Wednesday, July 23, 2008


What does one do if they are stuck riding their Thoroughbred at a walk, and all poles have been gone over, and all cones have been weaved through?

One teaches their Thoroughbred Western cues!

Not that I am a master of Western riding, but the cues are basically the same. The only difference is the Western folks usually empathize a loose rein. I've been teaching Lim to neck rein and stop and back up simply by using my seat. After two sessions, she has caught on pretty quick (no surprise there--she's a brainy little horse). She can also pivot on her forelegs through neck reining.

I've been doing this using my bareback pad and dressage bridle (go ahead and laugh now!)

I am still dying to get on the trails. I'm still anxious to collect Lim, to dance with her. I eyed my dressage saddle, snug and tight beneath it's fleece cover, on Monday but decided against using it. For a 10-minute walk, it's a bit of a pain to lug that saddle onto Lim's back. Besides, I have found that using the bareback pad so much has given me a straighter, more secure seat on Lim. You really can't let your guard down, seat-wise, if you're using a bareback pad to ride a Thoroughbred that is feeling better every day and hasn't been ridden or lunged properly in almost two months!

And yes, she's feeling good. She doesn't doze off at the crossties so much anymore. She is gaining weight steadily; even my husband noticed it yesterday. I'm very pleased with her appearance. She was on the last of the psyllium last night. I think I will repeat the psyllium in a month or so then leave it at that--I still believe she picked up that sand at her old barn. There is really no way she could have gotten it at the current place.

Yesterday I noticed a couple new, enormous cobwebs along the back of Lim's stall. With gritted teeth, I batted them down with a broom. I thought about an enormous spider running down the handle of the broom and the heebie-jeebies prickled my scalp.

But I just had to--I paused, broom in air, and looked back at Lim, who was on the crossties next to the stall. She was looking at me with that white-ringed right eye of hers, black forelock and lashes framing the eye, ears pricked forward. I forgot about the spiders and smiled.

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