Senior gals with senior horses

Topic for older horses and older riders
kande50
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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby kande50 » Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:15 pm

westisbest wrote:my coach jammed on her helmet, got on him did all the singles and doubles, went in the line, gave him a good "insterberger" half halt he was perfect. Yes ma'am.. :)..


Just goes to show, that if we can do it well, then they'll do it well.

I don't think it would be easy to abuse my horse either, not because he was a stallion, but because he gets so worked up so easily that someone would need to be an athlete themselves to be able to deal with him once he got upset. Or, they'd just truss him up like a Christmas turkey the way so many "trainers" do, until he got hurt and then he'd be "broke" and they wouldn't have to worry about having to train him, anymore.

I've seen that happen to a fair number of horses. They go to the trainer young and sound, and come back still young but damaged. And no wonder considering what so often passes for "training".

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby musical comedy » Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:21 pm

westisbest wrote:He was a very challenging horse in his younger days. I think he had his share of tough training. In fact I know he did. It's amazing to me that he is so kind, loving and trustworthy after some of that crap. Altho I also think that he is and was the kind that would not allow himself to be really abused. Powerful stallion thru his major formative years.
I tend to think that of my horse as well. However Westi, temperament and rideabilty come into play in the stallion testing. Different riders get on these horse and judge them. They must have pleased their riders.

While I don't consider horses 'smart' in general, some are smarter than others. I think the good stallions know who they have to listen to and who they don't. If you bond with them, like you and I have, they sort of take care of us. My guy did try to push me around though in the early years. He tried to intimidate me, and he did. :D He hasn't had but a few rides from riders other than me, and those that try to get after him, he resisted big time. I don't think he has a mean bone in his body, but I guess if pushed over the edge, who knows what he might do. I do see that he has become a kinder, gentler horse now that he has aged.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby kande50 » Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:13 pm

musical comedy wrote:He hasn't had but a few rides from riders other than me, and those that try to get after him, he resisted big time.


Sting doesn't resist so much as he gets nervous and then gets *very* energetic, in a hot, quick, choppy sort of way rather than a calm, smooth, steady sort of way.

Which is exactly what happened when a BNT got on my old mare in a clinic one time. Sure, he got energy, but it was a stiff, quick, choppy sort of energy rather than a calm, smooth, steady sort of energy.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby westisbest » Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:50 pm

musical comedy wrote:
westisbest wrote:He was a very challenging horse in his younger days. I think he had his share of tough training. In fact I know he did. It's amazing to me that he is so kind, loving and trustworthy after some of that crap. Altho I also think that he is and was the kind that would not allow himself to be really abused. Powerful stallion thru his major formative years.
I tend to think that of my horse as well. However Westi, temperament and rideabilty come into play in the stallion testing. Different riders get on these horse and judge them. They must have pleased their riders.

While I don't consider horses 'smart' in general, some are smarter than others. I think the good stallions know who they have to listen to and who they don't. If you bond with them, like you and I have, they sort of take care of us. My guy did try to push me around though in the early years. He tried to intimidate me, and he did. :D He hasn't had but a few rides from riders other than me, and those that try to get after him, he resisted big time. I don't think he has a mean bone in his body, but I guess if pushed over the edge, who knows what he might do. I do see that he has become a kinder, gentler horse now that he has aged.


Very true MC the 100 dt in Germany is very demanding and rideability certainly is a factor in the licensing. I am by far the lowest level rider he's ever had but without a shadow of a doubt our bond has only gotten stronger over time. And he does take care of me, when I first got him, I had a month on my own to kind of play with him and try and figure out the buttons. If I dropped a stirrup at trot he would stop immediately,, are you ok up there? His way of pushing me around is passive resistance. As in being lazy with his hinds and not stepping briskly forward. At first I was very reluctant to give a good whip tap or wear spurs as I didn't want more than I can handle. But as my coach pointed out the dangerous horse is one that is behind the leg. So that's been my major issue, getting good steady forward energy.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby kande50 » Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:49 pm

westisbest wrote:But as my coach pointed out the dangerous horse is one that is behind the leg. So that's been my major issue, getting good steady forward energy.


Odd idea, because I've been very slow to get my horse in front of my leg because once he becomes convinced that he has to go then he has a lot more momentum to put into his spooks, and that's when I get dumped. If I don't worry about keeping him in front of my leg and just ride then he's much more likely to stop instead of leaping sideways, and I'm way better at stop than sideways.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby westisbest » Mon Oct 26, 2015 7:31 pm

Starting the week off on a more positive note. Had to go out early yesterday for farrier, lunged my guy inside briefly to check his shoulder (unsoundness) all was well. As it was frosty cold this am so we had to work inside. My coach got on him first, gave him a good ride wtc. I did simple work today regrounding myself. A lot of walk work to settle my frazzled brain :)... ly across the diagonal, SI up the long side then a l0M circle and then down the quarterline and LY to opposite diagonal. 20 M circle and a moving TOF a few times both directions. Just as with having him in front of my leg, getting him on the aids is my basic work. So he was feeling lovely and round, back soft and beautifully light and flexed in the bridle.. did some trot work and called it a day. Success sometimes is just getting on and doing baby steps. He did get fairly damp but a short rest in his stall under a light fleece cooler a brush up and back out in the sunshine. Had a short talk with friend who is building arena and barn she just got back from a trip, and my coach. There is literally, no where else to go right now. So hopefully 4-5 months we are out of there.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby musical comedy » Mon Oct 26, 2015 7:44 pm

Westi... 8-)

I meant to ask you about that 1.5 million figure you gave for putting up a heated indoor arena. Is that because of the heating work? Where did you get that figure? I have no idea about heated barns/indoors; never saw one. I think maybe I saw a pic of one on udbb once and the ceiling was covered, unlike mine where you can see all the trusses.

My indoor rarely gets colder than like 28 degrees or so. I have windows, so the sun shines in and provides some warmth. What I'd like is an air conditioned indoor. :D

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby westisbest » Mon Oct 26, 2015 7:54 pm

musical comedy wrote:Westi... 8-)

I meant to ask you about that 1.5 million figure you gave for putting up a heated indoor arena. Is that because of the heating work? Where did you get that figure? I have no idea about heated barns/indoors; never saw one. I think maybe I saw a pic of one on udbb once and the ceiling was covered, unlike mine where you can see all the trusses.

My indoor rarely gets colder than like 28 degrees or so. I have windows, so the sun shines in and provides some warmth. What I'd like is an air conditioned indoor. :D


Mmm,, I think that's what the BO's paid to put up the arena where I now board? Construction costs are pretty high here. The heat system in current place is overhead, big blowers and and a huge vent/fan to the outside. I think they set the barn to about 50F in winter arena probably a bit warmer. There are high windows but it doesn't provide much heat. In the good old western riding days of my relative youth ie 20 odd years ago, rode unclipped horses in a non heated arena. Long johns under my Wranglers, winter jacket heavy socks. But all the competiton show barns here have heated indoors.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby westisbest » Mon Oct 26, 2015 7:59 pm

You can see the roof here well,Image

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby kande50 » Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:24 pm

westisbest wrote:You can see the roof here well[/img]


What size is it? I would think just the insulation alone would be a huge expense, and then all the work plugging up cracks and ventilation and dust control. I think there are good reasons that we don't have very many heated indoors around here!

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby westisbest » Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:40 pm

It's 80'x180'...new place won't be quite this big but we won't have to be navigating around jumps all the time either.

The footing is a geo textile base. It reduces dust, gives secure landing for the jumpers. Footing costs are huge. This one gets topped up every year I believe.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby westisbest » Mon Oct 26, 2015 9:33 pm

kande50 wrote:
westisbest wrote:You can see the roof here well[/img]


What size is it? I would think just the insulation alone would be a huge expense, and then all the work plugging up cracks and ventilation and dust control. I think there are good reasons that we don't have very many heated indoors around here!


I'm not sure K that there is insulation.. steel wall construction. It's pretty airtight, thence the need for the heat exchange ventilator fan system.. there are places here with coveral arenas and quonsets but with heat. They work well too. The coverall which is kind of a big tent can be weird to ride in the horses see shadows from the sun. And major craziness with snow sliding off. WIth our place I've never heard the snow slide off the roof.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby Woost2 » Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:53 am

Huge grin on my face this a.m. heading back to the barn after venturing further afield with Duke. He had a small snit going up a hill that was taking him away from visual contact of the farm and more important, his pasture with his mates. That got him a boot and he settled right down. And at the top of the hill... a huge wheat (or maybe soybean) field. Huge and flat. Tip toed up just to take in the view. OMG I want to hike across/around that field. Don't have permission and didn't see and hoofprints. *sigh* The walk home was sheer delight.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby kande50 » Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:44 am

westisbest wrote:I'm not sure K that there is insulation..


Should be easy enough to tell. When it's cold outside just put your hand on the inside wall. If it's cold then there probably isn't much insulation, although it could just be insulated by an air space between the outside and inside walls. There also may be condensation considerations, which could be at least part of the reason for the ventilation?

Not sure what happens with the cover-alls, since none of the ones around here are heated. The wind and snow are big problems, though. The horses who live there get used to the noises, but horses who aren't used to it sometimes have a real problem with the flapping canvas and sliding snow.

Interesting that you can't hear the snow sliding in your indoor, which may mean that the ceiling is well insulated?

If I was heating an indoor I'd probably have to live in there because I wouldn't be able to afford to heat my house. :-)

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby kande50 » Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:47 am

Woost2 wrote:The walk home was sheer delight.


There's just nothing quite like finally being able to get out trail riding when you haven't been able to do it for awhile. I sometimes like to take a couple weeks off from it just because it feels so good to get back out again when I haven't been out for awhile.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby musical comedy » Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:24 am

kande50 wrote:
Woost2 wrote:The walk home was sheer delight.


There's just nothing quite like finally being able to get out trail riding when you haven't been able to do it for awhile. I sometimes like to take a couple weeks off from it just because it feels so good to get back out again when I haven't been out for awhile.

Good for you Woost.
<sigh> Yeah, it's been a long long time since I went out trail riding. I live on a trail system that used to be maintained. It still is in parts, but not my part. That is because the local foxhunt used do a lot of the clearing, and then when some properties prohibited the hunt coming through, they stopped maintaining parts of it. And then, there was a golf course put up on some of the land, which took away some of the trails. I haven't been out for so long I don't know what they look like. I can't believe how much I've changed and how timid I've become. Every day when I walk across the ground I think how hard it is and how it would hurt to fall on it.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby Josette » Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:47 am

I miss trail riding the most. I previously mentioned the local parks here are over run by bikers - even on the hard top walking a dog you have to take care not to get hit by a speeding road biker. They give you no warning racing up behind you to pass and the park rangers do nothing although several of us have complained for our safety. I did trailer off property to a friend's boarding barn but the trails were destroyed with moguls from the kids tearing around on ATVs. I was very concerned to meet them on the trails - sometimes they will not yield for horses. That was the last time for us so we stay at home now. I even was a wreck driving the trailer with the aggressive drivers around here. I was so tense my shoulders were locked tight. It simply is not worth it anymore. :cry:

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby musical comedy » Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:00 pm

Josette wrote:I miss trail riding the most. I previously mentioned the local parks here are over run by bikers - even on the hard top walking a dog you have to take care not to get hit by a speeding road biker. They give you no warning racing up behind you to pass and the park rangers do nothing although several of us have complained for our safety. I did trailer off property to a friend's boarding barn but the trails were destroyed with moguls from the kids tearing around on ATVs. I was very concerned to meet them on the trails - sometimes they will not yield for horses. That was the last time for us so we stay at home now. I even was a wreck driving the trailer with the aggressive drivers around here. I was so tense my shoulders were locked tight. It simply is not worth it anymore. :cry:

I know! I have a good friend that lives in Alpha, NJ. She's European, and loves to do what she calls a 'road hack'. She hacks her young horse out on the side of a country road. She frequently tells me of drivers that seem to be trying to spook her horse, and even neighbors that wait until she comes by and then turn on their motor equipment. Would you believe that years ago before I bought the farm I was out jogging in the early morning before work. It was a country road. A guy on a motorcycle with another guy behind him, just reached over and smacked me on the butt. I do not know if it was just his hand, or if he had something in his hand. All I can say is that my butt turned black and blue. After that, I became afraid to jog.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby Josette » Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:21 pm

http://bridlepath.org/files/Horse-Safety-Brochure.pdf

MC - unbelievable but sadly not surprising IMO. The only one who benefits here are the lawyers after someone is hurt or killed. None of the safety laws are enforced. A few years back a law was passed that vehicles had to reduce speed to 25 mph when passing a horse near a road. I bet the police aren't even aware of this law. HUGE JOKE....

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby kande50 » Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:21 pm

musical comedy wrote:I can't believe how much I've changed and how timid I've become. Every day when I walk across the ground I think how hard it is and how it would hurt to fall on it.


The only reason I'm still trail riding (and probably riding at all) is because I know that if I ever stop I'll likely never get started again. So I trail ride every Sunday, year round, and only skip if I want to go to a show or have something else I want to do at that time. Some days I feel like going and other days I don't, but I go because I think familiarity breeds contempt, and I want to remain contemptuous of that particular risk. :-)

Another reason I'm still doing it is because I'm willing to get a safer horse if I need to so that I can continue to do it. I haven't had to yet, because my mule is getting older faster than I am so I'm still able to ride him, but if the time comes when I need a safer horse to continue to trail ride then I'll likely find one who is old enough, quiet enough, and experienced enough for me to feel safe enough on him.

Something else I'm able to do, but haven't had to, is that I could trailer out to ride and that would allow us to avoid crossing the bridge on the highway. I think that's probably the riskiest part of trail riding for us, because no matter how fast we book it across the bridge we can't see far enough down the road to always be able to avoid being on the bridge when the cars whiz by at 60mph. I'm actually more worried that we'll meet one of those trucks with the flapping plastic than the cars, but either way, on the bridge with long guard rails on either side, so no place to escape, is not my favorite part of our trail rides.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby musical comedy » Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:59 pm

kande50 wrote:The only reason I'm still trail riding (and probably riding at all) is because I know that if I ever stop I'll likely never get started again. So I trail ride every Sunday, year round, and only skip if I want to go to a show or have something else I want to do at that time. Some days I feel like going and other days I don't, but I go because I think familiarity breeds contempt, and I want to remain contemptuous of that particular risk. :-)

Another reason I'm still doing it is because I'm willing to get a safer horse if I need to so that I can continue to do it. I haven't had to yet, because my mule is getting older faster than I am so I'm still able to ride him, but if the time comes when I need a safer horse to continue to trail ride then I'll likely find one who is old enough, quiet enough, and experienced enough for me to feel safe enough on him.
Boy, the bolded part! That's pretty much why I push myself to do it. I would be willing to get a smaller/safer horse, but I can no longer afford the expense and I know all too well the problems horses can bring. I wish I could come up with another hobby to enjoy in my old age. You guys all seem to have other things you like. I don't.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby westisbest » Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:11 pm

Me either MC. I picked up a book on drawing yesterday at the library. I have a low level art aptitude and thought it might be a good time to get my mind involved with something creative.

Off to ride on a dark but not quite so cold day. My coach leaves later today for a much needed two week break down south so last lesson for awhile.

This is a great read. I think we can all relate.

http://www.barnmice.com/profiles/blogs/ ... es-forever

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby musical comedy » Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:29 pm

westisbest wrote:http://www.barnmice.com/profiles/blogs/how-to-love-horses-forever
That is beyond awesome. Makes me tear up. I do wish I could help out a needy horse or a needy person. I could take in several 'rescues' or retirees. It may sound/be selfish, but I just can not emotionally handle the stuff that goes wrong with horses. Right now, I am still anguishing about that horror that happened in Florida (the butchered horse).

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby kande50 » Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:05 pm

musical comedy wrote:I wish I could come up with another hobby to enjoy in my old age. You guys all seem to have other things you like. I don't.


If I didn't ride I'd have to take up walking or hiking or jogging to stay in some kind of shape, and since I have everything I need for riding and like it a lot better than other forms of exercise, I keep at it.

I like to do lots of other stuff, but none of it is going to help keep me from turning into a blob of jelly.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby kande50 » Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:19 pm

musical comedy wrote:I do wish I could help out a needy horse or a needy person.


I do the needy horse thing because I like taking care of them and don't have a problem with having to make the hard decisions. I very seldom share my horses though, partly because of liability, and partly because most of those who want to use my horses are what I perceive as "lightweights", who just want to come down and ride when they feel like it, but don't want to actually make any kind of a commitment or put any of their own resources into it.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby demi » Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:22 pm

Josette wrote: I even was a wreck driving the trailer with the aggressive drivers around here. I was so tense my shoulders were locked tight. It simply is not worth it anymore. :cry:


The area we live in has grown up so much in the last 20 years. The traffic is awful and I get tense trailering in it, too. I would probably take lessons more frequently if I didn't have to trailer out for them. I refuse to get on I-35 which has the worst traffic I've ever known, so I end up adding extra mileage just to avoid it.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby demi » Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:27 pm

westisbest wrote:
This is a great read. I think we can all relate.

http://www.barnmice.com/profiles/blogs/ ... es-forever


Oh yes. "our biggest certainty was that we loved horses even when it was impossible". We go through so much...

I loved the look on the little girl's face. Lots of little girls go through a phase but only the real horse lovers stick with it forever.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby kande50 » Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:42 pm

demi wrote:I refuse to get on I-35 which has the worst traffic I've ever known, so I end up adding extra mileage just to avoid it.


Oddly enough, a bigger truck really helps. My dh sells a lot of firewood so has some very large trucks, and one of them is set up to pull the horse trailer. The truck and trailer aren't always easy to maneuver because they're so long, but the truck is big enough that it's easy to see, and easy to see out of. So in spite of the size of the rig (16' bumper pull trailer hooked to a long truck), I actually don't mind trailering with it because it feels so solid. I just have to be careful not to get into places I may not be able to get out of.

The reason I don't trailer as much anymore, is because I no longer value novelty enough for it to be worth the effort. In fact, I kind of like riding the same trails over and over again because the horses are calmer when they're in familiar surroundings. (Except when something changes!)

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby demi » Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:48 pm

musical comedy wrote: ...I just can not emotionally handle the stuff that goes wrong with horses...


I wonder if dressage enthusiasts are even more emotional that the rest of the horseloving world. We love the beauty and music of horses, the emotions they evoke. A beautiful passage, I mean a REALLY classical, beautiful passage, is music to us.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby demi » Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:51 pm

I have a 3/4 ton dodge with a warmblood size 2-horse gooseneck. It is a good solid rig...but still I worry.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby kande50 » Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:59 pm

demi wrote:I have a 3/4 ton dodge with a warmblood size 2-horse gooseneck. It is a good solid rig...but still I worry.


I think trailering is like riding, in that the more we do it the easier it gets. I'm always nervous when I first drive out the driveway, and then about a mile later it all feels familiar and I'm good.

And yes, I think that those who have been into horses for a long time probably are a lot more sensitive to the horse's point of view, both because we're older so probably more sensitive in general, and because we've experienced such close bonds with our horses that we often project that onto all horses.

I also go through phases where I'm much more or less sensitive, which I suspect is just me projecting my emotional state onto my horses. So if I'm feeling old and weak I project that onto even my strong, young horses, but when I snap out of it and feel stronger and more energetic myself I become much more willing to require more of my horses.

So I think there is a lot to the idea that horses are a good reflection of what their owners are like.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby westisbest » Tue Oct 27, 2015 7:10 pm

demi wrote:
musical comedy wrote: ...I just can not emotionally handle the stuff that goes wrong with horses...


I wonder if dressage enthusiasts are even more emotional that the rest of the horseloving world. We love the beauty and music of horses, the emotions they evoke. A beautiful passage, I mean a REALLY classical, beautiful passage, is music to us.


I know that we are. We are focused on long term development not the turn and burn that I see in the jumper world. Maybe because their is no $$ in it for us even at the highest levels of competition, just a ribbon maybe a few dollars of prize money so I would say most of the dressage riders I know are very dedicated to their horses.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby westisbest » Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:59 pm

Woost2 wrote:Huge grin on my face this a.m. heading back to the barn after venturing further afield with Duke. He had a small snit going up a hill that was taking him away from visual contact of the farm and more important, his pasture with his mates. That got him a boot and he settled right down. And at the top of the hill... a huge wheat (or maybe soybean) field. Huge and flat. Tip toed up just to take in the view. OMG I want to hike across/around that field. Don't have permission and didn't see and hoofprints. *sigh* The walk home was sheer delight.


Sounds like you two are having fun! It's been too cold here for outside riding. Boo.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby kande50 » Wed Oct 28, 2015 9:28 am

westisbest wrote:
I know that we are. We are focused on long term development not the turn and burn that I see in the jumper world. Maybe because their is no $$ in it for us even at the highest levels of competition, just a ribbon maybe a few dollars of prize money so I would say most of the dressage riders I know are very dedicated to their horses.


I think it at some point becomes more about keeping going than competing? When I was younger I rode at a barn where there were a lot of older riders, and they were just so mellow about everything compared to those of us who were still so full of energy and drive. I didn't understand why they weren't more like us at the time, although I do now. :-)

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby demi » Sat Oct 31, 2015 1:05 am

What's going on in Seniorville? We have had 8 inches of rain here in TX in the last two days and another 6 late last week. It's good for the drought but it is making my joints ache and the atmospheric changes gave me an incapacitating sinus headache all day Wednesday. My DH was working Red Cross disaster relief on Wednesday so he couldn't help with the animals while I was sick. I dragged myself to the barn to bring the horses in for dinner and just slipped on my crocks. I also didn't put a halter on either horse, just a rope over the neck. Well, I know better, but my head HURT. Now my little toe hurts! DH's horse spooked and smashed my big toe. At least it detracted from my head pain for a while...

My arena is outdoors but it has great drainage. I Couldnt ride Wed or yesterday but today I made up for it. If I ride tomorrow, which I am planning on, I will have 4 days of riding this week. I would really like to get 5 days a week but I just have a hard time making that happen. Now is a good time of year for riding in TX so I hope to take advantage of it.

How is the riding back east right now? What about Canada? I hope you're able to get some riding in before the weather really gets bad.

Did anyone see Hilda G's picture on the front of the Dressage Extensions catalogue? She's gotta be our age at least, and she looked MARVELOUS!!

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby kande50 » Sat Oct 31, 2015 8:47 am

demi wrote:
How is the riding back east right now?


I took Wed. off because it was pouring with wind gusts up to 50mph. I was due for a day off anyway, because the weather's been so perfect that I've been riding every day so it felt like it was time to take a day off to recharge.

I've been working on being able to put my horse's head and neck wherever I want it, along with being able to get more or less energy on demand, because I think I now understand more about how to combine the alignment of the spine with impulsion. It's an interesting project, because I can get fdo, and I can get a high neck with flexion, but there's an area between the two that is much harder to get and I think that's because that's where he needs to be to be able to collect? So if I can get him to stay aligned in a particular way, and then add energy, that's when collection will start to happen.

Did anyone see Hilda G's picture on the front of the Dressage Extensions catalogue? She's gotta be our age at least, and she looked MARVELOUS!!


I think she's about 70, isn't she?

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby westisbest » Sat Oct 31, 2015 4:39 pm

Semiorville lol! I still don't see myself as a senior. Maybe that's a good thing. My coach is gone so I'm enjoying some no structure time. And almost (!!) not compulsively worrying 24/7 about my horse these days. He's mellowed right out in the field. Weather is still pretty nice. Second year of a new SJ event here Royal West, it's downtown in a new Stampede showing facility. 10 days of show jumping like the Royal Winter fair. Last year we had some dressage demos but not this year. So my friend who is building the arena her DH was sponsoring the Derby, they had a VIP lounge on Weds so went to that, visited with friends, watched the Derby. Rode on Thursday felt pretty good. Will ride tomorrow. Gym and hot tub today. Slept 11 hours last night. First time since G had his surgery that I'm starting to feel rested and relaxed again. Stresses, yes $$ always but that constant worry about him was draining me.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby Josette » Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:33 pm

demi - we've been watching TX get slammed with these heavy rains. NJ will get a mild heat wave this week as temperatures touch 70 again. I expect it will be the end of any more warm spells for this year. I gave my little goat (I mean pony) a minor shave on his chest and neck front. He starts to look like a goat and gets real sweaty. I may do a little more hair removal but will not go crazy if the winter is really bad there will be no riding for us.

So afterwards, I tacked up for a relaxing ride - NOT. I start out with some walks around our wooded trails and spooked a young buck - no problem as he appeared to go off onto the farm next door. Finally walked into the ring and didn't even make one circle when violent spook from pony - Yup the buck was back along the ring in the nearby trees. I barely saw him until I looked. Then we ride the other end of the ring and have another spook from 2 does. They take off and I watched the buck return trying to smell the ground and figure out which way they went. Pony is now awake and I need to get him paying attention to me to attempt some suppling. I kept the ride short and positive so was very happy 1) I stayed on and didn't get dumped, 2) got mr pony to pay attention for some decent w-t-c. Stayed on 20 meter circle to avoid anymore excitement. :roll:

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby demi » Sun Nov 01, 2015 7:56 pm

Sorry about the Seniorville comment!! Westi, I don't really think of myself as a sr. either and sometimes when I look down on my arms and hands, I can't believe they look, well, wrinkly. BUT!! we're riding!!so who cares about the age.

Josette, your pony antics with the deer sound familiar. I think the deer are in "ruttin' season" (not sure what that means exactly, but the guys around here say it) and there is something in the air. My little horse was looky yesterday but thankfully didn't do any spooks. I'm glad to hear you got a ride in anyway. DH is working Red Cross for the floods today so I am here alone. Rocky needs a trail ride today but I may just stay in the arena...

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby demi » Sun Nov 01, 2015 8:12 pm

Kande, I have been thinking about the "SHORTEN your reins" thing and am wondering if someone should start another thread in the training forum...I understand a lot of what you are saying and have also suffered through some trainers who were less then understanding. I had a 16.3 plus gelding that was very difficult to ride with short reins because I didn't have enough strength to keep my position AND stay elastic against his resistance. I got him when he was a yearling and thought he would mature to 15.3 like his sire. They looked just alike. Ifinally gave him to a friend when he was 13.
DSC_2961 (2).jpg
DSC_2961 (2).jpg (40.83 KiB) Viewed 727 times


Then there was the fabulous "Demi" who resisted short reins. She was 16.1 but her resistances were quite different. I could manage them and when she submitted, she felt so wonderful. Powerful, but springy and like she was trying to work with me. She got sick before I could get to a nice consistent short rein place with her...I miss her so much
demi.jpg
demi.jpg (34.92 KiB) Viewed 727 times

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby musical comedy » Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:06 pm

Really nice photos Demi. Demi looks like a big boned girl like my guy? You gave that chestnut away? He's lovely and so is the pic.

There was a long thread on udbb about short reins. I can probably still find the link since we can still access udbb. It's one of those topics that yields controversy.

My rein length varies a lot in my rides and with horses. I think that is how it should be.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby westisbest » Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:08 pm

Shorten rein, more leg. That's pretty much the summary of all my work :). Rode today, cold and windy outside but Mr. Big is so relaxed and happy there were no shenanigans like several weeks ago. A friend is coaching me while my coach is gone, "shorten your reins, get him round". yea yea. When he's round, on the bit and energized he feels soft and lofty.. when he's behind the leg, too strung out, it's a plod and a dull annoying feeling. Always amazing how big the difference is when the "bow is strung" ie connected from the haunches thru to the bit.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby westisbest » Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:30 pm

demi wrote:Kande, I have been thinking about the "SHORTEN your reins" thing and am wondering if someone should start another thread in the training forum...I understand a lot of what you are saying and have also suffered through some trainers who were less then understanding. I had a 16.3 plus gelding that was very difficult to ride with short reins because I didn't have enough strength to keep my position AND stay elastic against his resistance. I got him when he was a yearling and thought he would mature to 15.3 like his sire. They looked just alike. Ifinally gave him to a friend when he was 13.
DSC_2961 (2).jpg


Then there was the fabulous "Demi" who resisted short reins. She was 16.1 but her resistances were quite different. I could manage them and when she submitted, she felt so wonderful. Powerful, but springy and like she was trying to work with me. She got sick before I could get to a nice consistent short rein place with her...I miss her so much
demi.jpg


Love both these pics Demi! beautiful horses and you look so good on both. My horse resists as well.. But less so the more I ride. As in he stays in his correct frame the more often I ride him probably because I keep the muscle memory of it and it doesn't take as much foo fawing around to get there. Of course I'm referencing his working frame we start on a long rein end on a long rein.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby musical comedy » Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:54 pm

westisbest wrote:Shorten rein, more leg. That's pretty much the summary of all my work :). Rode today, cold and windy outside but Mr. Big is so relaxed and happy there were no shenanigans like several weeks ago. A friend is coaching me while my coach is gone, "shorten your reins, get him round". yea yea. When he's round, on the bit and energized he feels soft and lofty.. when he's behind the leg, too strung out, it's a plod and a dull annoying feeling. Always amazing how big the difference is when the "bow is strung" ie connected from the haunches thru to the bit.

I don't have any problem riding with the short reins, but getting him truly in front of the leg is a huge challenge. He has a 'boingy' trot, so if he is not stepping under well, then it is like sitting on a trampoline back. He is what he is and I guess I can say it helps me burn some calories. Day off for me today. I finished clipping (for the 3rd time). We are getting some days over 70 coming up. Darkness coming now at 5pm. Ugh.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby westisbest » Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:01 pm

Mine isn't that difficult to get off the leg, it's more consistency from me. keeping the aid ON till he responds especially at canter. Ugh from me too. Hate the short days. This is the time of year that this ridiculously long barn drive really gets to me. By the time I get home even today when I did a fairly brief turnaround, feels like the day is shot.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby musical comedy » Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:05 pm

westisbest wrote:Mine isn't that difficult to get off the leg, it's more consistency from me. keeping the aid ON till he responds especially at canter. .
I don't understand what you mean.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby westisbest » Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:15 pm

I don't know what I mean either. I"m overthinking as usual.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby musical comedy » Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:27 pm

westisbest wrote:I don't know what I mean either. I"m overthinking as usual.


Off the Leg: That means to me that the horse responds to the leg to go. That does not necessarily say that the horse is "in front of the leg" and especially "in front of the seat". It's like hot ottb's are very off the leg, but the are usually behind the leg. imo, of course.

Keeping the Leg On Until He Responds to Canter: That means to me that he is not hot to the leg.

My horse is neither hot to the leg nor in front of the leg naturally. It's work every single ride. (And I hate that overused "well he can feel a fly" comment. )

To be honest, while I would like him to be a little more sensitive, at this point I don't think I would be brave enough to ride what he was once (and maybe still is) able to give. I know that a couple times when I was riding he spotted something out in the field and he pumped up and it felt scary. I'm sure that is what all those international horses feel like. Can you just imagine, Westi, what your guy was like galopping down to those big event fences :shock: .

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby westisbest » Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:32 pm

Thx for breaking that down. Yes mine is not hot off the leg. So when I put on my canter aids, I sometimes have to be sure I get the response before I take the aid off. And back up with a tap of the whip if need be. But not always. If he's feeling fresh or if there are other horses cantering in the ring he's hugely competitive and then it's touch and go. Not sure that he is truly in front of the leg most times either. Maybe I'm not entirely sure what that feels like. He never was the fastest always had to be pushed to make time in xc. But such a powerful and correct jumper that made up for it apparently.

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Re: Senior gals with senior horses

Postby westisbest » Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:53 am

Woke up to snow today. Not unusual here by this time of year. Traffic in town was a snarl so didn't have time for more than a quick barn run to pay my bill, drop off feed and a check on the big teddy bear. Who was warm and snug and making ugly stallion faces at the other horses at the round bale. Sigh. I really thought he had mellowed. But part of me is glad that he is still alpha..ish.

On these days when I feel frustrated that time could be short to ride that winter can be long and the worries never end, good to find this little article to put things in perspective,

http://dressagetoday.com/article/enjoyi ... n=Facebook


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