Neversummer

Never Summer

2013-07-13 14.38.24May 2009-October 2013

2009 Grey Morgan Stallion

Winter Moon Enlightenment – Arapaho Jerry

Never has displayed a unique and delightful temperament from the time he was weaned. He never once looked for his dam but went happily out to explore his new world. Curious and friendly he has been a joy to train and I greatly look forward to finishing him. I had the pleasure of training and showing his dam. Jerry was completely honest in the show ring always giving one hundred percent. She was a catty and enthusiastic cow horse who truly loved to work cattle. To this day she is hard to keep away from a cow. As a reining horse she was supple and responsive a good representative of Morgans  in the open classes. Never shows every sign of following in her foot steps.

He was easy to start and is just plain old fun to ride, calm, willing and responsive. He already has his sires big fast walk and we hope that he will carry his dams smooth gaits, ether way he is going to cover a lot of country. Jerry is strongly gaited and as a foal Never showed gait. At the moment he is only trotting but Jerry didn’t show gait until well under saddle  so we will wait and see.

Never Summer
Gr 2009
Winter Moon Enlightenment
Gr 14.3 h 1995
CWS STERLING SILVER
Gr 1990
TODITA
Blk 1978
MIDNIGHT MAGIC
Blk 15.0h 1959
BLACK-AYRS MAJESTY
Blk 1968
HY CREST SATINA
Gr 1969
HY CREST KOKO
B 1965
LADY SATIN
Gr 1947
SEASONS EBONY LARK
Blk 1988
WASEEKAS SKYLARK
Br 1964
WASEEKAS NOCTURNE
B 15.1 1954
WINDCRESTS DELIGHT
Ch 1948
IMA HOT ITEM
B 1982
COLDSPRING CORSAIR
B 1975
FANCY DIANE
Blk 1961
ARAPAHO JERRY
Ch 14.3 2001
MARY MELS SNOOPER
Ch 1995
WNS WINDENSTONE
Drk Ch 1975
OMAR SHERIFF
Ch 1966
WOODRUSH HILITE
Ch 1970
MARY-MELS CALYPSO
Ch 1985
OMAR SHERIFF
Ch 1966
MARY-MELS BLU VELVET
Ch 1980
CIRCLE H JOVITA
1984
MORTANA KENNY
Dk Ch 1967
SENATEFIELD
B 15.1 1958
FELICITY
Ch 1948
CIRCLE H MIEL
1969
CONDO
Blk 16.0 1951
Circle H Miga
Blk 1964

The End


How do we go From Here?

I am not really sure what to do now. It seems pointless to keep posting here. The point of this was to promote my horse and he is no longer here to promote. So I guess I will leave it here but will no longer be writing, here at least.


Moving On

Thank you to everybody who offered their condolences on Nev. Sorry I didn’t get back to anybody, I really do hate to talk about it.

Now as an alternative to sitting around eating chocolate all day I have began looking at horses. It is cruel that my training tendencies were reawakened. I had been so content to plod, as much as Coyote ever plods, around bare back in a halter. Now I want to train. I want to drill and practice and work on collection, suppleness and softening. I once again became addicted to training, dressage and reining. Now here I am with an overly opinionated grouchy old gelding and a once great but now lame and completely out of shape mare.

My complete lack of an actual need for another horse makes it hard to say what I am looking for but I have decided there are two completely separate lists of requirements. Really I need two horses. A young project for me and an old quiet horse for the husband and child. Gaited keeps topping my list.

I want an Icelandic, I even found one that was perfect. (here) Twenty three I think and very quiet, even cheap, that is a pretty major requirement.Unfortunately she was in Connecticut, a definite deal breaker.

I found a Halflinger on Craigslist. I thought she could fill both needs. She’s green, I could have a project, but quiet and a good size for when the child gets old enough. I can’t picture a halflinger cutting or reining but I need to remind myself that I won’t be either. My mom keeps pointing out that I really want gaited and maybe should look for a foxtrotter.

So I did, there was nothing anywhere close, to us or my price range. On a whim I looked for a paso. They are a good size and gaited. I found one, old, quiet, cheap and close. She is even, almost, the same color as Coyote. So I called.

3.7.13 010

We are thinking about it.

 

Never

I am going to have to do this eventually so I might as well get it over with.

A couple of weeks ago Nevel was hit by lightening. He was eating happily on their round bale in one of the lowest spots on the place out in the open surrounded by much taller trees, metal buildings and power lines. It didn’t make a difference. His life was short and sweet, I was glad to be blessed with him as long as I was.

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Self Image

It’s a very important thing, occasionally a bit delusional.

This is how I see myself when riding Nevel:

Or at the very least:

 

It is interesting that I seem to want to be doing dressage when I ride western, I guess I need to be doing western dressage. So maybe I can picture us like this:

And very soon we will be doing this:

I was so excited when my husband showed up the other day and obliged me with some pictures so I could see just how graceful Nev and I looked together. Imagine my distress and dismay when I discovered I looked like this:

In my defense I was trying to lower my center of gravity in hopes of being less likely to fall off with the green horse, open space, semi and pay-loader stuff going on. It is a little sad to discover it working so very well. Apparently the helmet doesn’t automatically make me elegant and graceful like all the english riding people always look. Maybe I should get a pair or breeches? No, bad idea. Diet time.

 

Nev is still pretty at least.

 

The End

The End

I Love My Pony

Have I mentioned that before? I thought I might have neglected to.

Nev and I are having so much fun, or at least I am and he hasn’t bucked me off yet. It seems like all I ever talk about, but I guess this is a one time thing. A horses training is so important and all these firsts only happen once. Not to repeat myself or anything.

We have been riding out into the corner of the closest pivot where the wheat has been harvested. It’s much roomier even then the driveway behind the house. The silly boy gets so excited about it. We don’t fight a drift towards the barn, he is drawn like a magnet out. Out away from the barn, out to see what else there is to see. I noticed it when I would pony him. He would be pulling me and Coyote on the way out, but on the way back Coyote would be dragging him along behind. I thought maybe Coyote had just sped up that much wanting to go home, but no.

Today we went out even farther. Through the wheat, where we hung out to watch a load of hay get unloaded from the semi. Out to the corn, not into the corn, I’m not brave enough to tackle that rustling, waving, hurdle yet, but soon. Back through the stack yard, around all the parked equipment and back into the hay. It’s like a forest of stacked hay, way over our heads with narrow paths. They seem narrow from below at least. Back past the equipment, around the quansit and towards the barn. He didn’t want to go back. He did great though our only spook was here by the house, a parked semi made a noise. He tucked his butt under and scooted forwards a few feet then looked to see what was up.

As much as he enjoys going out I still insist on some drilling. It will be more fun for both of us done along the way. Long roads are great for leg yields, every corner is a good reason to do a turn on the hind quarters. Trotting is not a problem lots of room for serpentine’s and circles in that great big Morgan trot of his. Working on stops of course goes with out explanation. We used a stack of hay to practice fencing, at a walk for now, speed will come. I wonder if my father-in-law will notice if we use his calves for cutting practice?

Baby Pictures!

I found them! Went looking for something different and there they were. He, not surprisingly, was a very pretty baby.

Outside again

This time it was a first ride “outside” for me. Outside of the arena that is. We got rain, almost a flood for out here. My usual riding spot was muddy so we headed to the driveway. It’s almost like being out in the wide open except there are buildings and fences an every side. Of course that also makes for lots of things to be scared of. I really like it for a work space.

He is doing great not surrounded by fences. Today we chased the rooster, worked on leg yields, stopping without reins, and he did full spins both ways. All in all we covered every thing except trotting and got done in half an hour. Short and sweet. We didn’t trot because I need to be more comfortable out in the open first and the chicken coop was sitting in the middle of our space. It didn’t leave enough room without getting onto too much gravel.

Everything else he picked up so easy and performed so nicely there was no reason to drill. He gets bored when we belabor a point. I explain what we are doing, he says “Oh, you mean like this?” and we move onto something else. If we kept working on it, it would be punishment not training. He is spending most of our rides in a very nicely rounded frame and getting soft on the bit. Oh and I almost forgot we worked a little on the spanish walk, as such. He pawed happily with both front feet, I clicked happily with my little clicker, fed him cookies then dropped my crop so we called it good for the day.

Reflections on collection

I had an “Ah Ha” moment the other day. I was on Coyote bareback as usual but with a bridle for once. It was a muscle building exercise for me as much as anything, preparing to bring Nev home. Coyote was a little rusty and we were working through the basics: haunches in, leg yields, turns on both quarters, flexing and bending until I once again felt that I could control every inch of his body with him remaining supple and calm. I took contact with the reins and squeezed with my legs to push him forward and then IT happened.

I have read about IT forever. Everyone is always talking about IT. I know that I have achieved IT before, at least I sure hope so. But never have I really gotten IT.

IT is true collection. The kind that comes from behind not from pulling on the horses mouth until they drop their head. That kind I know, it’s not all bad. My horses have always had soft mouths and would give nicely to the bit. We, my horses and I, have accomplished a fair bit in our lives. They have done well at our chosen events we must have been getting IT? Maybe now it’s just that I can see IT so much more clearly.

It sounded so voodoo when they would talk about IT. All this about propulsion and forward movement, the most common statement I’ve heard is about pushing a horse into IT not trying to pull them into it with the bit. I worried all the time that I was doing it wrong but could never quite grasp what right would be. Then Coyote round up and reached for the bit his hind end clearly coming underneath. I stopped pushing and felt his top line drop.  Such a little thing and so amazing.

Knowing what that felt like but maybe not consciously looking for it I started riding Nev. He was riding nice starting to soften and beginning to yield, well to yield all his parts, when asked. I was not asking for any type of head set. I was asking for softness, to give instantly when I picked up the reins. Not when I pulled back but turning him and in circles. It was in circles that I started to get IT. I picked up the inside rein and asked him to pick up his inside shoulder and step to the outside. He stepped up under himself and rounded his neck giving me the proper head set because he was collected not collecting because he had the proper head set.

Whoa, deep.

All that voodoo was making sense. I and most people I know are going about this backwards. Collection should cause the head set. The head set does NOT cause collection. It’s a fine line, a horse needs to give it’s head to achieve collection but pulling on a horses head does not cause collection. I feel like such a nerd getting so excited about this.

We were working circles again. This time working on spins. I would get him going, say, to the left getting off the inside rein then apply the aids for a spin to the left for one step. When we had lots of forward he would reach clear across with the outside front leg and that one step of spin would flow. When he was dragging and trying to stop I could feel his withers drop, his head came up, he would hang on the bit and the step was not graceful.

I have been trying and failing to explain this amazing, to me, revelation to my mom for the last week. I think I keep saying that it’s amazing dropping my chin to my chest and doing rounding motions with my hands. Every horse person does that right? Dressage people at least? This is probably not any better but it is so amazing to me that I have to keep trying.

Still clicking

He’s been home about a week now and we are still having a blast. I haven’t gotten to ride him every day, I swear a certain child gave up her nice two hour morning nap the day I brought Nev home. Those two hours are my only real chance to get anything done so it makes it a little difficult. The riding time we have has been great despite the horrible fly infestation, wind and heat. Does it ever seem like the world is conspiring against you?

I took him out into a bigger pen today. I had been riding him in a pretty small pen up close to the house. I figured it was a good place to start, I am riding a green stud home alone with a baby napping in the house and the baby monitor on the fence. Safety is my first priority. I have even started wearing my riding helmet. I call my husband at work just before getting on and expect him to send a search party if he doesn’t hear back from me within the hour. He worries more about this whole thing than I do so I can be certain that he would come looking. Luckily for me Nev has shown no sign of misbehaving. The worst he has done is made it clear that he was bored going around and around in that little pen.

Out in the bigger lot he walked out nice and we trotted some circles. I brought along my long ignored clicker to play with. Other than being a bit of a handful with the reins it worked nicely. I used it to reward a good whoa, a smooth turn on the fore quarters and worked on the spanish walk a bit. He would pick up a foot when I tapped his shoulder but didn’t offer any extension. I chalked it up to a start and tried again on the ground. We hadn’t worked on it in ages, or a month at least, but with a little work he was reaching high again.

Home at last

It was a grand adventure. He got to see the sights make new friends. Paula put miles on him and hauled him to cutting practice and brandings. Getting him used to being around other horses, sights and sounds. What could be better for the little guy?

Now he’s home and I get to play with him. He is a joy to ride soft and supple, he is trying to give every thing I ask for. I know I rode him a few times while he was in training but it’s different at home. I’m in my saddle for one, there’s just some thing about your own saddle. We are playing with turns on both quarters, not a problem for him. Paula worked on rollbacks, at a walk, we are continuing. He is starting to yield his shoulder on a circle, all kinds of fun stuff. I need to get my crop and clicker out and see if he will do his “Spanish walk” with me on him.

I am having a ball, and it’s only been three days. Can’t wait to see what we can do.



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