On May 5th, Britney and I headed to the barn for a ride! I still don’t know why I didn’t think to see if Sally could help get me on him 6 months ago! Being able to go ride, not in lessons, is pretty cool!
Anyhow, Manny wasn’t in the barn so me and Britney went on an adventure to go catch him. We got his halter, put my saddle in the arena and headed into the 30 acres to go catch Manny.
In the first 5 seconds I got stuck. The entrance to the field is very rough and bumpy with dry dirt. I thought I picked the right path, but obviously I did not. Once I got unstuck, we were off to the races!
Of course, Manny was in the back 40 of the pasture. I called his name, he looked up from eating his grass, then kept on eating. Making us go even further to catch him. On the plus side, once we got to him, he did put his head in the halter really good!
I lead him a ways on the way back to the yard. Next time I’m going to use the flagging system again. I think he needs a reminder of what side of my chair to be on. After we got away from the herd and closer to the yard, Manny started to winny. When he winneys, he gets hot and stupid so Britney took the white boy the rest of the way.
When we got to the entrance, Britney took Manny into the arena and tied him, then came back for me. When she came back, all you could hear was Manny’s crazy winny! I jump every time he does that! After we got out, Britney lunged Manny first because he was all fired up and not listening. I still had a blanket on him so he was very hot and itchy but yet he wouldn’t roll.
After she got the “crazy horse” out of him, I lunged him. He is still very hard to get going and on the circle but once he’s on, he’s good for the most part. I’ve also noticed that he changes his attitude to whoever is lunging. When Britney lunges him, he’s more sassy and attitude and trots faster when she asks for a normal trot. When I lunge him, he still takes care of me as if I’m riding him. He trots slower, he even walks slower. He’s still sassy with me but in the way that when I say “woah” he doesn’t stop right a way. But, in his defence, we are still figuring out lunging together.
Then we started to tack up. After we got him all ready, I texted Sally and told her that we were good to go.
Sally lined Manny up, Britney and I climbed up the block, I got halfway on and Manny MOVED! This made mounting a bit difficult but I didn’t eat dirt so I’d say that’s a win!
I left my right arm free again. I was determined to get Manny’s trot today. This did not happen but that’s later to come! Britney walked with us again, then we were on our own. I did lots of walk/halt transitions and back up work to get Manny responsive. I’m so happy that when I let go of my reins Manny just walks, because as I was walking, the right rein came undone! Manny just kept walking, no crazy business! Heather said that she was riding him in a dressage test one day, and she dropped the reins and Manny finished the test!
Then we trotted. I’m determined to get his trot like I did before. This summer, my goal is to get my strength back up. By riding Manny (hopefully once a week), hopefully starting lessons again with Manny, swimming, working with a trainer once a week, and taking lessons with a friend once a week, I’ll get my strength back and I’ll be able to trot Manny a lap around the arena again!
It’s frustrating to know that I did trot a lap around the arena at PARDS a year ago and now I can hardly make it down the long side. I have to remind myself that I haven’t been riding much through the winter and all that muscle was lost. Now to build it back up and try not to fall off it the mean time! Does anybody have any suggestions of what I can do with Manny at a walk to build up my core? Walk poles maybe? I will get back in shape and I will be able to trot Manny a lap around the arena by the end of 2017.
I think the next time I go, I’m going to ask Britney to trot him on a lunge line with me on him and I’ll hold my handle and just try to keep my balance.
Manny was being pesky. He was so itchy from being under his blanket but did not want to roll before the ride. I could tell something was off with him. Hopefully today will be better! He’s in the field without his blanket. I’m scared to see how dirty he is!
Wish us luck! Xoxo