Friday, September 20, 2013

And the Clinic

First of all go check out The Life of Riley, epic contest over there, Diva and Mojito are so entered.  This is a great blog about the cutest of cute OTTB's, seriously, his nose, I want to kiss it!

Let me start out the clinic post by saying that Courage and Diva are two of the most unflappable OTTB's I have ever been around.  There is calm and then there is unload horse, bridle, get on, random loose arabian goes running past lead rope flapping, meh whatever calm.  Win! *I got on Diva from an overturned bucket, this was quite the feat on a 17hh horse.
After the loose horse was caught we ambled on over to join the lesson

Before the lesson got too far underway we paused to sign a release form.  Win number 2, OTTB stood perfectly still.  After that it was back to work.
Stand still and chat? No prob!
By work I mean walking on a soft rein, trotting on a soft rein and cantering on a (you got it) soft rein.  I had gone to the clinic a bit worried about being on the nube horse of the group; nope.  Turns out the two of us (sprinklerbandit and I) were light years ahead of the other two participants.
Head started a bit high
But it quickly came down
In fact we were the only ones who got to trot/walk a course of cross rails.  Diva was great.
Like a boss

Looks like a postcard

The only issue in the first part of the lesson was a super uncoordinated canter that I believe was due in part to uneven footing and in part to being a little sore from her pasture hopping shenanigans.  After the clinician asked me about why my usually solid lower leg was flailing around (I had no good answer other than that on cloud 9 where I was residing on my calm princess I had forgotten that there were indeed legs attached to my body), I put my heels back down.  The other thing she had me do was sit down at the canter and really make Diva carry me instead of cruising around in two point.
But I like galloping position pictures better

I had to keep squashing my 'I've only ridden crazy horses for so many years' self preservation response, Diva was stupendous, nary an ear flick at other horses.  Even when one horse continued to aim for/narrowly avoid us while they cantered, she just stood with a hind leg cocked.  In case you noticed the mention of walking a cross rail course above, here is the explanation.  I set out across the field to the first cross rail when suddenly the trucks and trailers for the next group started pulling in.  Diva was all, 'woah, jumps on hold, check out these new rigs, who is in them, what are they doing, am I still the best, does this rider make my butt look big, yeah yeah whatever forget the cross rail what if there is a cute gelding over there.....'  finally I got her attention back and we walked around the course, trotting seemed to add too much to her lack of concentration.
First poles for the lesson

and then the camera died so no walking xrail shots (I think this is a good thing)
After that we headed to the back field where we had to go through a sort of ditch, Ohemgee!  Diva thought that we had found the edge of the earth, after all three of the others made it through there we were still not stepping in.  The ever patient clinician hung out with us and with lots of kind words and coaxing Diva made it across.  I was impressed that she walked all the way across and didn't go leaping through.  Out in the big field things were still pretty chill, but Diva's baby brain had had about enough so again following our tireless clinician we walked around a course of baby logs and called it a day.  Back through the ditch no problem and back to the trailer without on jig step.
Just standin' around

Again let me mention not quite all fun and games.  It took half an hour to get Miss Priss back in the trailer.  It reinforced what we had discussed in the lesson, Diva needs a go button.  Riding at home where there are minimal distractions I hadn't yet discovered this deficit, but put us in a new spot where maybe she doesn't want to listen and we literally get stuck like a mule.  Yeah for projects.


  1. Alex needs to come and hang out with Courage and Diva and learn how to be an "on the buckle OTTB." Congrats, sounds like a success!

  2. :D So much fun. Love the recap--it's like being there all over again.

  3. Ahhhh! You guys need to come visit so we can have east coast OTTB adventures! My friend had a client come look at a few of her sale horses yesterday and she recognized Riley from across the field (client reads my blog)!!!!! He's famous!

    1. How cool! *whispering this: When I graduate in May I will be applying to schools back east and KY is my number one choice, horses horses everywhere for my Hubby and I