report on 6/11 Equestrian practice
- Silver Desert finally managed to have an EQ practice this week! Between cold weather and horse viruses, we'd had to postpone the May practice and the first June practice. Yesterday was a lovely 70 with no breeze until noon and light cloud cover. I still got sunburn since I forgot all about sun screen!
We had 4 horses and 4 riders.
Saxi continues to work on figuring out how to cue his horse when it is not used to a lack of leg pressure. He was the first rider to use our newly acquired 1928 Swiss milliary saddle and found it more comfortable then the western saddle he used last year. As his seat and balance are good and his confidence has increased, he was given a dressage whip so he could give Tiphani a verbal command and follow it with a light tap on her hip to re-enforce the verbal meaning. This seemed to be quite successful. He practiced weaving the heads course at the walk and using a light lance to practice quintain at the walk.
Despite her experience with quintain, Tiphani demonstrated that she is still a horse and chose to spook once at the quintain. Saxi did an excellent job of remembering to ditch the lance, drop his weight down rather than up and to get both hands on her withers to push himself back into position. Saxi is nearly ready to try jog trotting on smooth-gaited Tiphani in the round pen to see if he can maintain his balance at a faster gait. He is also planning to take riding lessons this summer.
Savina rode Ebony. She is quite good at getting him to respond to her leg and to listen to her. After working with him at the walk, she trotted him around and he continued to listen to her quite well. As we all know how hard headed he can be about 'whoa', this was a Good Thing. She also worked on the quintain but Ebony decided he was REALLY a horse and pretended that this was not the quintain he knows so well but a Scary Monster. Once he spooked hard and Savina lost her seat coupled with forgetting to ditch the lance. This is quite common ( "ditch the lance" being a common shout at eq practices!) and we all had a good chuckle about it. She brushed the dirt off her butt and promptly spent the next half hour re-introducing Ebony to the Scary Quintain Monster until he quit flinching at it., She wisely quit on a good note when he walked quietly under the formerly scary thing. Next time, she plans to continue until he will let her hit the quintain with the lance.
Connor and I worked our two horses on flying lead changes and other transitions. We also practiced at the quintain. While Stishion is his usual calm self, Ardee remembered last fall when the quintain arm came off its upright as she went under it, hitting her in the butt. She was willing to do her job but displayed a bit of anxiety at first.
Khaalid, Africa, Shamus and Amaryllis came by as we were putting horses away. They went over to the archery butt and did some shooting. Fortunately, the breeze was not so strong as to interfere with accuracy.
Remember that, if you are interested in the possibility of renting a horse for eq practice, that you should email me off list and let me know, along with how much you think you could afford. If there is interest, I will ask my neighbor about renting some of the horses which are not up at her Lake Tahoe livery stable for the summer..
Siobhan ni Seaghdha, OP