Pointless. Oh, and I Shout.

There must be some sort of equation that tells you at which velocity wind can be gusting before it is unsafe to ride your OTTB.

Although some might argue that it is always unsafe. But that is why Charles Owen makes such cute haberdashery.

Actually, the old boy was worlds better than he had been on the past two days, despite their warmth. Aren’t horses supposed to be easier when it’s warm – and they are, consequently, hot? I’m confused.

I cheated a little and lunged him in the corner where the Dementors hang out and smoke, so we got our spooks out of the way early and sans rider. And then it was just a matter of staying in the saddle despite the wind, which was blowing with somewhat overdone exuberance.

But here is a fun thing, which I discovered Final Call will let me do, that most horses do not tolerate. See, I have this very loud mouth. It is uncharacteristic for me. I am, in general, a quiet and reserved person. But when something happens, I just have to holler!

So we had been good and done our time. We had a nice flat-footed walk. We stretched our neck and back. We trotted. We did some bending. We started to play with turn on the forehand. Okay, way too much good dressage stuff. Time for a gallop. And actually, the up transitions were quite good. But I digress.

We’re cantering around the paddock, taking it easy, because it’s quite muddy yet again, and come up to a big wide puddle, more like a stream, or a small river, than a puddle, really. And didn’t darling Final Call jump  that liverpool, and didn’t Mummy just whoop with the exuberance of it all…!

Lovely horse, he didn’t turn a hair, didn’t flip an ear. Most of my more energetic and entertaining spills have been taken because of my propensity for shouting at particularly exciting transitions, gallops, jumps, etc. Once I was riding a green pony for a buyer. The buyer, being a woman of great humor, insisted that I should canter the pony. I don’t like to be the first person to canter a green pony (or horse, for that matter) and demurred. But she insisted. It would be fun! He’d be fine! What a Sweet Nice Pony!

So I cantered the damn pony. I was 19 and easily shamed.

The little beast burst into a rollicking pony canter, head straight up and his furry little mane in my fingers. It was lovely – and I couldn’t help myself – and I whooped – “whoooo!” – and the Sweet Nice Pony did what any sane equine would do and bucked me straight off. Halt at X, indeed. I face-planted at X.

The best part of this story is that I got back on and did the Exact Same Thing a second time.

She didn’t buy the pony, which I felt was kind of dirty. I didn’t try cantering the pony again. I let someone else do it.

My whole life, I’ve been waiting for the horse that wouldn’t mind my shouting. And he doesn’t seem to mind my singing, either!

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17 Comments

Filed under Final Call, Training Diary

17 responses to “Pointless. Oh, and I Shout.

  1. Barb Fulbright

    After I realized that it didn’t say “where the Democrats hang out and smoke”. and bracing myself for what was going to follow THAT, my early morning brain kicked in! Great one!

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      The Democrats hang out and smoke on my front porch. What up.

      LOL Clearly you’re getting up too early/staying out too late.

  2. Hehe! It’s lovely to have one that can and does share your vocal exuberance! I sing (loudly!) “Mary Had a Little Lamb” when I school fences. It helps keep us both in rhythm!

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      Jenn, I’m revoking your awesomeness card until you come up with a cooler song.

      • Mary Had a Little Lamb or the ABC song both have the perfect canter rhythm. Those songs were suggested to me at a Capt. Mark Phillips clinic I rode in years ago (when I was having a heck of a time keeping my hot OTTB mare in any kind of canter rhythm at all!) and amazingly, as dorky as they are, they have help me keep a steady, quiet rhythm to fences. 😀

      • Natalie Keller Reinert

        Did he also tell you to “Ride the swing”? I love Capt. Phillips. I used to groom for Ralph Hill and we were based at Longwood South, so I got to audit the clinics 🙂

  3. I tend to bust out laughing hysterically, that doesn’t help my balance at all.

  4. Hey, me, too!
    Shouting out with joy at inopportune moments. Last jump of a big (at the time) junior jumper class. Clean, until the last fence. I whooped, as we went over, so of course the horse dragged it down.

    I think Final Call knows there is further shouting and whooping and hollering and cheering in his future.

    He iz a StaH, dahling. Those Northern Dancers just KnoW.
    “I’m worthy of adulation”.
    Yup, y’are.

  5. Barb Fulbright

    I have just been talking mostly in a hopefully calming to Big V. Obviously, I’ve been missing out! Think I’ll start out w/a whooping “Yee-haw!”, at a soft spot where it’s not too long a walk back to the barn. Details to follow…

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      Have you heard the theory that speaking in a calming voice actually gives the horse the impression that they are legitimate in their fears? I am trying to remember where I read that and failing. But the idea is similar to that of ignoring a child who falls down, because if you give them sympathy they’ll just assume something’s wrong and cry harder.

  6. Oh, jeeesh, I gotta get a new monitor. Not. I have a neighbour, weird guy, rode down our driveway once, on a tight-mouthed, sad-eyed, pursed nose scrawny TB, riding western, not that there’s anything wrong with that.
    He was wearing the most gorgeous rich leather tall boots.
    I covet such boots, and I wish such boots upon you some day:)

    Laughing and singing on horseback is excellent, and I highly recommend it.
    You’re riding, fcs.
    have fun.

    • Barb Fulbright

      Well, he likes my singing, which makes me unable to decide whether he has more or less sense than I’d previously thought. And he also did some dancing himself, some unasked for steps of passage way back in the far fields. I need a bigger repertoire, though. lol

      • Natalie Keller Reinert

        The Mary Had A Little Lamb thing is cracking me up, seriously. You kids need iPods.

  7. I am also rather loud, but Bar doesn’t seem to mind that or my oft-times off-key singing and somewhat nervous (and therefore too loud) laughter on occasion.

    Wind, though.. yeah, that’s a tricky one.

  8. I’m just glad to hear you got off and lunged! I did that too today on my five year old TB! I wouldn’t have admitted that to you if you didn’t say it first!

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      Are you saying that you don’t always lunge a five year old TB? I sure do!

      For one thing, I’m looking for lameness. Because there is nothing more annoying than getting on a horse and walking, suppling, taking a nice warm-up, and then asking for a trot and realizing that he’s off. And then getting off and trying to pinpoint exactly where the problem is.

      For another thing, I like a good litmus test of where he’s going to be BEFORE I get on. Is he going to buck? Maybe we could get those bucks out first, whaddya say? Today Final Call took real issue with the soft ground. He slipped in the mud and lost his hind end for a stride, instead of going down, he threw himself back up in the air and went into a bucking spree. I was super-happy he figured that out while he was on the lunge line and not under me!

      I used to think that lunging made OTTB’s MORE hot, instead of less so. But I’m gradually changing my opinion on that, as I ride more and more of them. Not to mention the voice commands really come in handy later on!

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