Sunday, January 2, 2011

How to survive winter with horses, part 4


Since apparently Middle Tennessee is getting The Most Rediculous Weather Patterns Ever, it was like, 60 degrees and we had torrential rain and thunderstorms New Years night. It was a sloppy wet mess at the barn today, so besides Shannon's trail riding lesson, I had to cancel my lessons for the day.

I gave it some thought and since the day was, overall, pretty nice, I didn't want to deprive the kids their "horse time!" so I wrangled up some takers for an unmounted lesson.

We started with bridle races... I made everyone take their bridle all the way apart- all buckles unbuckled, flashes out of nosebands etc... and gave them a ten minute time limit. The 10 minute time limit came and went and we still didn't have our bridles back together. I was picky, of course, all the little leather flaps had to be in place, hook studs turned in, everything untwisted... and THEN... everyone had to name ALL the parts of the bridle and tell me what their bit was called. Once we got the bridles together we had to do all kinds of research to figure out what our bits were called... ahem...

 "I don't even know what this is!!"
"We have HOW long to put these together?!"
"Amanda, I know you think you're going to win, but you should probably understand that I'm going to win."
"I know you think that, Anna, but I'm a force to be reckoned with, so I wouldn't count on that..."
Nancy: If I just put it around my neck...
Tori: Its a good thing I have tiny fingers!! Total advantage!!

I think Amanda ended up winning the bridle competition, she definitely got it put together the fastest!! Great job, girls... we'll be practicing this one a lot, so I hope you remember how to do it the next time!

And then we learned about different bits and why we use them, the difference between leverage, curb pressure, single and double joints, elevator vs kimberwick and what a HANGING CHEEK SNAFFLE IS!

After that, we did a crash course in walking strides and how many feet a typical horse stride is... we practiced walking lines with noodles! Everyone picked it up pretty quick- even if we did have to use our fingers to count!

"That isn't a jump, Lauren, its a Noodle."
"Um... how many steps again?"
"1...2...3... and a half??"

Its always nice to learn, even when we can't be in the saddle! 

Arizona and Brandy each got a GIANT candy cane for Christmas. Arizona ate half of his then decided it was too much work, but Brandy, on the other hand, ate her whole thing, and loved EVERY BITE of it. I brought my camera out to get Ari eating his, but he was boring, so I didn't bring it for Brandy, but I wish I had! She. Was. Hilarious. She had pink slime flying everywhere and was smiling and slurping and flipping her nose up and bobbing her head. She is such a cookie hound.


  1. That is fabulous! Everyone would rather be in the saddle but it is just as important to learn those things. Way to go for making it enjoyable!