If You’re Not Almost Falling, You’re Not Almost Learning

Well, Frank Carroll didn’t say the part about “almost.” I owe msj from Chronicle Forums an apology–Lucky did in fact jump me out of the tack, at least enough for my knees to come much higher up his sides than I strictly find comfortable. Ironically he wasn’t actually jumping anything especially high, having knocked one rail down of the X oxer and being very reluctant to go over my strategically-placed buckets (serves me right for giving him something ‘interesting’ to jump.) The next time through, he picked up the canter with substantially less arguing and jumped it without quite so much drama. And, as I pointed out to the B.O., back when I was taking lessons and riding the old OTTB a jump like that and I’d have been eating dirt, so I must be doing something right.

He also seemed somewhat enthusiastic about barrels, actually wanting to run for the finish line (though as long as he takes to get rolling, it’s probably not going to be beating any Quarter Horse gaming types any time soon.) Saturday, and to finish up today, we took it outside. Saturday was just pure play–a little riding on the track, and some wandering through the woods, semi-enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. All the fall colors, and the falling acorns, and the suicide squirrel squadrons racaing across the trails. Lucky did have a leery moment when we came up behind one of the houses next door and they were burning brush in the yard, but he relaxed when the man waved and the woman said hello and he could tell they were people and not horse-eating tree monsters. We pretty much did nothing but tool around, and he got what’s probably his last bath of the season courtesy of the warm weather. He was more than happy to stand there dozing off while I did it. The new puffball kitten, meanwhile, likes to sit and stare at whatever you are doing, even if she has to sneak up very quietly behind you to do it. I actually plopped her on his back in self-defense, as it seemed the place where she was least likely to get stepped on! Lucky didn’t care, the puffball just thought it was interesting to have a better view of the saddle going on.

After riding Lucky on Sunday, I took the B.O. up on the offer to get Takota out. As there are only so many hours in a day and Dino needs all the work he can get, Takota’s had a few weeks off. It showed. Probably the most interesting thing about riding someone else (besides going “WOW, he’s short!” while I was grooming and could actually see across his back) was how used I’ve become to Lucky’s relative unflappability. Takota wasn’t really spooky, he was more fresh and experimenting to see what he could get away with as far as the new monkey on his back went. Answer? Probably not what he wanted to hear. I wouldn’t call any of it a genuine “come to Jesus” meeting but the experiments with bucking at the canter ended right quick. Probably surprised the heck out of him, too. He also was determined to scare himself looking at the woods (something he’s perfectly familiar with and should know better than to spook at) so I had to spend mmost of the time convincing him that it was far less work to come quietly than it was to be a goofball. It was an interesting change from tooling along on Lucky, who naturally tends to prefer the path of least resistance.

In a public service announcement: It’s October, and that means the end of racing at Finger Lakes is coming up sooner than you think. Some horses are already looking for new homes and careers, and since I really haven’t got the place to put another one, please save me from myself and consider horses like Dewanna Brushon Me. Quite the handsome devil, and look at those gentle eyes. For my fellow pedigree fanatics, why yes, that Brush in there stands for Broad Brush, his grandsire, which makes him the great-grandson of the great Ack Ack. And please note one two, not three, but FOUR crosses on Turn-to, so if you’re looking for a sport-horse prospect, won’t you please think of him? All for the low, low price of only $500.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Louise
    Oct 11, 2010 @ 12:31:11

    Thanks for the plug for Dewanna. We just found out that General John is placed, so now we have to concentrate on finding Dewanna a good home.

    Gosh, it sounds like you had a wonderful weekend with the horses. I just love that Lucky is so unflappable. It makes for such good riding, to not have to worry all the time about the looky looks. You make me wish I was still riding.

    Reply

    • The Author
      Oct 11, 2010 @ 13:44:16

      I love his pedigree–don’t have time or money for another one, but if I did… And it was just a perfect kind of horsey weekend. Well, a few hair-raising moments with Takota, who’s just a bit fat and sassy right now, but I’m rather pleased with my own ability not to go to pieces. Apparently I work backwards (I see all these COTH threads about how “I used to be fearless, but now I’m an adult!” and think “When I was a kid was terrified to the point of panic attacks and now I’m like ‘fat, cranky pinto no one’s ridden in three weeks on a windy day with leaves falling? Sign me up!'”) but Lucky jumped me almost off his back and I just turned him around and made him do it again only nicer, and I actually got Takota to do what I wanted (mostly be more afraid of what I’d do if he didn’t than of whatever invisible monsters were lurking in the bushes.)

      It’s just weird for the OTTB to be the implacable one. But except for being looky, he’s universally proclaimed the quietest thing on the farm.

      Reply

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