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Wizard Ride 32: A Pedicure and a Happy Mouth

January 3, 2009

Wizard and Me

Saturday 1/3/09

Wizard had his feet trimmed by my local farrier. He saw good improvement in the feet and was pleased with how they held up. Wizard has thin soles so I expect that he might be too tenderfooted to do a lot of riding over hard surfaces. Right now, he seems just fine barefoot and I plan to keep him barefoot as much as possible.

After his pedicure, I turned him out in the big outdoor arena and did a fun free longeing/liberty session. The weather was sunny and the ground was not frozen. The arena was dragged so the footing was quite nice. Wizard ran around like a youngster and after he got his ya-yas out, he began to longe in circles around me without a longe line. He’s so much fun. My mission is to get this same mood and behavior under saddle. At liberty, he’s like a big Golden Retriever, as my mom remarked.

I longed Wizard for about 15 minutes. He jumped around and fussed at the far end of the arena, but he was in the ring with a silly young Thorughbred who was bucking on his longe line. I gave Wizard a pass. When the other horse left, he longed just fine. I used a mullen mouth loose-ring Happy Mouth bit on Wizard for the first time. Improvement, but still a lot of chewing. My reins are so long that my hands are past the laced portion. He stretches down, but it does not feel like those nice toe-touching stretches that we want in dressage. Then the reins are totally long, and he scrunches his neck up really short and tucked under and then he tenses up and bounces a little bit. I’m trying to just let go and allow him to trot, but it feels so awkward and crooked. I’m sort of wondering if he’s going to do the porpoising thing from Ride 4 again. So part of it is my own trepidation and part of it is me over-analyzing everything.

So we just worked on walking this time out. He was tense and started doing a little bouncing but I got a flat-footed walk eventually. We rode for about 10 minutes. Now that the weather is milder, I’m hoping that my friend can hop on and take him for a spin tonight and maybe give me some pointers.

Here were are. Wizard is chomping on the bit. The rein was looser in the frame before but I’m tightening it here. You can see how low he wants to carry his head. I’d let him carry it that low but then he tucks his head up and I have a foot of extra rein. Also note the neck strap. It’s too short to really help me until we are trotting and cantering.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 5, 2009 2:36 pm

    I love your photography. I was curious as to how you get the effect where the horse is lit, but the background in black. Is this something you do with your camera or in photoshop?

    • January 5, 2009 2:38 pm

      Thank you very much! Those photos are done in-camera. I shoot in the doorway of a barn or an arena.

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