Anybody want to see Lucky?
I decided to bite the bullet and buy myself a digital camera. So of course since it arrived Friday afternoon I’ve been one of those obnoxious people, taking pictures of everything just because I can. I’m sure if anyone saw me taking photos of things like the house way across the snow-covered field while I was walking the dogs they thought I was odd. That’s okay.
So of course I took the camera to the barn. Fortunately the weather was cooperating and it was nice and sunny. Lucky is not exactly looking sleek and shiny, but I’m sure the shedding will start soon enough. And he could be so much muddier than he is. We’re now in the stage where the ground is going from soft to squishy, and there are places where the mud’s pretty deep and slick. I rode in the round pen, for the most part (that’s where the picture is from) and he is back to using stopping as a means of protest. I don’t think he’s sore. He doesn’t move as if anything is hurting him. I think he just is not entirely sure what he’s supposed to be doing, and if he stops and stands, maybe the crazy lady will stop poking him. I also made a point of riding out of the ring again, past the place where he had his tantrum last week. Because this was tricky enough, I dismounted, walked him to the other ring, got back on (for once I wanted him moving out as he was so close to the fence on his right side I couldn’t get the stirrup) and rode him out. There was a little bit of inversion, but no big giant freakouts.
For those looking, yes, that’s a pelham on him. I find that I am appreciating certain things about the way my old trainer did things. An OTTB is not a blank slate. They’ve been ridden, in a very particular way, and they don’t necessarily get it the way you might think a horse ought to. On the other hand, a good part of the reason I decided to switch to the pelham was that he was ignoring me and I wanted some flexibility in how I got his attention. Today, for example, I rode almost entirely off the snaffle rein, but I used the curb for some finer points. The old trainer didn’t even put the curb rein on the bridle, which would kind of eliminate all the things I needed to do with that bit. He does not seem to chew, head-toss or fuss as much with the bit with the pelham (it’s a rubber mullen mouth) when I touch the reins and I am wondering if the straight mouthpiece is more comfortable than a broken bit like the D.
Besides, on the shallow end, I think the pelham looks very proper-hunterish, and since I have the hands for it, why not?