Thursday, October 1, 2009

Incredible Horse!!!

Yep, that is what I now call my four year old gelding, Ozzie. Mr. Incredible. I took him for another lesson today and he was super fantastic. We worked on speed control, which was super easy, and we worked on flying lead changes in a figure eight. It was an awesome lesson. I still get all jittery and nervous when I go to ride Ozzie. I woke up at 4 am this morning all nervous. I know, I am a dork. But I also knew he hadn't been ridden since our last lesson two weeks ago. The rain has kept me from riding. But that didn't keep Ozzie from being absolutely incredible. CiCi got on Ozzie first and just rode him around the round pen and then just a couple round in her arena, then it was my turn. I was nervous. But things went well, very well. Despite the fact that I ride like I am approaching a jump. It's hard not to ride like a hunter/jumper, when that's all I did for 18 years. I keep telling myself to "sit on my back pockets!" I love how relaxed Ozzie is over at CiCi's house. I love how relaxed I am over at CiCi's house. There is just something about having her stand in the arena that makes me feel invincible. Well, if not that, at least I feel like I can ride. See how relaxed and "loafy" Ozzie looks. Then there I am sitting up there like I am in some Hunter Under Saddle Class. Man, old habits are hard to kill. Oh my sweet Ozzie, how I love you! It seems like all those years of training have just clicked. It all just works now. Do you see those loose reins? Well, they are much more loose than other times when I have had a death grip on them and Ozzie's head was up in the air and I was holding on for dear life! It was a wonderful trot/jog around the pen. There were times when he was jogging so slow I actually had to squeeze him a bit so he wouldn't stop. I haven't had to do that since I first broke him out and he didn't understand what trotting was!! I couldn't be more excited with how he is turning out. The sad fact is, is that I can't keep him. I am still needing to sell him. It's either him or Josephine, and I think Josephine will be nicer than him. Oh, goodness, that just doesn't sound nice on Ozzie's behave. Because Ozzie is so good. Josephine is his half sister. We did a wonderful "whoa" and then I got all grouped together for........the dreaded.....CANTER! But you know what? This is what happened......... Yep, we did it! We cantered around and around the arena. I only had to check him a few times, but hey, Ozzie is only four years old. Hello, my name is Andrea and I ride like a jumper. Tell me, if anyone has any tips on how to stop this please let me know! It was really a wonderful ride. There was nothing bad about it, except for maybe my poor body position. There is CiCi!! She is wonderful !! She has helped me SOOOOO much with Ozzie and I have only gone over there twice. It's amazing what someone can do for your confidence. CiCi, you are the best! Let me just tell ya that the stop after that lope was awesome!! His hind end did a little slide and he was all collected in his stop and back!! Oh the joy! I haven't ridden a horse like that in forever!! We took a little break and then worked on some body positioning with me and Ozzie for flying lead changes. When I look at these pictures I really think hard about what kind of dressage horse Ozzie could be. He really is a good mover. He leg yields and side passes well. He is very light with all his cues. I know that when a horse barrel races that not a lot of people say, "Gee did you see that nice swinging trot!!" Hahaha. Normally the horse is going by so fast it's really hard to see anything! Okay, they are not that fast, but they do go pretty darn fast. I know I have posted a ton of pictures, but I am just super excited. I just wanted to post a picture of Ozzie when he was with that horrible "trainer". Ozzie just looks so little in that picture. And to think, he was four there. Now look at my fat boy! It's amazing what some food and love can do. Thanks Ozzie for a fantastic ride! I hope we can keep this up and find him a wonderful home.


BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

My mom has taught me to be a firm believer in "a thin horse is not a happy horse". I think Ozzie was struggling this spring because he was both immature and didn't have enough weight on him to have any "power".

He sure has changed for the better Andrea! That extra weight makes him look like a totally different horse...that and a little more time to grow up seems to have changed his attitude completely.

I think he could go about any direction a person wanted him too-WP, HUS, dressage or barrels.

As for how barrel horses move-yes I do watch girls warm their horses up and take note of horses that travel well. It makes a difference. I can watch women in the warm up pen and can pretty much predict how their runs will go. A horse that moves out nicely, stops square and handles himself comfortably will usually make a nice(if not smoking fast) run. The ones charging around the warm up pen, doing one-reined stops or loping endless circles with their horse's head cranked to the inside? Well, that's how those horses are going to run the pattern too.

PS-You are being much too hard on yourself. Even if your body is tipped a bit forward, you still look good riding. That smile is worth a million bucks.;)

Paint Girl said...

Ozzie looks so good, really filled out! I am so happy that you had such a good ride on him, it really helps when there is someone there guiding you! CiCi sounds wonderful!
The only thing I can say about your body position, is to sit on your pockets like you said. I have always ridden western, only did english for fun, so I am sure my position in an english saddle looks terrible, like a western rider! It will come. My trainer always has be lean back just a little.
I remember my first horse show as a kid, watching the video, I was leaning forward. I quickly learned that is not what you do, especially seeing all the other western riders!
Hope you can find a good home for Ozzie!

Karen said...

You've got good equitation as a hunt seat rider though. So there's that.

Paula said...

Something I have just learned is to tilt your pelvic bone up like you have a string connecting it to the saddle horn. This keeps your pockets down, AND works your abs and glutes!

Danielle Michelle said...

What are you talking about? You so too can ride silly girl?! lol

Ozzie looks fantastic! Are you sure you can't keep him? Too bad I don't live closer and can afford another horse. We're full up right now - but it would be nice to have a horse to finish instead of getting started.

Just think - a year ago you were all stressed he'd never be any good! Now he's 'Mr. fantastic'!!!

Alex said...

THIS is what it's all about!

Tj and Mark said...

I am so happy for Ozzie and you. I realized looking at the photos that I often lean a little too forward too, I will just say I used to ride hunt seat! LOL. For me though, riding is about enjoying the freedom and the relationship I have when I am on their back. Enjoy!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I love it when a horse can ignore our nervousness and teach us that there's nothing to worry about. Ozzie must be a good guy.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Mr. Incredible! That's awesome news, Andrea. I'm so happy for you. Ozzie looks awesome, so much more mature and filled out. He's like a totally different horse.

And you looked amazing. I think you've lost some weight, too. You look gorgeous!


Grey Horse Matters said...

Congratulations on a great ride and a wonderful horse. Keep up the fun.

Mrs Mom said...

Girl, quit being so hard on yourself ;) Bring your shoulders back a tad, in line with those hips, and Bob's yer Uncle ;)

Ozzie. Looks. Incredible. Excellent job. Excellent.

Everyone is right-- that smile? That fun we can literally FEEL you having? IS SO WORTH IT!!

Keep it up!

Adventures of a Horse Crazed Mind said...

You guyss look awesome! What a pretty frame! Dont worry about your upper body, it will come, trust me I had the same problem for the better part of a year. If I had a dollar for every time my instructor called "sit back! sit back! Sit in your pockets! sit back!" LOL I'd be a millionaire!!

Funny thing is that I rode a horse who was trained by a girl who leaned forward all the time and when I asked him to lope off I was leaning back so he wouldnt go. She called "Just lean forward!" I was like "I finally, finally get it and now I have to lean forward! No way!" lol

Great job, great photos, gorgeous horse! Congrats~!

The Wades said...

Oh yea! I love a happy story. Glad to know you both did so well.

Guess what. I would have never known you weren't sitting correctly. I am in need of my own serious lessons.

Five O'Clock Somewhere said...

What a big change...for the better. He looks great! Amazing that he was so well behaved with two weeks off too!

I ride english and had my 3 year old started western. When I went to go ride her at the ranch, I had to ride western and the trainer said..."you english people ride funny". I am sure I was leaning forward.

KD said...

Yay for you and Ozzie ! You guys look great together!

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