Today was the first ride in two weeks with Manny!! It was so muddy for the past few weeks. I was actually able to get my chair down to the arena! My mom and I went to get Manny from his paddock and as soon as he saw me, he started whinnying! I think someone missed me just as much as I missed him!
We have such a different relationship than when he was at PARDS! I thought our bond was strong then, it’s unbreakable now! Every time I spend time with him, we figure more things out. I said this when I met him at PARDS and I’ll say it again; imagine where we will be a year from now!
My mom got his halter from the barn, then went to get Manny for me as it is still muddy in his paddock. When they came out, Manny be-lined it for me and wanted some love! He’s so cute… and muddy!
We got him down to the barn, and I was able bring my wheelchair. So much easier when I have my chair! We removed his blanket then started the job of brushing him. And it was a job! He still wasn’t clean when we were done! I don’t understand how, even with a blanket, he still manages to get filthy! Joys of having a white horse I guess!
I didn’t have time to lunge him before Jill arrived but we did manage to put his bridle on! One piece of it was in the wrong place but that was a quick fix! We are slowly learning! After we got Manny tacked up, Jill lunged him and let me tell you, he was feeling good!
Being a new horse owner, I’m still getting used to what horses do when they aren’t being ridden! Jill was lunging Manny at a trot, then said “canter”! He picked up the canter like nothing! He looks so majestic when he has a controlled canter! I’ll have to try free lunging him at an “on-purpose” canter!
Jill bought some new reins for me to try (thanks Jill)! With my old ones, we had to tie knots in them to get them to be at the correct length. Well these, already have knots built-in to them and you can shorten them at the buckle where you attach them to the bit! Also, even though Manny does neck rein, there are times where I still have to move my fingers on the reins to pull one way or the other. It is much easier with the new reins! I think they might just work!
I’m slowly getting used to Manny’s bigger walk! I’m sure I’ll get more used to it with more time! I’m learning more and more that having reins, doesn’t mean anything! Last lesson, I learnt how to halt with just my body and today I learned how to back up using nothing but your seat, legs, and very little rein! It was very cool! Circles, are still a dressage rider’s worst nightmare, BUT if you break a 20m circle into 8 pieces and focus on one piece at a time, so much easier!! I wonder what will happen when we get to trot it?! We have some work to do with our right circle as that is both Manny and I’s weak side, but I’m sure that will get easier with time!
At the end of the lesson, I got to just ride Manny and do my own thing! This was wonderful! I can’t wait to go out and just ride him one day! No lesson, no instruction, just ride! That will be a cool experience!
I dismounted, and Manny walked me back to my chair as always! The carabiner and bucket hanger idea for me to hang onto is wonderful! Manny is way happier that I’m not pulling on his mouth AND I don’t know why but I seem to stand in a different, better position, so that if I lose my balance and go backwards, Manny’s chest blocks me from falling and he just stands there until I get it together again! Gosh I love this horse!!!
Once back in my chair, we started untacking him. We are still working on me being able to get his halter on and off independently. Manny’s slowly figuring it out!
I can undo and take of his saddle almost on my own! Putting it on is a different story! Eventually, when I get a stand up chair, and probably confuse the heck out of my horse, saddling may be easier!
Now that it’s dryer, I’m going to try to get out there as much as possible! Hope for no rain or snow tonight! Xoxo!