Wednesday, May 28, 2008

One down...one to go today!

I am having a wonderful week off of work at present, so I headed out at noon to ride the VLC. I love working green horses in the warmest part of the day. Let's face it, they don't have any more energy than we do when it's warm. Your odds of getting a drama-free ride are greatly increased when it's warm and humid as it is here right now.

Can I just say again how much I love this horse? He was absolutely perfect today and...we cantered! We didn't really mean to but a loose cow (yeah, that sort of thing happens here) came up to the arena gate and bellowed at him just as I was getting into the trot and off he loped. He didn't seem to have any desire to combine any sort of misbehavior with said lope, so I let him go down the wall before easing back into a trot for the corner.

Oh...my...god...he is so smooth!

Everything else today was good also. He loves being ridden in the halter and was displaying far fewer dramatics about the evil piece of metal in his mouth. I rode with the reins on the halter again; maybe next ride we'll put a pair on the bit as well and start playing with that, at least at the walk. He was just in one of those good, really responsive moods - which surprised me as just minutes earlier he'd been screaming at the mares in the field and galloping around the indoor like a bat out of hell. I am so happy to report that he seems to really understand the difference between appropriate times to act like a stallion and times he had darn well better act like a gelding.

Oh, and he stood perfectly still for the cinch. Didn't move once today. Mounting, still antsy but I think in time he will realize resistance is futile - after many years of riding OTTB's, it truly doesn't faze me a bit if you walk off. I also did a more traditional dismount today, where I kept my left foot in the stirrup until I swung my other leg over, and he didn't care about that. I haven't mounted from the ground yet but I do need to work toward doing that. Maybe I need some yoga first...that stirrup is certainly way up there on him!

So now I've decided I'm having a good day and I should get on the SSG (Small Spotted Gelding) this evening. You may recall I've been procrastinating this for several weeks now. Never mind that the SSG has had ten times the ground work and prep that the VLC ever had, the SSG is fast, scooty and half mustang and I am a tad bit intimidated. But hey, his owner has a Stubben Siegfried for me to ride in, and really, the day I fall off one of those overstuffed couches is the day you can all laugh at me with my blessing. So I am definitely going to do it tonight (was thinking about it last night, but then we had a foaling here - and yes, I will post pics later!) - wish me luck, everybody!

It's funny how we all have our fear zones, isn't it? I am totally comfy on OTTB's. I never worry about getting on a new one. What scares me is anything mustang-y or grade with that look in the eye - you know the one - or the kind of Arab that spooks at every falling leaf. Do you have a certain "comfort zone" type of horse, and conversely do you have a certain breed or type that you always worry about having to ride?


P.S. Welcome to the world little sis! This is a full sibling to the VLC except this is destined to be a VLF. :-)


61 comments:

a beautiful disaster said...

woo i'm first!

my comfort zone is anything that appears to have most of its mental faculties intact... beyond that i'd have to say i'd put a leg over just about anything.

my favorite type of horse to ride, though, is one with a big personality. no push-button hunter-eq robot-horses for me!

cdncowgirl said...

What a sweetheart! Hopefully she inherited the same disposition as her big brother. :)

Karen V said...

What an adorable little filly!

My comfort zone - my 15 hands, fugly foundation appy with ADHD! Arena baby, scaredy cat on trails unless with a buddy. Rougher than hell to ride. Quick and catty. She's body slammed me out on the trail by turning out from under me. I got hung up in the stirrup and she stood quietly while I disengaged my foot. As bad as that could have been, she doesn't scare me.

CutNJump said...

Ooooh! What a cutie!

My comfort zone is usually anything without great brakes. Which is funny as shit, considering the big mare I ride has some semi resemblance of brakes, sometimes... and the one that freaks me out has EXCELLENT brakes.

Several years ago I would ride anything I could get a bridle on. Saddles didn't matter so much.

Now I don't feel the need to ride anything and everything to prove to anyone that YES, I CAN RIDE.

verylargecolt said...

CnJ - as the top of the blog says, here we don't feel the need to prove anything except that we're not stupid!

I'm waaaay past the "hold my beer and watch this" days and I'm guessing 99% of the people who read this blog are, too!

mareangel said...

I use to love riding OTTB's and also Hanoverians - they are such powerhouse jumpers. Then a few years ago I had a freak riding accident that shattered my femur, severely dislocated my hip, shoulder with a severe concussion. What I'm enjoying now? A Clydesdale/Thoroughbred cross who has given me so much of my lost confidence back. He's a big sofa with, probably the largest and kindest heart. I screw up or become frustrated and he assures me that it's okay.

I still ride my TB that I had my accident on, after years of avoiding her I'm learning to enjoy her again. I'm also learning the important lesson of relaxing in the saddle and breathing. Right now, I ride her a few days a week - at the walk to classical music, and if the mood strikes us, we trot a few laps around the arena. It's only a half hour so far, but I enjoy those half hours.

Crazy3dayer said...

My comfort level (ha ha) is actually anything round. If I can wrap my leg around them I feel safer. The slab sided horses are nerve wracking for me. Give me a fatty anyday. I do prefer something with brakes.

ChiliChihuahua said...

OMG - What a gorgeous little filly! I want her!

I'm still trying to figure out what my horsey comfort zone is....but in the meantime wanted to say good luck riding the SSG tonight. ;-)

icepony said...

The less athletic, the better in my book, lol! I had a blast on my friend's extremely green Fjord a week ago - someone described her as a "potato". My own super-balanced Anglo-Arab scares the crap out of me with his potential.

MsFoxy said...

I like short horses! my favorite lesson horse was a big pony or small horse..not sure which! I feel so much better closer to the ground. I cannot wait to get a small horse or big pony for my niece (who is 2 weeks old) when she is ready. I want to ride it myself! I'll keep it tuned up, ha ha ha.

Foxy is probably the perfect size for me (15.1) as I am sure I would look ridiculous on a smaller horse....but i don't care! I like the mini-me horses!

TexasMissy said...

Wow, way to go! Congrats on the canter. I'm a 50ish re-rider, just bought my VLM last week, a 16 hand chestnut AQHA. She's broke but bitchy and needs some work. So far, I've just ridden a little walk/trot and trying to get my courage up to canter. Maybe this weekend.
And....that filly, gorgeous!

SammieRockes said...

I am not a fan of gaited horses, I don't know what it is about them, I am just not to crazy to get on them...mainly the Florida Crackers. There is a gorgeous one at my barn-5 years old, broke but very fiesty with a lot of pent up energy-owned by a 76 yr old terminally ill lady who want to ride him at her wedding in july(YIKES that means I have to get to work) But I love the horses with THAT LOOK in their eye, the whole wall eye I look like Im gonna do something look. Thats the look my gelding has a lot of times and then the ride is usually flawless.

What I really get nervous on is smaller horses. Im 5'9 and sometimes they through me on small horses that need work(I have even ridden a half shetland--that was actually fun) but the small ones make me feel os gosh darn big, I feel safer on bigs ones. OTTBs dont bother me one bit, drafts, anything big does not phase me. What I love is how when the horse is behaving it makes you wonder "Ah shit, what the hell does he have planned for me next time"

Kate said...

Crazy3dayer - I totally agree! I a little nervous when I don't have enough horse to wrap my leg around - unless it's polo. Otherwise, I am six feet tall, so if the horse is short, he better be fat. My all time favorite horse ever is a nice round quarter horse I rode in college who had fabulous mule ears. Ahhh, young love.

Susan said...

I love my OTTBs!!! My worst runaways have been with AQHAs. I prefer a "builing" kind of power rather than starting at 100 MPH. I know an OTTB is going to want to go forward and probably only forward, other horses seem to have the ability to go in 100 different directions at once.

I have a Stubben Siegfried that I LOVE. It doesn't fit my mare but I am not parting with it, no way.

Oh, btw, I had a lesson today and we cantered numerous circles successfully!!! WOO HOO!!!! Thank you to everyone who gave me the great suggestions.

Crazy3dayer said...

Texasmissy: Congrats on your VLM! VLC: WOW is all I can say on your filly.

Crazy3dayer said...

Kate: I'm 6 feet with a 36 inseam. I've got to have round. I'd love to be closer to the ground but I really look funny on anything smaller then 15.3h. It uncomfortable for me. Of course then the nerve kicks in and I end up screaming at both Left brain and Right brains. sigh. Let's just say it's always interesting when I rode.

Heidi the Hick said...

I am in love with that filly. One look is all I need.

My comfort zone? It used to be very specific:

1/2 Arab, 1/2 QH

chestnut

14.3hh

4 white socks

reactive

springy spirited and silly

no bolting, but occasional rearing and lots of cat-like sideways spooking

totally goofy

I took him everywhere- parades,schooling shows, fall fairs, trail rides. He always seemed to think he was the star of the show.

Well, with him gone forever, I'm still trying to find my comfort zone. I love my two lil appies because they are calm and stubborn and nothing fazes them. But during the week I ride a couple of QH and a pinto pony who is everything a pony should be. Bo is 16.1hh so I've expanded my comfort zone vertically!!!

Kate said...

Crazy - I am not generally nervous about high altitude riding (tall horses) unless they have no barrel. I think my scariest moment in riding was a sitting trot without stirrups on a 17 plus hand NARROW horse who trotted like he had pogo sticks in his polo wraps. bouncebouncebounce.....

Crazy3dayer said...

Kate: I used to LIVE for that type of horse. My fav school horse was Shorty the 17.2h a-hole horse. He was this NARROW TB and UGLY oh god was he ugly. But I loved the pogo stick trot. Now seriously if it's more than 16.1h I just start breaking out in a sweat. The rounder the better.

christeljoy73 said...

VLC- What a cute filly! She's going to be a real looker when she grows up.

Heidi the Hick- I had a very similar comfort zone: a 14'2" bay Arabian mare that my parent bred. Pretty, quiet, stubborn, quick to learn (bad habits as well as good). She was my best friend and taught me a lot (and I taught her to be barn sour, but that's another story). She's been gone a couple years now, and I'm still looking for a comfortable partner. I've got a mare that may be the one, but she hasn't been ridden yet and I'm a big old chicken that lives near a busy highway, with no safe place to ride and no health insurance. I'm trying to find someone to train her and a soon-to-be gelding, but it's so hard to find someone to trust anymore.

I seem to prefer mares, though, especially Arabs, and horses under 15'2", with a couple of exceptions. And I like them to have a mind, dead head-dead broke doesn't appeal to me at all.

which_chick said...

Comfort zone? Yeah, I've got one of those.

Between 13.3 and 14.2 hh, preferably part arab, somewhere on the hot/sensitive/smart side of things. I also like a solid work ethic.

Spooks in place and sideways teleport spooks are A-OK. (I think they're funny.) They do not bother me in the slightest even if they happen every ten feet or so. Fretting and lack-of-patience are also OK, I can fix them.

NOT COMFORT ZONE: Horses that rear.

(I am willing to make an effort to fix bucking. There are bucking horses I will not ride, but it's not necessarily a deal breaker -- a lot of horses who "buck" don't do a very good job of it and can be worked past that issue.)

verylargecolt said...

>>VLC: WOW is all I can say on your filly.<<

LOL, I WISH. She's not mine, but she is the VLC's full sister. I will have to check and see if there is a price on her yet, for anyone who may be interested.

verylargecolt said...

And I am 5'3 and LOVE slab sided. I feel VERY safe on anything shaped like a 3 board fence, LOL. I do feel somewhat perchy on the VLC given that he's not only tall but very broad. Good thing he is well behaved.

manymisadventures said...

Oooh, she is adorable!

I'm comfortable on any horse who has a soft eye and whose problems lie in too much forward rather than not enough.

I'll probably always be more comfortable on TBs and those built like them, since my first horse was one, but I have a grade mare now and I find that I'm alright with them too.

CutNJump said...

VLC- Back in my younger and fearless drinking days I wouldn't hand off the beer, just do whatever... beer in hand.

I came off my VLG once riding him bareback, reins in one hand, beer in the other. I tried neck reining him, (dumb move on my part) which he didn't do well. I steered right, he went left. I came off, landed on my feet, still holding my beer without spilling any of it.

Oh and I thought you were coming to our house on your vacation so you could drink with us?!?!?!?! I'm designated driver for a while.

What happened?

I feel so cheated... :-(

JK!

SammieRockes said...

Oh, and another comfort zone-Geldings all the way. Mares have too much attitude. There are maybe three mares I am comfortable on at my barn. Daisy-part QH part Belgian-0I LOVE HER! Her trot and canter is so big, I actually look down to watch her shawdow, and she is trained for carriage. Then there is Cupid, little 4 yr old QH, working on training but speedy and tight turns and a LOT of heart, nad Sissy, I dont know what the heck she is, partly gaited or something, her trot sucks, but her canter and gallop, you DO NOT move in that saddle, it is freaking amazing. I have only ever owned one mare, 3 yr old OTTB filly that I had during racing carreer as well, my dad gave her away while I was at camp, and the chick was to scared to ride her, so I said I would, My dad and his gf had to hel me saddle her, everytime the girth touched her she would hump up, I think my dad beat her to death that day, and then I got on, it was going ok, trotting small circle waiting for everyone else to get ready, then her buddy got lose and came by her and when they took him away all hell broke loose. She reared, I stayed on, she reared again, I didnt release the reins in time and we flipped over backwards, They put her in a stall and got me another horse because we still were gonna ride.

serensk said...

The baby girl has the cutest face. :)

I haven't ridden enough to know where my comfort zone is... other than on my own horse, my solid Paint mare.

What surprised me was when I realized I was more comfortable with her, even in her young green unschooled state, than on my other "main ride" that I rode even before buying my mare. He's a seasoned, experienced, extremely well-schooled warmblood. He'll do anything I ask him to, but somehow I find my mare much more honest, and that means a lot to me.

verylargecolt said...

No money for an actual off the farm vacation this time...maybe this fall, LOL!

Lisa said...

VLF is adorable!

I can't say I have a comfort zone horse-wise... I've never been one to stereotype breeds/types.

But my comfort zone is definitely riding somewhere enclosed with good footing... whether it be a ring, a racetrack, a roundpen, an indoor, whatever. I love leisurely trail rides and don't mind going cross-country on a well manicured course, but I'm otherwise not a fan of schooling in the open. And of course, I am now at a barn with nothing but huge hilly pastures and wide open spaces. Starting the spazoid WB filly without a cozy riding ring has definitely pushed my comfort level at times. Which is part of the reason I've been taking things so slowly with her.

VLC-- not to give unwanted suggestions for VLC's bit aversion, but have you tried long-lining/ground driving him in a bit? My babies are usually used to wearing the bit pretty early on from showing on the line... but I swear by ground driving to teach brakes and steering before I'm on their backs. I usually start them ground driving in the halter, then add a bridle once they understand the concept. It makes life so much easier once I climb on them. ;)

mugwump said...

My comfort zone is anything I've ridden long enough to survive their worst blow ups. If I live through them I relax, and all is good.

Liri said...

I'll ride just about anything. Any breed, any discipline. I do feel better on shorter horses (being 5'4" though, that makes sense, right?), but I like the tall ones too. :D

My favorites are always going to be Arabs, though.

Heidi the Hick said...

Interesting that so many Arabs in the comfort zone!

I am getting used to bigger horses but I'll always prefer them little. At 15h my gelding is the biggest horse I'd want for myself.

Appaloosas have always been good to me. Definitely comfort zone. But...I'll never rule out having another Arab or cross in the future. I loved the combination of the arched neck and high tail and big showy steps that my ol gelding had.

Yeah, I'm a gelding girl. I have a mare and love her, I ride mares all week, but I looove a nice grumpy ol gelding!

SOSHorses said...

Oh what a cute little head. Congrats VLC!! Your a big brother!

I have to agree with you on the Mustang-y thing. I broke a curly X mustang cross and it was ugly. He was a freaking Bronc. We are not talking about bucking when you got on or any other predictable times. I am talking about doe-dee-doe...Explode

But I also have to say that saddlebreds are not my favorites either. The can be really spooky and then there is that slick seat saddle we have been talking about earlier this week

Shadow Rider said...

My comfort zone has gotten smaller over the years, LOL! I used to ride anything, but now I have crossed small, skinny ponies off the list, and horses that are very downhill in conformation and carriage. They can duck that shoulder and slam dunk me in a minute. I guess I have ridden too many high headed horses, but I like to feel the horse in front of me.(and have enough neck to grab if I need too, LOL!) I can handle rearing, some bucking, a sideways scoot, and the varieties of bouncing that you get with hollow back gaited breeds. Size doesn't bother me, love the drafties! I do have to have a mounting block to get on thanks to a bad leg. Brakes are nice, but long as the horse isn't a speed demon, I can negotiate that with them.

Sagebrusheq said...

Scared horses scare me. They jump on top of you, crash into and over things, and are just generally unpredictable. I'd much rather work with a pushy aggressive punk who wants to take my head off than one that's terrified.

As far as likes go, even though I'm 6'2" I like horses under 15.3: more endurance , catlike and clever with their feet, eat less, poop less, and less surface area to clean. That last item is no inconsiderable factor. I had a huge TB for a couple years that was a dear and an honest old campaigner, Kahlua. If you pointed him at something he would jump it, period. Just hang on. He knew his job and did it well. But boy the upkeep was a chore, bigger everything. My teacher was thrilled to finally get me on a big horse, but I'll gladly get on a 14h morgan or arab- I don't have to see how silly we look together.

Day 4: Took Merlin out on the trail again today. We went scouting for some suitable cedars to take down for fence posts which took us through some pretty thick spots, lots of nature's cavaletti to navigate and some boggy spots as well. This horse is a bit of a surprise to me, the way he's handling things. The older you get the more you know you just don't know.

S

crazyhorse said...

I like to be very aware of how the horse feels...tomorrow I ride Crush aka Doofus as today he got his first set of SHOES!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was a monumental day for us! I cannot wait to see how he feels loping around with steel on his feet; my blacksmith just loves this guy so that encourages. I trust his judgement in good horses...

barrelracingmom said...

There is absolutely no shame in using a mounting block! Over the years I have found that my horses tend to have less back problems as a result of a rider mounting from the ground, which pulls on their back. Granted he is big and you are little, but I always figure less back problems, less chiro bills, and happier horse!!

havalittlehope said...

Comfort zone, Arab or Arab cross. 14.2 to 14.3 Slender Very Forward.
High strung or reactive no matter.
I feel at home on this type.

Beth said...

So can we know who the sire of the VLB (Very Large Babies) are? Those are some pretty babies.

are you keeping VLF?

JustSamson said...

I'm with you! I find the ex-racehorse I just bought far less intimidating than the Andalusian/Arab cross I've had for a year. The nice mare I just bought is soooo hot, and needs soooo much deprogramming, but somehow doesn't worry me one bit. She scares everyone else I've shown her to, though, they think I'm nuts. But the BWR (Big White Retard) makes me so nervous I can hardly ride him - and he's got oodles of training. Go figure. I guess it's that thing where the racehorse has just been handled to death, she's a total sweetheart, and has no inclination to buck/rear/be mean...where...BWR...you just never know what he will do next. Especially if a Magpie of Death flies out of the grass...

verylargecolt said...

Barrelracingmom - Oh heck, I agree! I love the mounting block. BUT we will probably go trail riding at some point and I don't want dropping my hat to result in walking all the way back to the parking lot on foot, ya know? So we will have to master the mount from the ground at some point.

>>Scared horses scare me. They jump on top of you, crash into and over things, and are just generally unpredictable. I'd much rather work with a pushy aggressive punk who wants to take my head off than one that's terrified.<<

I couldn't agree more. See my note about Arabs who spook at falling leaves! I want the horse to have a sense of self-preservation even if he doesn't care about my preservation.

Beth, the VLF isn't mine and I am not sure if she is for sale yet or not - I have to ask. Their sire is KLR Reflection and their dam, Sindy Sabre, is for sale for sure - she is a full sister to AQHA Versatility Horse of the Year Favor Mr. Sabre.

I am a huge fan of the KLR Reflection horses in general - so far have not met any that weren't just as uncomplicated to train as the VLC has been. They all seem to pretty much saddle up and ride right off with no drama. There was one that got sold last year that went to a trainer who likes to trail ride, and she had him going through water, over bridges, etc. all in the first 30 days. (In fact, I'm tempted to send her the VLC at some point to do that stuff with - I am SUCH a wimp about trail riding, and he should learn it all.)

mugwump said...

fugs- oh hell, everybody...
Did you ever have to get on a huge horse when you were a kid, with no fence around?
Did you ever take them to a grassy spot, hang on to their neck, and wait until they picked up their head and flipped you on to their back? (or approximately so)
Or finally learn to vault up, and have them drop their head as soon as you left the ground so you flipped right over them to the other side?
I don't know why the idea of you getting up on the VLC without a mounting block brings that to mind...:D

verylargecolt said...

LOL!

Well, I USED to be able to get on a 17 hand Hungarian Warmblood off the ground, without changing my stirrups...

However I was around 20 at the time. I fear age has somewhat limited my flexibility!

English said...

Comfort zone factors:

large pony sized; sure-footed; not downhill; and preferably not into airs above the ground!

barrelracingmom said...

"Barrelracingmom - Oh heck, I agree! I love the mounting block. BUT we will probably go trail riding at some point and I don't want dropping my hat to result in walking all the way back to the parking lot on foot, ya know? So we will have to master the mount from the ground at some point"

Of course you are so right, in that respect! I am 4 foot 11 and 3/4 (got to put the 3/4 in) and with a 16.2 hand Dash For Cash gelding I have been known to use tailgates, huge rocks, power boxes along the side of the road, stumps, put the horse in the ditch and me on the road, horse in the creek and me on the bank, picnic tables, you name it, I have probably used it to mount!

Kyani said...

ooo...comfort zone. I think I've got mine worked out. Somehow, I am far more comfortable on the green 15hh cobby welsh/tb who bucks every time you make him move up a gear to put you off until he realises you mean business today than I am on the ploddy-along, light-build TB who is too much of a gentleman to do anything bad to ANYONE. Everyone loves the TB - I realise how sweet he is, but I cannot ride him, we just don't cooperate. The 14hh pony who's a barrel on little legs, thinks she must go everywhere top speed like a motorbike nownownow and kicks out at every other horse within two body-lengths, often switching into reverse to 'get' them? Fine. The 16.2hh slim warmblood with smooth gaits who can pack anyone over fences? Scares the bejesus outta me.

Cobby, 13.2-15.2hh, bags of personality, bouncing and spooking ok, NO REAR, not omgterrified! of everything, but stupidly bold and cocky is ok.

I swear the type I prefer can be MORE dangerous. I tend to pick the ones that misbehave ON PURPOSE, when they are planning to act whether it's because they want you off or (I SWEAR this is the case with some of our ponies) because they just think it's funny to see you land on the floor. I got a first-hand experience earlier this year of how short, cobby ponies to do the spinning/teleporting/buck/bounce manouvre all at once and ended up on the floor. I am aware same pony rears and spins to bolt for home. Somehow, those behaviours on a 13.2hh are no where near as scary as a 16.2hh who might swing her bum to the inside occasionally.

Sagebrusheq said...

Fugly said:

>>There was one that got sold last year that went to a trainer who likes to trail ride, and she had him going through water, over bridges, etc. all in the first 30 days. <<

Then doesn't Merlin- not a laid back horse but a hot morgan- get some kind of ribbon for day 4 ? All the above plus gates, considerable deadfall, thick brush, and one scared grouse. Normally I wouldn't brag on him at this point as many horses initially crash through things- too inexperienced to know better- or follow the horse in front- but he carefully followed my lead, one ear forward and one back, the whole afternoon. As I said earlier this guy has surprised me. Now that I've jinxed myself I better shut up.

S

June Evers said...

My comfort zone ... anything lazier than s**t!

Kris said...

yes, i have my comfort zome - kinda opposite yours actually! generally any arab, no matter how spooky, and i'm right at home. i have vowed never again, however to get on any TB or TB cross.

dp said...

The only type of horse I hesitate to ride is one that's severely barn or buddy sour. Watched a girl I used to ride with get clotheslined on the top of the barn door when she lost control of a barn sour horse. She was paralyzed by the accident, and her face wrecked up pretty bad. I can't shake that image when I see a horse behaving in that certain way.

Redsmom said...

Ooh MG! That baby fily is so cute! Congrats! Glad the canter went well on VLC as well.

in2paints said...

That filly is absolutely STUNNING! What a gorgeous face she has.

I'm actually a bit jealous that I don't have an opportunity to ride anything but my two horses. I'd love to be able to ride something completely new... it has been about 6 years! I used to ride horses of all sorts and now the opportunity just isn't there.

Redsmom said...

Dang, "filly."

Susan, congrats on the successful canter lesson!

Dontyouridenofuglyhorse said...

I own VLC's baby sister and YES she is for sale. She is already on Dreamhorse.com and you can do a bloodline search of her sire KLR reflection to find her. She is SWEET and very very quiet.

Faedyn said...

I'm newly addicted to these blogs, and I have to say that I am totally head-over-heels in love with the VLC. He's a stunner. And now, seeing that picture of the soon-to-be VLF - she's adorable! If only I had a few acres ;)

oneidea said...

My comfort zone is anything with brakes... my biggest fear is bolting. I will ride a bucker, a rearer, a sidestepping, shoulder dropping, airs above the ground crazyhorse as long as they don't run off half-cocked.

And give me open spaces - an outdoor arena without walls is perfect if I have to let a horse "work it out" underneath me. At least they can't slam me into the rail or throw me into a panel! I'll eat sand or dirt any day over pipe rail in the ribs!

Comfort-wise, my pelvis and hips appreciate a narrower, TB-esque frame. My ego appreciates a horse that is large enough and makes my ass look small in comparison. I really SHOULD ride a stocky QH or draft ALL the time :-) but my thighs protest after a bit.

quietann said...

That filly is adorable :) Of course most foals are, but given what we know about her VLC brother, if she's anything like him she is destined to be a very nice mare.

Comfort zone: I prefer smaller horses (under 15.2 hands.), with some go but good brakes, and what is vaguely referred to as "a good mind." My dear Feronia is wibbling a bit on the last of these, which worries me -- which is why my trainer's daughter is riding her much more than I am. I'm riding Trump more, but he's huge (16.1, old-style Hanoverian/TB cross so very big bodied) and the "go" part can be difficult. However, he likes me, so he's usually fairly cooperative.

I got one cross-country gallop in on him before his soundness issues put a hopefully temporary end to such things, and OMG that was FUN! He has a huge engine and a giant stride; he takes hold of the bit but does listen. And I found two-point at the gallop much easier than at any other gait. Now if I ever get that on Feronia....

Phoenix said...

Ohhhh, she is BEAUTIFUL!

EventGirl said...

Its funny because sometimes I am little to confident with my big 17 hand OTTB, I can bring one home and that day I will not have a problem swinging my leg over.

But....Ponies...scare me I have always been tall, so even when I was little I rode big horses, rarely had I even ever riden 15 handers, but put me and a pony and I lose all confidence, they are small, feisty, scooty, and usually kinda nasty. Everyone at the barn kinda jokes with me because put me on this 17.2 hand OTTB that we have at the farm and I can play him like a fiddle, but put me one the 12 hand lesson pony we have, and not so much

AlphaMare said...

"I haven't mounted from the ground yet but I do need to work toward doing that. "

NO, you don't! Remember, his spinal processes will not be fully mature until he is fully SIX YEARS OLD (check Deb Bennett if you think that's a myth). There is no way you can climb up the VLC without putting pressure on his spine and withers, displacing the saddle, etc. etc.

Use the block. :) "Ladder-break" him. Save YOUR back as well as his. :) Dang, y'all are doing GREAT!

may said...

Haha, I like the descriptions some of you have given about your comfort zones!

For me, since I grew up riding cranky, spooky little Arabs (15hh being considered HUGE) I am totally at home an a 14.2 nutcase greenie... but since I ended up being 6' I just can't ride them anymore. There's something about accidentally kicking your horse in the knee that makes you think, gee, am I maybe a little on the large side?

(Before y'all cry abuse, I'm only 120lbs and gangly, so I doubt I'm hurting them.)

My other "comfort zone" type is giant WBs. I'm talking 17hh+ here, and kooky. You know, the big awkward kind that need direction to get over a 2' crossrail? I love 'em. My second horse was a 17.1hh Trakhener X Shire X ? who was blind in one eye and had some brain damage from a trailer accident. Honestly, I should have been terrified of him, but I've never felt safer, even though he went over backwards on me a couple of times and would occasionally crash into/through things if I wasn't watching carefully enough.

My latest "why do I feel middle aged at 20" moment was last week when my friend put me up on her 20-something ex-barrel racer mare. This mare is DEAD BROKE, responsive as hell, and only 14.3hh and yet... I was terrified. I couldn't go faster than a trot without tensing up!

It's funny, I'm only 20 so I guess I can't be considered a re-rider like some of y'all, but I sure feel like it sometimes. I started riding when I was 6, and started showing seriously when I was 10, but after my horse was sold under me about 4 years ago my heart just hasn't been in it, and I think I've only ridden about 5 or 6 times in the last few years.