Thursday, 20 August 2015

#TBT: Who Cut My Horse's Brakes Lines?

So, I've told you guys a bit about my old pony and my old hunter/eventer/13 years of trying ro squash a square peg in a round hole.  I haven't told much about my old event/dressage horse. What a mare. Three quarters thoroughbred and one quarter percheron, built like a rugby fullback and thought she was a race horse.  She wasn't that far wrong either.  That mare could GO!
Which caused the occasional steering problem...

Like many mares, and women, she had some rather firmly held opinions and resented being told what to do. (Get your knickers out of a twist.  We women hate being 'told'.  I know it, you know it, let's just sip some wine and move on)  There's an old saying. You can tell a gelding, but ask a mare and discuss it with a stallion.  Damned if it isn't the truth.

Go ahead, TELL a mare, I dare you

After moving the old guy on to a semi-retirement home that I wanted to move into myself, I started the inevitable horse hunt.

1) NOT A STOPPER (can't imagine why. hey?)
2) Eventing experience ideal
3) Decent jumping form
3) Accomodate the T-Rex's tail

Which led me to the eventing mare; solid, forward, not huge.  I try her out with my sister there. Its winter, we're in the indoor. Walk/trot/canter, jump a few things. Mare is taking me to the jumps, not stalling, YAY!

Barn Owner "She can ride, can't she?"
Sister "Yup"
Barn Owner "And no concerns jumping towards home? Gutsy"
... This is when we both should have paused for a second...

Ride mare a few times, like her, buy her, take her home.  Notice that she tends to 'build momentum" on course, but we're still in the indoor so no big deal right?  Then we move outside in the spring.
Bigger ring, more space, more ... ummm... momentum?

Mare has a philosphy "Sit down, shut up and hang on", combine this with an apparent lack of brakes in her snaffle ... and an irresistible love affair with the long spot. It was the beginning of some interesting lessons.
Otherwise known as the "Hail Mary Long Spot"
Which brings me to this:

Dear Eventing Snaffle purists, aka 'snaffle nazis', there exist some horses for which no amount of 'flatwork' will provide a ridable horse over fences once a jump appears in front of them.  I know you will squawk vocally that this is a rider issue. That all horses should be able to jump in a snaffle, preferably a loose ring, french link.  I would invite you to ask for the opportunity to demonstrate this miracle on one of these jumping 'attack machines', preferably XC.  I will cheerfully attend this demonstration, drink in hand as you waterski off into the sunset.

Just much ... much faster

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