Wednesday, October 7, 2009


After a really, really nice ride last night, I took Pandora out to meet the barn owner's cows. And they are Cows, of the rather large sort, big and red and white. I rode into their big field and took her out to say hi to a little youngster first.

It was cute.

They both stopped and stared at each other. Then the cow jumped, and she jumped. Then they both stared at each other some more.

After that, Pandora was pretty relaxed. Curious, interested, but not scared. We pushed the little one back over to the momma cows, and it ran away, but kept turning back to look at us when we turned away. We went and said hi to the BIG cows, which all went fine, even when one went running past us. So we called it a day and headed in.

No big deal, good fun. I've decided that I'd like to take Pandora to some team penning practices this winter. I had a great time when I did it with McKinna when I was on the high school equestrian team, and I think it would be a fun change of pace. Pandora doesn't really neck rein or do rollbacks or anything, but she steers and stops and goes, which is good enough for me! Don't worry, I promise I'll get pictures. Everyone will laugh at me - I sold my western saddle a year or two ago, so I'd be team penning in my dressage saddle ;-) Still, I can be comfortable working cows...I wonder if the western riders would feel the same if I stuck them on an eventer in a jumping saddle? Kidding. Mostly.

Tonight I finally got the video from the Brian Sabo clinic! It's quite good - you can hear almost all of his comments. I'll see what I can do about taking some good chunks of it and putting it up here.

I haven't ridden as much as normal in the last week or so. First my grandparents were here visiting....then it was the first week of classes, and it does take awhile to adjust....then in the past few days I've been sick with a cold, so I took one day off, had an awesome ride last night, then went with my mom to her lesson tonight to watch her ride. So Pandora's had more days off than I prefer, but she's doing well and I'm sure she doesn't mind spending all day chilling out in the pasture.

Pandora is looking fantastic. Between the extra hay (she's eating 4 flakes of orchard/timothy twice a day, and they're big flakes!) and the flake of alfalfa we've added to her dinner, she's gained some weight and is filling out along her topline more. Her winter coat has started to grow in and she is officially dark bay, a very sudden change from the red bay that she is in the summer. McKinna, too, is growing hairier by the day. She's wonderfully soft in the winter - at our OHSET practices in the winter, all my equestrian team friends used to exclaim about how soft her neck was.

Oh, and I tried that turn-on-the-forehand around a circle thing the other day. Like I suspected, she was much better at it. Not perfect, but better, more responsive, and - most importantly - she showed a better understanding of what I wanted. Good things all around!

I have a clinic this Sunday up in Turner at the same location where my rating is the following week. I am feeling pretty good about it. I haven't jumped much since the clinic in Redmond, but eh. I don't think it's a big deal. I'll probably canter some ground poles tomorrow, and then we'll see how she does this weekend. I have a feeling I won't really need to school any fences before the rating. They only go up to 2'9 anyway.

Sorry for the infrequent updates. Hopefully as I settle into the school routine again, I can keep up a little better!


summersmom said...

hehehe, cows are fun. I've actually seen one or two people at the sortings in english saddles. Once I even saw a girl riding in just a bareback pad. Jasper Hills Arena, just up on Bob Straub in SPringfield, usually has cow sorting after the first of the year. I took Summer several times before I had the baby and it was great fun.

Sydney said...

I swear your McKinna and my Indigo are sisters. Same breed, same colour, same size, reaaallly soft fur. I swear shes made out of teflon because for a white horse the dirt and dust just falls right off and she looks fleabitten grey again. Indigo does have a pretty big attitude but I guess thats why I own her so she can put up with mine.

mugwump said...

You say you wonder how a western rider would feel on a jumper in your saddle. Some of us would do fine.
We certainly wouldn't consider you adept working cows on a horse that can't stop and turn, or a rider who doesn't understand enough about how we ride and use our horses to not look down her nose at us.
But we would probably be polite enough to not point out your mistakes.
Hopefully that wouldn't lead to the rider in the dressage saddle thinking our silence meant she was good at our sport.

manymisadventures said...

Summersmom - once Summer is all healed up, you should come to a practice with us! It would be great to be able to ride with people I know.

Sydney, your Indigo must have gotten the "dirt-repelling" gene that McKinna missed out on....she loves to get dirty and often you can't get her clean again without a bath.

manymisadventures said...


Mugs, I wrote a short post to apologize.

I didn't mean to say that I'm all fantastic at western riding, and I definitely didn't mean to be condescending to western riders.

I guess it just didn't come out right - sorry it upset you.

summersmom said...

I am all for going to practice with you! Crossing my fingers we'll be able to start light riding in December.....

FlyingHorse2 said...

Actually I've ridden and shown western, hunters and jumpers. A touch of cross country but it wasnt my forte. I grew up 'hunters' and I guess I feel the most comfortable in my old 1972 Crump flat panel, no blocks, narrow twist saddle. You'll be fine in your dressage saddle sorting cows.....but the 'cowboys' might look at ya a bit! LOL! Many people ride in several different disciplines. You'll have to update us on your cow sorting dressage adventure!

manymisadventures said...

I started riding in this old, flat-as-a-pancake, hard-as-a-rock Crosby. Just like you describe - it was certainly a no-fluff saddle! It may have been good for me, though. My jumping saddle now has a small knee roll and a calf block I can barely feel, and it feels like I'm riding in a couch compared to that old saddle!

I know I won't get teased too much. A friend has done some sorting and penning on her big haflinger mare in a dressage saddle, and she was just fine.

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