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Wizard Ride 138: Our Lips are Sealed

April 19, 2010

Emo Wizard

Saturday, 4/17/10

Saturday was my last barn trip before leaving for Kentucky for two weeks. I was unsure of my plans so I played it by ear. I arrived at the barn and it was very quiet. The horses were getting their bedtime hay and nobody was riding. I brought Wizard into the indoor arena and let him trot around. The night air was cool and Wizard was enjoying himself. He rolled and rolled in the arena, and playfully leapt around the arena.

I brought him back into the barn and decided to ride. I tacked him up and hopped on. I was wearing jeans instead of breeches, but it was fine for our ride. Wizard was willing and responsive. During our walk warmup, he put his ears back about three times, but listened to my leg and hand. He put his ears back at the trot a few times as well, but the behavior subsided as the ride progressed. I tried really hard not to change my riding when he put his ears back.

Our ride was a sort of test of all we’ve been working on this month. In the arena, there were traffic cones set up on the quarter line, about six or eight in a row. I used them to work on increasing and decreasing the circumference of my circles at the trot, passing through a different pair of cones with each circle. At the walk, I used them as guides for skinny serpentines, walking all the way to the wall with each pass. Our leg yields at the walk have improved greatly. I did two in each direction at the walk.

I also worked on my hands and how they impact contact with Wizard. He tends to chew on the bit when he anticipates something, so I practiced stretching my arms as lonnnng as I could when he stretched into the bit, never feeding rein through my fingers, but instead keeping my hands elastic and soft. I was able to do several passes around the arena without Wizard doing any chomping at all. His mouth was quiet and his lips were sealed. He even took contact with the bit and held it without champing. He’s an interesting guy, because he is very sensitive, but if he’s comfortable, he becomes a little less sensitive.

It was a really nice ride. After about 30 minutes, I dismounted and remounted again at the mounting block, again to break up any patterns. Then I re-dismounted, walked him back to the barn, gave him a good grooming, and a goodbye rice bran mash. Wizard is officially on vacation for two weeks and he earned it.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 19, 2010 1:58 am

    I love this photo…..don’t know why, maybe the wispy forelock and mane pieces…..maybe the alert but contented gaze. Whatever, it’s perfect. Have fun on your 2 week leave, take lots of photos and bring a few back with you for us.

    One of the things I like best about your blog is the quiet observing you do. “The night air was cool and Wizard was enjoying himself. He rolled and rolled in the arena, and playfully leapt around the arena.”
    “so I practiced stretching my arms as lonnnng as I could when he stretched into the bit, never feeding rein through my fingers, but instead keeping my hands elastic and soft.”

    you paint with your camera and your words.

    • April 19, 2010 2:37 pm

      Thank you so much, Holly! I have not done much writing since college so I’m doing my best to shake off the cobwebs.

      The blog really came about when I thought of how many times I must have ridden Alibar in the almost-twenty years I owned him. It would be so nice to look back on our first few rides now that he’s gone. Every trip to the barn is different, but a lot of these details get lost in time; the cool nights, the frogs in the woods, and the green grass are so vivid in our minds when we are in the middle of them.

      Your comments are a great motivation to keep the journal detailed and interesting. Thank you for reading and for sharing your thoughts. I’m so glad you get to experience Wizard through this blog. He’s a really special guy and I am forever grateful to his owner for letting me work with him.

  2. April 19, 2010 9:23 am

    Hey Sarah! I’m fairly certain that you and I will be meeting in Kentucky. I’m looking forward to it!

    BTW – I agree with Holly’s very kind comment. You DO paint beautiful pictures with your words and photos.

    • April 19, 2010 2:29 pm

      We’ll definitely meet up, Wendy. Looking forward to seeing you! Are you shooting Rolex and Derby?

      • April 19, 2010 2:29 pm

        And thank you!

      • April 19, 2010 2:53 pm

        Derby is a definite. Credential in hand… Rolex I’m hopeful. My “agent” Matt 😉 will pick up credentials this week. It’ll be my first time at Rolex. I’m excited about it!

  3. April 19, 2010 7:18 pm

    Woo hoo! Got my credential for Rolex! CAN’T WAIT! See you there!! 🙂

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