Friday, October 6, 2017

soft like velvet

Alternative title for this post could be Krimpet 2.0 haha. The resemblance is uncanny tho, don't you think? Minus obvi Krimpet's flashy blaze. And Velvet is actually quite a bit bigger than Krimpet, maybe about Izzy height if not slightly taller. Definitely broader lol. (she's QH / Paint for those curious)

she's cute tho for sure
Y'all don't really need me to tell you that I wanted to keep riding while Charlie recovers. You already knew that haha. You're all the same way yourselves too. What else can we say? We love horses. We love riding. As Churchill said, "No hour is wasted that is spent in the saddle."

definitely a mare tho
Charlie, by the way, is doing well. I brought him home yesterday after staying a couple days at New Bolton for surgery. He was.... emotional upon his return. Basically a real hot fucking mess. But physically he's doing ok and the surgery was successful and the prognosis is good. So now we focus on healing. More soon.

d'aww look at that face! also charlie's empty stall behind her since i had just dropped him off for surgery :'(
In the meantime, we persevere. Persist. Find a way. Since lancing Charlie's abscess I've been on daily bandage duty anyway. The surgical wound blessedly doesn't require daily changes since drainage isn't really an issue in the same way it was from the abscess, but I'll still be out quite often caring for him.

trees can't eat horses if the trees are also where we get all our breaks from work!
So naturally I also immediately started hunting for available rides while I'd be out anyway caring for my doofy hero. There are a surprising number of options. A few children's ponies who always benefit from the occasional school. A horse who needs to get up to w-t-c speed so it can be planted in the lesson program. The odd ride here and there, ya know?

she's hoping i'll slip her a peppermint. hint: i totally will
Velvet was the first horse that came to mind tho. She's a beautiful little mare - and 1000% a product of the modern day horse owner affliction fondly referred to as "The Black Stallion Syndrome."

She's wild and beautiful and full of spirit. So her owner chose her from a rescue lot. And..... well. Her owner is now pretty fucking terrified of her. Lost all confidence. Basically doesn't ride except on group trail rides where Velvet can be nestled right in among the pack.

exhausted but self satisfied little pony
Her owner is SUPER nice tho - and actually so is this pony. I expect that they'll become more of a team maybe sooner than the owner currently imagines. But the pony needs serious mileage. I've seen her go with her owner, and also with a few of the resident brave kiddos - and she honestly looks cool.

i might be the first person that ever really tightened a noseband on her. she apparently wasn't sure she could chew her lifesaver and dropped it! the horror!! luckily she found it again -- all was not lost!
Velvet's basic flaw is that she's got no accountability for herself, which has led to no confidence. She hasn't been made to do the thing.... and now maybe isn't so sure that she can even do the thing. Just getting her out of the barn in hand, or away from it under saddle, can be a real challenge. (lol until i put a spur on and she was like SWEET BABY JESUS WHERE DID THAT COME FROM.... nobody expects the spanish inquisition little girl!!!)

She's spooky and scooty and feels unreliable and unbalanced. Likes to get to where her neck is about 2" long with ears up your nose and just trantering off to the horizon.

don't let her diminutive looks fool you -- this lady is a TANK
But then she trips behind (so weak omg) and is like "oh fuck we gone die" all while I'm sitting there like, "uh but ok maybe try slowing down a little?"

In a way tho, she's kinda been an easy ride to get to know since she just expects to be pulled on, to have riders hang all over her face. Bc she feels so bolty spooky scooty all the time, and with all the trantering.... it's pretty easy to understand why a rider would want to pull. But.... instead I've taken the approach of putting my leg on so strong I might break her ribs (a gentle hug, if you will lol), while not actually letting her canter but also just pushing the reins at her, daring her to stretch out to them. And ..... go figure, she's coming around.

also a little piggy haha
I've only ridden her twice now but it was a pretty major difference already between rides 1 and 2. Which is cool bc she feels for allllll the world like Isabel from the EARLY days. Like, way pre-blogging. The first year or so of Isabel. Where if she went a week without riding I might not actually even be able to get on (true story).

This mare is different in her ways - she's quite good on the ground (ahem, Isabel) but she's also spooky where Isabel was just flighty. So there's some adjustments I have to make. But the brain and the way of going feels very similar. Very familiar.

#glamourshot
So stay tuned for more. I'm kinda excited about this little sabbatical with Velvet. Excited to see what changes can be effected in her, but also just excited to test myself a little bit. She's a very different ride from Charlie, but she's a ride I used to be pretty ok at handling. So it's a nice change of pace.

I'm hoping to basically do all the things with her -- mostly to get her more broke and exposed so she can be successful with her owner. But also let's be real - I'm gonna try to have a little fun here for my own sake too lol.

Wish us luck, and prepare yourselves for getting to know Velvet better along with me! Have you ever had a designated "stand in" horse while your own recovers? Or have you mostly just catch ridden where you could? Do you gravitate towards these extra rides on the nicer, made horses? Or the needier, green beans? And do you prefer to switch it up or are you like me in that you need to focus on a sort of "project"?

58 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness- she is so pretty. I can see why she was a heart purchase. I'm so happy that you are riding her- she sounds pretty familiar to me ;). I know that you can turn her around and get her feeling more confident and reliable.

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    1. So I may or may not have immediately started referring to the terrifying (apparently) trees that line one side of the dressage court as "troll corner" bc yea. I imagine Carmen would feel similarly lol

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  2. very cool you have something to ride and just think how much you will appreciate Charlie when you get back on him LOL! She is cute but i can tell she might be a holy terror:) HA.

    AND I wish i had known you were at New Bolton I was up there looking at houses yesterday! LOL Not that I would have interfered but I would have liked to say hi! (My friend Ashlee works there (remus owner)?) I am glad that part is done and he is home recooping! But yay for horses to ride. I honestly wish you were closer cause remus would LOVE jump schools....:)

    have fun on Velvet...(she is adorable)

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    1. Oh bummer! We were there for a while too - it would have been nice to say hi! And maybe get a little help loading Charlie since he was basically a basket case lol. Thank god for rope halters!

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  3. She is a cutie and I'm sure you'll both enjoy the rides. It's nice that you have the option while Charlie is recouping. My trainer has sales horses he's always happy to throw anyone up onto which is a nice option. Wishing Charlie a speedy, easy recovery!!

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    1. Thank you!! Sales horses are definitely awesome to get to ride too. Sometimes I like the greenies bc expectations are so low that it's nbd if I ride like crap haha but then again it can be so fun to ride something nicer!

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  4. Yay! So happy you found a project, and it sounds like a pretty mutually beneficial arrangement. I hate to see riders unhappy with their horses. I know all too well how frustrating it is :(

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    1. Ugh yea I totally agree. That might be part of why I opted to work with velvet before trying any of the other horses. I would like to see her be a better horse for her owner!

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  5. She's cute! Glad you have a project for while Sir Charles is on the mend. It's a bonus that she's got a set of issues you are confident about addressing.

    I have a couple of projects for this fall -- red mare Punch needs a rebuild. She's high and tight but it is not the pony's fault or the pony's inherent nature and Imma fix it.

    Grey gelding Zipper needs solidity in w/t/c and more muscle. He's quite green but good-hearted and will get mileage on Punch's days off.

    Unstarted project horse Genie will be 4 in the spring and she's due for Riding Readiness ground work this fall. I expect to be on her in the spring (she's 13.2; it's going to look hilarious), so probably we'll make it to "wear bridle and saddle, ground drive" this fall before it gets too cold. Lots of cool ground work to do there and Genie's smart and pony-sensible.

    I don't mind starting colts or working with stuff that is in need of minor tune-ups. (Punch is not mean. I started her under saddle and know her fairly well. She's a good, hardworking, sensible mare. She doesn't buck, bolt, rear. She's just high and tight because she's spent a summer being ridden by a kid who never turned loose. If you ask for one step of back-up you get six. If you ask for a halt, she skitters sideways. The kid that rode her never threw the damn slack, clutched at the reins and clamped with the legs all the time, and Punch spun up. However, this issue will resolve fairly quickly with a couple of rides and then we'll be on to building better skills and going over fences and not being rushy and so forth.)

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    1. Ha yup that sounds like quite the fun array of projects to work on - Punch actually sounds a bit like velvet. She's not quite sure what to do with herself when I push the reins at her!

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  6. OMG...Velvet sounds SO MUCH LIKE GEM. Trantering. Spooky and shifty and "lets just go fast so we don't have to work". If you work some major magic on her I'm shipping you one bay little mare to ride ;)

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    1. Ha yea there are definitely a lot of similarities for sure! In some ways velvet is kinda easier bc she doesn't really know much and hasn't experienced a lot, compared to Gem's hundred mile ego lol. So telling her to cool it is a little easier. So I'm hopeful we can make something happen!

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  7. She is stinkin' cute!! I'm excited to read about how you can make some progress with her; it's always fun to blow their minds a little bit with new rules and see how they react. I'll catch ride anything as long as it's safe!

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    1. Yea definitely agreed on the safety aspect too. I love riding different horses but I've worked too hard to rebuild my confidence to risk blowing it on some one else's horse. So if we don't end up clicking I won't continue riding her!

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  8. i wrote a comment and it got eaten. it was really good but now i dont remember what it said???

    i laughed out loud at the mint picture/caption. im glad all was not lost.

    im also really glad charlies surgery went well. sorry he was a drama queen but he'll settle into a routine. good luck!

    if you miss being really far away from the ground you should come up and ride indy one weekend!!!! im serious!!!

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    1. Aw boo blogger. I'm sure that first comment was solid gold tho! And yes I'm hoping Charlie has settled too. He was really worked up but maybe he's too lazy to sustain that behavior for long. And damn I wish you and Indy were closer - I really want to meet the big guy!!

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  9. I'm glad you've found a few ways to stay in the saddle while Charlie recovers. Velvet looks like she's going to be a fun project!

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    1. Thanks! I'm ready to have a little fun with her for sure!

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  10. Stinks about Charlie, but this seems like it will be fun! It will be interesting to see the before/after, and I'm sure her owner will be thrilled!

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    1. I hope so!! She's a cool horse but she's gotta learn to be a little more accountable for herself under saddle. And like. Learn to just TROT dammit lol.

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  11. She is cute - and I love that she's already coming around for you! Fingers crossed she continues to be a fun ride :)

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    1. Thanks I'm optimistic! She's not gonna be my bad ass eventer like Charlie is but she will be good for a little fun while he recovers

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  12. She is adorable. Enjoy the project! I bet her owner is very grateful.

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    1. Yea she's definitely thrilled that velvet is getting some work. Hopefully it pays off!

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  13. Glad Sir Charles is recuperating! Velvet is adorable! Have fun with her--it's great you have horses to ride while Charlie recovers!

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    1. I'm definitely grateful! Charlie's recover is long and consuming but I'm hopeful for him and grateful for the distractions of other ponies!

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  14. I'm glad Sir Charles surgery went well - minus the brain leaking out his ears. What does the rest/recovery/rehab period look like? You are handling this very well, I might add.

    I love the adorable project mare. Looks like you'll have some fun with this one. Glad you are able to get some saddle time and help improve this lovely mare for her owner. Win-win!

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    1. Thanks I'm glad the surgery went well too and am very relieved to have him home again (even if he's a bit of a basket case, poor baby). We are looking at something like 7+ weeks before he's really back in action. But given the nature of the injury the highest priority is letting it heal completely so no rushing!

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  15. Oh that is a familiar face. Wow.

    Glad you're able to play with her. Sounds like a great experience for everyone.

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    1. Ha she does look an awful lot like another certainly smooshy face from some angles!!!

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  16. Hang in there Charlie! Soon this will all be but a distant memory! As a life long catch rider until very recently all my mounts have been stand ins so to speak haha! There's for sure some negatives but all in all, butt in saddle=good and having to ride all kinds of different horses only increases your skill set! Sounds like you can get some solid schooling on Velvet for her owner, win win!

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    1. Yea I'm with ya there - Charlie is the first horse I've ever owned so I've basically always just ridden what was available too. Even with Isabel I often liked to have horses on the side (like Bali!). It's definitely a fun way to keep it interesting esp when the star of the show is out of commission!

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  17. She looks so cute! I looked at her and was thinking QH before you said anything lol. It's great she seems to have a similar set of issues you feel like you can conquer! I have always loved having project horses, making a horse better and whatnot. I don't do it so much anymore, but if Amber ever was off for a time, I'd probably do just what you did! Thankfully Sir Charles is doing well <3

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    1. yea my appetite for project horses kinda waxes and wanes -- mostly bc i really like just having one horse to keep working with, but occasionally like to switch it up. hopefully this brief period with velvet will prove to be just the ticket!

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  18. Yay I'm glad you snagged the rides on such a cutie!

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    1. thanks - she's definitely a real sweetie!

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  19. All the healing vibes for Charlie! I think it would be kind of cool to have a "project" while your main squeeze recuperates, especially if the owner is as cool as hers seems to be. Plus, you could really help them!! :) Mutually beneficial situations are the bomb.

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    1. that's definitely exactly what i'm hoping for. something that's fun for me but also adding value to the horse and owner

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  20. It's Stella! In almost every single way, even color. God help you. Do it right and you'll help make a good horse. Do it wrong, and well....

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    1. ha yea... these kinds of horses definitely can go either way depending on how you feel about them! lucky for me i tend to believe that it's much harder than most ppl think to actually ruin a horse. most issues are not irreparable!!

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  21. SO FUN! I"m glad you're able to stay in the saddle while Charlie recovers! Btw, Scout loved his Uncle Jimmy Hanging Ball when he was on stall rest:)

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    1. that's awesome! charlie's funny about stall toys -- he's a playful and oral horse, but seems to prefer grabbing random things off the wall (like drying saddle pads) instead of playing with actual toys lol

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  22. Good luck! Sounds like you have a fun little ride for your temporary Charlie hiatus.

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  23. What a little cutie!!!! (: So cool that you found someone to ride AND get to help a partnership strengthen at the same time!

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    1. thanks i really hope it works out the way i want it to. even if it's just a small little step forward for the whole.

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  24. She is cuuute. I've recently found that after being spoiled with such a well trained responsive horse that getting on these schoolies is not at all my cup of tea. Meander down the trail at a walk? Meh, I guess. Anything else? Hard pass.

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    1. yea i pretty much agree. my interest in getting on some lug that just needs a tune up bc it's gotten so hard nosed about the lesson kiddos.... yea that's really not very motivating to me. i much prefer something i can actually do something with. hopefully velvet will be that fun little sports car if i can just peel back some of her defensive layers

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  25. She really is quite lovely looking...that black coat is so velvet! These horses can teach you the most! Can't wait to hear of adventures!

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    1. hopefully there are adventures to be had!! she's a very good girl and so far feels very familiar to me so i'm optimistic!

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  26. I think the best thing about the project horses like this is the "no strings attached". You can give them back whenever you want if things aren't working out lol.

    Glad you were able to make some progress with her - I have a few friends who will hop on people's horses because they are a bit more daring and have a bit more stickability than the owner does.

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    1. oh yea, the no strings attached thing is a big deal. as is the fact that it's not my horse so none of it is personal. when she spooks at the same pile of farm equipment that she spooks at every day of her life.... it doesn't grate against me bc if it ever gets too annoying i can just walk away. it's not personal.

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  27. Really glad to hear that surgery went well and that you found a ride. Also so nice for the owner that you're able to help from your past experience :)

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    1. thanks - i'm hoping that it'll be fun for me and helpful to the horse and owner. we shall see!!

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  28. I like working with the greenies because you can see the progress and how they start to pick things up! Oh mares...

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    1. definitely!!! i like the greenies a lot for that reason. this mare is so similar to isabel too in that they're "green," sure.... but the fundamentals *are* installed, this is a trained horse who knows some stuff. she's 15 after all. but she just hasn't had to do the stuff consistently in a long time and feels rusty and unaccountable in the work.

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