Sunday, February 22, 2009

Laptop 9...How'd You End Up Here?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqYl9_PFJxQ

Okay this is the video of Top, one of my students found it on YouTube. I am really curious as to how he fell so far, so fast. I watched the video again today, and really observed what was going on in it.

This is not to offend either of the riders in the video...except for whoever thought a gag bit with a shank (elevator bit?) was needed for this horse. Both riders have terrible hands. The first rider in the video comments how he is so light mouthed. Uh...honey that isn't light, that's self preservation. Compounded with the fact the you ride with puppy paws, which makes a far stronger, less forgiving hand bothers me. The second rider needs to quit levering her butt out of the saddle off the horse's mouth. I would put you both on lunge lines without reins to work on your seats. An independent seat doesn't just happen, you have to work for it. I'm still working on it, will be for life. It's a never ending process folks.

Neither rider is steady in their connection. So they are in and out, banging into his mouth. I'd rather see a little too strong, than this in and out. Either pitch him, or keep the connection. You say he's not 100% sure. How can he be? You aren't giving him a secure consistent place to go. He can't trust you, so he's looking for where he's supposed to be and you are rarely in the same place to meet him. That's what all the in and out, wiggle left, wiggle right, what the hell are you asking for is. And he looks off on his right hind. Why are you riding a horse that is off? Or is everything just so unsteady he looks off?

I took Laptop to a lesson with a trainer I haven't been to in a few years. I really enjoy this instructors teaching style, always have. I didn't realize it had been that long since I'd been to Carrie Harnden. I've already booked my next lesson.

I'll have to admit I was pretty nervous taking him, after only being on him twice. Once just sitting, the other riding. The second time riding I was in a large 250 x 300+ arena. Alone, nobody else up there. Okay, so not brilliant. He seemed a little tight, time bomb feeling at first. So I went to long and low, trying to get him to stretch down and relax. Well, something got him, his head popped up, and he started to scoot. Was like riding a giant inverted Arab. We went to a smaller pen after that. lol Oh, what bit am I riding him in? A loose ring french link. He's fine in it.

I'd messed up my ride time, so I was an hour and a half early. Which actually worked out really well. Top got out of the trailer, sweaty and white foam. Not such a great hauler I guess. After we arrived I pulled his blanket off, brushed him and we went for a walk. Just checking out the place, and what was going on. He snorted a little on the way down the hill to the indoor arena. Other than that, pretty casual boy. We watched the end of one lesson, and the beginning of the next. Between lessons, I took him over to graze. He thought this was a splendid place to roll. So he rolled all the way over twice, and wiggled and scrubbed his face in the grass. Happy, happy boy. We went back and watched more of the lesson. After 10 minutes or so, we head back up the hill to my trailer. I tie him up, and brush him again, and tack him up. I lead him down with my lunging equipment, and an extra bridle, and the (just in case) German Martingale.

Carrie tells me to bring him in and walk him around while the other lesson is finishing, so he can get used to the place. He's fine. Curious, but not worried. Taking in the sites. He likes Lazy L, a lot. I swear he had this attitude of, "Well about time. This is more like it." Big indoor arena, great footing, sane, pleasant laughing people...woohoo. lol

I'm a little nervous after the horror stories I've heard about this horse. Thinking I've gotten off easy with my inverted bolt across the arena. (He did shut right down from his bolt, but he held the time bomb feeling). I tell Carrie I'd like to start from scratch with lunging and progress from there. She's fine with that. Tells me to hook up the balancing reins like I usually do with him, and just proceed like normal. He's great. Walk, trot, canter both directions. Had nice tempo, good quality to the gaits. Only a couple yahoo canter transitions, but what the hey, I'm feeding the crap out of him.

Carrie says he' looks fine. I should get on. I'm hesitant. For 24hrs I've been working myself up to an anxiety attack on this deal. The girls I got him from had said the previous afternoon, "You're going to take him? Are you sure? You've only been on him twice. You better lunge the crap out of him before you go." Great, real confidence builder girls.

Carrie can see I'm not wanting to do this at all, let alone in front of an audience. She looks at me, cocks her head and asks, "What is going on? You ride hotter horses than this. You own hotter horses than this. Get on." I make my friend Teri walk down to the mounting block with me to hold him, and give me that added confidence. (If I didn't say it before....THANK YOU TERI). I get on. He's fine, tense but fine. We walk back to the other end of the arena. Carrie has me ride a diamond. After I finally figured out where the lines of the diamond were, we did pretty good (hey I'm the goober in a lesson one day that tried to serpentine M-X-K, for those of you not familiar with a dressage court, that's a straight line across the diagonal). The quieter and steadier you are, the better he his.

He was well liked at the lesson. The other ladies thought he was nice, and shouldn't be a problem. Somebody trained this horse. Somebody did do a nice job with him. It's just going to take some time to get his confidence back.

He's still about 150lbs underweight. I've put close to 100 on him. His feet are looking much better, two trims in now. He's had his teeth done and been wormed twice. Now, truly I think it's just groceries and time.

26 comments:

GoLightly said...

Gr8 Post!
Thanks:):):)
Glad Top found a place to feel comfortable. With you.
Handsome boy he is.

blueheron said...

And that is the $4,000 question- how did he end up here? Just poor planning on his buyers' parts? He came from Germany, for goodness sakes. How much does it cost to ship a horse oversees? Was it just the case of somebody who got whatever they wanted, and when he didn't please them, he was thrown away?
So glad you were the net on this one.

horspoor said...

Well, it costs approx $10,000 for shipping from Germany. I think he came up lame. I don't think someone wanted to wait, and dumped him. The new owner was probably in over their head.

I think it's kind of like, I ride a horse for a student. The horse is good for x amount of time. The student, 'rides the horse back down the hill', then I have to ride it again, and ride it back up the hill. It's good for awhile. The idea is, the student keeps progressing. Less frequency of my rides, or only when something new comes up. That's the plan anyway.

I think the owner was kind of swinging in the wind with no backup. No one to get a lesson from from, no one to help her school the horse.

I heard the girl came up here to go to school. Lost her job, lost her boyfriend and couldn't feed the horse. Couldn't sell him, and it just went to hell. I don't know that. I haven't got a clear answer from anybody.

I think we've identified the first rider as the one the girls got him from, but not positive. She didn't seem to have good instruction from the get go. That may not be true though. We all create bad habits, our skills slip, we get sloppy. That's why everyone needs to take a lesson every now and again. No matter how good they are. I'd love to get a lesson a week, minimum.

Dena said...

HP

You are very kind. I know there is a name for a ballet move that involves the heels together and the toes facing north and south from each other.
That is how the first person with the puppy paws rode. No knee, no ability to maintain consistent contact with her legs, bobble, bobble, bip on his mouth.
What a nice horse. With tremendous, easy flow from the hindquarters.
In case, you are wondering, yes, this is me envying you your horse.
This one makes you believe he can dance and want to see him do so.
Please tell me that you use sport boots?

horspoor said...

Yeah, I do use boots, but they're too small. I have to buy large boots. The medium pro choice aren't doing it. lol

nccatnip said...

It is going to be super to watch this guy evolve. Thanks for sharing and being honest. Nice to know others have riding fears also.

blueheron said...

Yeah, I can see it going downhill for him, very fast. He isn't an easy keeper, from what you've said about how quickly he drops weight. And it doesn't seem like the girls are able to keep weight on hard keepers from what you said about CL.
The Youtube video and BAEN adds were for Mid August. You got him in late November? Early December?
Internet detectives, on the case. lol.

horspoor said...

I wonder when the videos were made, in comparison to when they were posted?

I wrote one barn about him. I haven't heard back yet. Now I'm going to try and email the original importer.

horspoor said...

I got Top right before Christmas.

Dena said...

HP

SMBIIIs. I love them...A pain to put on and adjust properly.
Makes you stop and think though doesn't it?

horspoor said...

ncc,
Anyone that tells you they never have fear, or anxiety is lying, stupid or hasn't been around horses long enough to get hurt yet.

Fear, or caution is fine. It keeps us alive sometimes. What's not good is when it gets to the point that it is debilitating. That you can't ride anymore. Can't do the things you once enjoyed.

nccatnip said...

hp- I wish I had had someone to teach me when I was younger. Now I am less cautious in many ways but am also less physically able. I know my limits and the riding I want to do is one of them.

horspoor said...

NCC, what do you want to do?

blueheron said...

Oh boy, I can't wait for the Top update! That's all I'll say, at the risk of being eviscerated. lol.

(That's a teaser, for horspoor's next blog post. Kind of like the coming attractions on a video...)

(I can't believe I just spelled eviscerated without having to click on the little red underline to fix it!)

horspoor said...

I don't get those redlines. How do you all get them?

horspoor said...

Okay, I may owe the previous owner an apology. Things are not always what they seem.

blueheron said...

The little red lines just show up... See, you don't get them because YOU know how to spell! lol.

It is amazing how often things are not what they appear to be.

horspoor said...

No, I spelled some stuff wrong on purpose, no red lines.

bhm said...

HP,
Good for you. I'm really glad Top is with you.

You are so right about the bit. Strong bit + nervous sensitive horse = disaster.

I must say that Top has the cutest face.

nccatnip said...

No red lines here ever. Must be a program on your puter, bh.

HP- I would love to jump. Just to know what it feels like. But poor coordination, balance and back surgery just kind of rules it out.

nccatnip said...

HP- forgot to add- I had thought I might be able to do very small jumps with Blue, but then I lost him. I thought maybe with that much horse under me and not much speed it would be possible. Not any ambitions to show, just to do it.

Next life time. I promise.

horspoor said...

Jumping may not be a great plan with back surgery. Just a thought. lol

nccatnip said...

Well, yeah, you are probably right. I just hate giving into it. When I had the initial injury and surgery, the surgeon starting telling me how my life would be different, in essence telling me I was going to be handicapped. I absolutely refused to allow that and have done everything I have ever wanted to do. It took me a while to ride, but I did. And when I start getting stiff and painful, riding is the best thing for me.

horspoor said...

Well, if you're careful and ride smart. Dont' use your back as a shock-absorber like so many people. Make sure you use your joints instead, hips, knees, ankles..I'm probably not telling you anything you dont' already know, huh? lol

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