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Wizard Ride 41: Is it March Yet?

January 23, 2009

Wizard and Me

Thursday, 1/22/09

Tonight, my mom and I visited Rick’s Saddle Shop in Cream Ridge, NJ. I’m on the hunt for a new helmet. I’ve read that helmets should be replaced every five years to ensure the safety of the helmet. I own 4 helmets and only one is less than five years old. Right now, I have my eye on the Charles Owen GR8 in black/black but I’m not totally decided yet. In a rare moment of tack shop restraint, I left Rick’s with only a container of Uncle Jimmy’s Squeezy Buns, aka Wizzy Buns. I have a bit of a problem with tack shops… I cannot seem to walk out of them without new saddle pads, grooming supplies, or barn jackets. I’m normally a fiscally sensible person but there’s something about the smell of the leather that makes me part with my hard-earned dough.

Wizard was ambivalent about my arrival at the barn. Sometimes, he practically halters himself, but sometimes he stands perfectly still and tries to conjure a Wizardly invisibility spell. I suppose horses have moods just like people do. He did not mind grooming at all but he was not thrilled about the saddle or the quarter sheet- I think that he’ll really appreciate my grooming as he continues to shed his winter coat. It took Alibar several years before he began to enjoy grooming. I think it takes some time for horses to get over their ticklishness. I was taught by my instructors by the George Morris doctrines of grooming: a clean and well turned out horse shows respect for riding. My childhood riding instructor would send people back to the barn if they arrived for a lesson with so much as a stray shaving in the horse’s tail. It will be a while before Wizard can handle a George Morris-esque grooming before a ride!

I hand walked Wizard for a few laps around the arena. The arena footing has not yet recovered from the recent cold snap so I kept the workout low-key. I longed Wizard for about 10-15 minutes on my longest longe line, the World’s Finest Longe Line I love that name!). This was the first time I’ve used this longer line in a while- I can proudly say that Wizard is consistently excellent on the longe now. I can stand still and pivot on my inside foot as he longes, and I no longer need to twirl the whip to keep him moving. He kept up the slack in the line really nicely. I could see that the footing was just too firm for him- he’s barefoot and while he has lovely feet, his soles are a little thin. After he longed a bit, I hopped on and cooled him out under saddle.

Then it was back to the barn for a little more grooming, two buckets of warm water, and lots of Dengie.

I’m a pretty hardy rider- as soon as the ground is unfrozen, I’ll be back outdoors. I’ve always preferred outdoor riding, even at my current barn, which has a beautiful indoor arena. We’re getting a lot done but the warmer weather will provide a lot of flexibility with training and riding. I’m counting down the days til springtime.


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