Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Day at Lucky Horse Ranch

Although spring is in the air, we still have plenty of snow left. I'd love to see tulips pushing their brilliant faces up on my lawn, or poppies showing up on my hillside, or the first blades of grass being nibbled by my ecstatic bunnies. But alas. Not yet!

So we continue to make the most of the season we are in..which is not yet spring, but not really winter...something in between that still manages to make my heart sing!

We have more daylight, which means lots more time to play outside with our animals. And although it was only 20 degrees yesterday, the sun shone warmly on our faces, and the wind was not as evil as it seems in, say, February.

Our friends board their horse at Lucky Horse Ranch, and they asked me to come and do a mini-clinic on ground handling, with their daughter and a few other girls who are new to horse-ownership. I cannot think of a better way to spend the day than riding and training horses, so I was thrilled to head out there, about an hour from our house.

We had a great time, and the girls really learned a lot. I was so happy to see their great partnerships with their horses get even better through some new exercises. We had a bit of excitement here and there, with one fall, one runaway horse, and a bit of a difficult bridge-crossing with one spooked mare...but with horses, its better to just expect the unexpected and then you won't be surprised by anything!

Gorgeous Percheron at the ranch. For sale too! I'd love to own that big boy, for sure. Stunning size, and the sweetest face...

One of the girls working her new horse. I worked with the mare first, then had her use the same techniques. It was so neat to see it all come together as they learned to work as a team!

After all the hard work, the girls took off and went riding. Chena went with a few of them, on a borrowed horse. They all rode bareback, so they could have closer contact with their horses, and be able to feel any anxiety from their mounts. Its just always safer in the winter, when you have fresh and sassy horses, to not have a saddle to get hung-up in if you were to fall or get bucked off. Just sayin!

On the way home, I was tired, a bit chilled, had some aches from handling/longing horses, and my face stung a bit from the wind. But still my favorite way to spend a day!!!!!!!!!!


The Empty Envelope said...

How fun!!! I know what you mean about 20 being good enough, LOL!!

Mere said...

Yay for them! I'm sure you're an AWESOME teacher, too! Beautiful pics with the horses in the snow...

Love, Mere

Denise K. said...

Beautiful pictures and such a peaceful yet hardworking day! I have never rode bareback but it sounds so refreshing...I get tired of "heels down" and this would be a nice way to just relax! I would have a hard time mounting though without a stirrup...another good reason to lose some weight! hee hee

Is it true you are not a true rider unless you fall or get bucked off 7 times??? Neither has happened to me, and as a beginner I almost hope it doesn't. I ride a big Dutch Warmblood and he is so gentle...your friend's horses look the same! Thanks for sharing your it also true that mares are more difficult? Do you prefer geldings? Just curious on your philosophy! :-)

Denise K. said...

P.S. I noticed you didn't use bits in your horses instructor also doesn't use a bit when I ride...but now that I have 'quiet hands' wouldn't a bit give more control when we pick up a trot or canter? I'm still getting the feet cues down...inside leg pressure, outside leg pressure, release of pressure, using my seat to give a is such a fine science! :-)

glitzen said...

Yes, Denise...its an exact science for sure, but you are on your way! Good for you. (I want to see pics on your blog)
I use bits in the winter for stopping power, but my horses tend to be "hot" and sassy this time of year. Its been too icy to ride much. We are riding now though! I rode Winter's Whisper yesterday, and I'm riding again today.
I do prefer geldings to mares, because they tend to be more "people" horses, are more affectionate, etc. Plus no mood swings! *wink*
I want to see a pic of your Warmblood. Awesome!

Lana said...

Great photos! Looks like a lovely place to spend some time.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to stop in and say hi! I enjoyed visiting your blog. We live on a horse ranch in Northern Nevada and we homeschool and are crazy busy like you seem to be. Come visit us at my blog!