Been spending a lot of time at the barn with our horses lately. Taking a two week break over Christmas did not go over well with my mare, Savez. You see, horses like routine. And I broke ours by going on a trip. I’m told she was a wild woman while I was gone – lots of kicking, bucking and acting crazy. Now I’m back and she’s much more calm in her routine. She seems to like having a job.
Here we are practicing at sunset on Monday.
Savez is a young horse, so we’re working on teaching her how to trot in the proper frame. Young horses tend to poke out their nose and place their weight on their front legs when a rider is on their back, which in the long run puts a strain on their back and causes them to be less balanced. Traveling in a more “collected” frame causes her to use her haunches (her bootie) and takes more effort. It’s not easy for the horse to maintain this frame at first because they have to build up the muscles, but it’s better for them in the long run. As a rider, it’s tiring trying to keep them in that frame and takes stamina. Savez tries very hard and I’m proud of her effort. We have a long way to go; it will take us both six months to a year to master.
She knows there’s always a big juicy apple at the end of our ride. Definitely her favorite part. As soon as she sees the apple, she gives me a series of low, muffled neighs. I’ve been teaching her how to bow at treat time. She’ll practically bend over backwards for a bite of apple, as you can see. Her bend there is free will, I don’t use restraining ropes or halters. My hand is holding her leg steady so she doesn’t tumble over…sometimes she’ll go down so far she’ll lose her balance, ha ha.
After a few weeks of training, she now bows on command.
There’s something so wonderful about being with a horse. You can’t help but let go and just live in the moment. There is no pride, praise or material things. Just you, your horse and the sweet air of freedom.