Equine Tuesday

As some of you may have noticed, I have many many interests. As a result, this blog has no real focus – it is not a photography blog, a running blog, a writing blog, or an equestrian blog. I just can’t seem to confine myself to one of those areas. Perhaps I should as that would probably build readership. But alas, it probably will not happen. So! Without further ado, I present… Equine Tuesdays!

Equine Tuesdays will feature the progress (I hope) that I am making with my two rather barn-sour horses. For my non-equestrian readers, barn-sour means that my horses do not like leaving the barn (or each other) and act up as a result. I talked last fall about how I lost all of my confidence as an equestrian. In order to face those fears, I signed up for riding lessons and they really helped. I plan to sign up for another round once the weather is nicer. But I also want/need to conquer my fear of riding my own two horses. I decided to start these weekly posts about my progress because I need something to push me and hold me accountable, but also because I hope my adventures (or mis-adventures) will reach the eyes and ears of other equestrians struggling with the same problems.

Let me introduce you to my two demons (I love them dearly).

Meet Sweet Timbre

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Nicknames: Timbre, Tim, Timmi, Tim Tim, Stubborn, Miss Piggy

Gender: Mare (female)

Breed: Quarter Horse/Warmblood cross

Color: Chestnut (the color of a copper penny)

Age: 15-17?

Markings: 4 white socks, adorable white stripe

Height: about 15.3 hands (1 hand = 4 inches)

Timbre is a food-driven boss. She rules the barn and whatever she says goes. She is sweet as can be to any human who wants to feed her a carrot or two and give her a good brushing. She’s an angel on the lounge line as well. While riding, she likes to hold her nose in the air and constantly tries to bolt back to the barn. She feels like a coiled spring of nervous energy. My goals with her are to work her on the lounge line to get her back into shape (slowly) and to refocus her energy when she tries to run home. Easier said than done, her nervous energy makes me nervous too!

Last summer, she had a deep tissue bruise in her front foot and was out of commission for months. After a round of shoes and lots of time off, she seems to be better, but it’s something to watch as I ease her back into training.

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Meet Finnegan

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Nicknames: Fin, Finners, Fin Fin, Pig, Snorty, Clown, Crazy One

Gender: Gelding (castrated male)

Breed: Cleveland Bay

Color: Bay (dark brown with black mane, tail and legs)

Age: 12/13

Markings: One little white coronet band on hind foot

Height: about 16.1 hands

Everyone falls in love with Finnegan. When he is bored, he shakes his head up and down, snorting like a pig. Even the vet does not know why he does this. He’s a wonderful mover, but a true jokester. If he gets bored or just doesn’t feel like working, he’ll start pulling tricks. In order to ride him, you have to be prepared for anything and be willing to outlast his stubbornness. In general, he’s an easy ride, especially if he is being worked regularly (he loves attention). But there’s one caveat… Finnegan LOVES Timbre. He goes nuts whenever she leaves without him. He won’t come in to eat if she’s not there first. Thus, it’s hard for me to ride him alone. He’s not awful, but he feels anxious and I am afraid one day he’ll just lose it. He’s also terrible on the lounge line. So my goals are to get him working well on the line, work on his attachment issues, and increase my confidence while riding him.

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In short, I have a lot of work to do with my horses to get us all back in to mental and physical riding shape. I’m hoping that setting weekly goals for us and signing up for riding lessons will help me face down my fears and bring my ponies back to their former glory.

This week I probably won’t get much riding in due to an early March snowstorm and frigid temperatures. So I’ll be cleaning my (English) tack in preparation for all this upcoming riding.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am siked for the time change next weekend – more daylight after work! This means more riding, running, playing, etc. Stay tuned for next week!

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