Topanga left today to go to her new home. SO sad. I've been working with her for most of two months now. She reminds me a lot of my old horse in personality except not vindictive, more cheeky and with a sense of twisted ironic humor. (Apparently the best time to dump your rider is right after she says she'll be fine) She is crazy smart, probably more so then the majority of the human herd. She pushed my skills right up to where I have to ride my best and doesn't let me get away with being lazy.
She just have extreme anxiety when her herd-mates leave the area w/o her.
I was riding her the other day in the field with nothing more then a halter on. No reins, no saddle, not even a lead rope. Which is the strangest feeling in the world to not have something to hold onto other then mane. But it was so much fun... reckless of me... but so much funnnnn.
ground poles still spook me, which is funny cuz I'll jump now 4ft bareback on Callie (Topa's too small to jump that high) no problem but keep the ground poles far far away from me. I blame my dear *crazy-insane-mental* old horse who thought ground poles were the most evil thing in the world and would do anything to avoid stepping over them (including jumping the 7ft oxer right next to the nice small warm-up X with the nice boring trot poles in front). which was odd because he had no problem with me dragging said poles around while I was riding him. Or setting up jumps with the same said poles. It was only when they were on the ground that he flipped shit.
Took her owner and the trailer guy 3 hours trying to load her up. I was holding the other horse in an attempt not to get them both riled up. Then Cactus stepped on my foot being an idiot and refused to move so I got mildly annoyed and switched horses. Topa didn't have any problems following me up into the trailer
I also learned that despite her small size (compared to what I normally ride anyway) She was able to launch me literally 5-6 feet across air born when she yanked back on the lead after spooking at the trailer.
Also, first real experience with a rearing horse where I was on the ground, not on top of.
Is it sad that she trusted me more then her owner and the same girl who fed her? I didn't even have to resort to bribes. Mind I had to lead her through the barn to get her in. She didn't like the huge step up and since the barn is built on uneven ground, one side is flush with the ground and the other has a huge ass drop. Simple back the trailer up, load her. Cactus wouldn't go anywhere near the barn, apparently long dark corridors leading to trailers is just to much for the old boy.
When I first started riding Topanga, it took me three hours just to get her to walk around the riding ring without the bucking, pulling, on-a-dime-turns, and bolting. Yesterday I went on a three and a half hour trail ride through Devonian Regional Park (from the parking lot and yes I know it says no riding but I ignored that, to the beach and then from the beach onto the Bridle Way trail, up to the Galloping Goose back home. She had never been on a trail ride before (to either of our knowledge) and with the exception of having to cross a tiny stream she behaved perfectly. Mind, I found it absolutely hilarious to see her first look at the ocean considering the most water she's ever seen at once is her water trough.
I've got pictures on a disposable of her, I can't seem to find my digital camera. Their mostly stills though, I don't think I managed to catch any of her gaits. Got one of her at the beach, whearing the most perplexed expression I've seen on a horse.
I taught found out that riding a gaited horse is certainly an interesting experience. Pacing is the weirdest feeling ever, racking is hilarious to watch on a horse that's somewhere around 6 and there's this other weird trot I haven't been able to identify but there is virtually no bounce at all. You can't even tell what foot is stepping down unless your riding bareback (or looking).