We’ve had quite a busy month, Manny and I!
Let me catch you up!
On the 8th, Manny had a dentist appointment. So now, when we do teach him to smile he will have pearly whites instead of teeth that are disgusting! I really want to work with him on smiling! I’ve tried everything I can think of! I’ve tried tickling his upper lip, literally picking it up. I’ve tried spit (thanks Amanda Udey! Lol), I’ve tried pungent smells, I’ve tried running treats on top of his nose and lips and NOTHING! No response what-so-ever! He stands there and looks at me like, “Mom? Just give me the treat.”! Does anybody have any other tips that I could try to get him to smile?
It has been hard to get out to work with him lately because of the snow, rain, and just winter in general. However, I did manage to get a lesson in with him and Jill on the 14! And what a lesson that was!
The night before my lesson, I texted Jill and asked her if we could try trotting with stirrups. I have trouble with trotting him. Even at PARDS. I think this is one on the most challenging things, riding wise, with Manny. I want to figure it out. So Jill agreed, then I started to strategize how I was going to sit his big, bouncy, trot!
We recently met a new support worker to help me with Manny. She has the horse knowledge that I don’t have. It’s always nice to go work with Manny with somebody who knows more about horses. Owning a horse and riding once a week are two completely different things. Before I got Manny, I had never seen the quirky horse he is. I’ve never been able to see him run or canter or buck. I’ve just experienced his lesson and show mode. Well, let me tell you! His play mode is crazy!! Before I free-lunge him now he needs to be lunged on a line first. But, I’ll save the reasoning for another post! For now let’s just say, we cut him back on his Previcox
So, Britney came with my mom and I to see how the processed worked. I went with Britney because we took my china chair right down to the arena. It snowed the night before so I wasn’t able to get my big chair down. Britney and mom got me into the arena then went to go get Manny! I couldn’t move because we found out that my china chair does not go good in the arena, so I supervised the grooming process. After, Britney lunged Manny on the lunge line to get some of his energy out.
We started tacking up when Jill arrived. I borrowed a combo halter and bridle from a lady named Jody to see how it worked. Well, my mom and I loved it! It was so nice to not have to take Manny’s bridle off to put his halter on or vise versa! The bit snaps on and snaps off! No more giraffe horse and fighting with Manny!! I love how he’s always in the halter! I can’t wait to get mine!
It was time to mount up and start the ride. For mounting, Jill had a cool, yet freaky idea! Manny sometimes moves as I’m getting set to get on. So! We created a barrier for him so he couldn’t swing away while I’m midway on! After I was fully on, Jill backed him up and turned him. Well, Manny did a small, fast circle! I was not prepared for this! I lost my balance a bit but managed to stay on. It will only get better with time!
This was the first time that I had ridden him in stirrup’s in (at least) over a year. It took some getting used to. For both of us I think! I found it easier to shift my weight in the saddle and therefore I used my reins less! It’s neat to be learning how I can get Manny to move off of my body and seat with no or very little rein! It is hard for Manny to back up because of his SI joint issues but he does a pretty good job! I just have to bring my legs back and say back and he usually does!
Then it was time to trot! Because I didn’t have break-a-way stirrups, Jill lead him at a trot and I held the strap on the saddle. And holy moly his trot is bouncy!! I forgot from PARDS how bouncy it was! I need to figure out how to plant my bum deep in the saddle for stability and hold myself there. I think that is going to be by 2017 riding goal; to figure out how to not bounce so much in the saddle. I think when I get my own saddle, I want bigger knee rolls or straps that go on my thighs to help keep me in place! Are there any other suggestions on how I could do a sitting trot with Manny better?
After we trotted, we did some more back up work and up the centre line for a cool down before Manny walked me back to my chair! I still think that it is incredible how Manny was this top-level dressage horse that when Steph brought him to PARDS, he did not stand still and now I can dismount and walk with him independently to my chair. It’s like as soon as he met me, he knew his job changed. He took care of me right from the beginning. I was standing with him, independently after our second ride at PARDS! He’s amazing and he continues to surprise me!