quit doing my usual routine except a horse shows or at home when Richard didn't touch the horse. Now, looking back I'm thinking this was probably a mistake. I should have been using my warm-up exercises every time I rode regardless of whether the horse worked in the lines first or was boxed.

Once I did the usual flexing and bending, we did worked on half passing back and forth across the arena at the trot and at the jog. At the lope we worked in circles moving laterally to the outside as much as possible.

Jody Strand had reminded me at his clinic about something I had learned from a QH trainer years ago with Dandy. When asking the horse to lift his back, it was helpful to have the horse's haunches to the inside. I made sure to incorporate that into this work out as well.

I also worked on lots of transitions. Getting the horse to round up well before asking for his lope departures and his transitions down. We started off with some resistance but before long the horse was accomplishing smooth fluid transitions. Before you know it, my horse was breaking out in a sweat. This work out had been so much more intense than what we'd been doing.

I took that sweat as a sign the horse had enough for one day. I didn't want to make him sore. I just wanted the workout to be enough to challenge him. I was hoping I was on the right track. I knew if I was, I should see muscle beginning to form before too long.

to be continued...................

Visit Blog Village and vote daily for this blog Here They are now measuring the rankings by the number of votes out, so if you find my blog on the site, please click that link too to improve my rankings. TY


  1. It sounds like he'll be in shape in no time with his exercises. I'm sure you'll be feeling better too, the more you get to ride. Hang in there.

  2. I hear you on the mounting block issue! there are just some days(more often than not lately) that hauling my but into the saddle from the ground ,just is not going to happen. Quite interesting reading about Leggs and his back issues

  3. Leggs may get you into shape if he keeps it up. :) Congratulations on the great work out.