I'm so far behind on writing. I didn't realize it has been since August since my last post. I've visited Rose many times since that last post but my time is simply consumed by other things and by the time I try to get around to sit down and write about my last visit, something else comes up. This evening since my youngest has let me off the hook from tonight's karate class, I'm trying to squeeze in sitting down and writing in between making sure homework is getting done and whipping together dinner.
It was also then I noticed those floppy ears. The same floppy ears her sire is well known for. Each ear was out to the side and had that little flop motion with each stride. She had let her rider have complete control and she just oozed confidence. She was confident in herself and confident in her pilot. It was that moment I wondered if I'd ever be able to live up to the riding abilities of The Big Guy. I was watching a true team work together.
I'm trying to remember everything from our visit this past Saturday but I'm sure I'll leave out a few things. THEN I'll have to find a minute to sit down and write about this morning's visit. They're using a new machine on Rose's back and today I got to watch the first session. But for now I'll just have to write about Saturday.
We get to the farm and I head straight to Rose's stall. Lo and behold, she's been moved. Her old stall was deep into the show barn just past the tack room but now, she's up front right by the door! She's the first horse you see when you walk in. I was pretty tickled. Not that she's up front but that she has a better view of everything. Now she can look out her front grill and see other horses working in the arena. This is good for her.
I slide the door open and immediately Miss Poopie Face hits me up for a treat (seems she couldn't resist laying her head in the only pile of manure in the stall). Of course I had a pocket full of treats so we went straight to our little neck stretches to each side. After the cookies were gone I went to the scratching. Her favorite spot is her chest. She makes the goofiest camel face when she's getting her chest scratched. So fingers cold and dirty I leave the stall. I was told by the coach that The Big Guy ran up to the hardware store but when he got back, he'd ride Rose for me.
While waiting on The Big Guy, I heard bits and pieces of how he and Rose are working beautifully together and how much he seems to really like this little swayback white pony. Apparently he is the only one that actually trains on Rosie. An assistant can get on and lope her around but only in his presence. I hear he will sit there and watch the entire ride. He rides her the most though. He checks her personally after each ride to make sure there's no signs of soreness nor injury.
The Big Guy pulled up and headed to the barn. I waited by the arena as he led her in and legged up. They started with their warm ups and then began loping around. I noticed the funniest looking menagerie of saddle pads hanging out from under his saddle. As the two loped their circles I could hear his assistants and family members teasing about his saddle pad contraption and all he did was grin. I couldn't keep from chuckling myself.
I did break out the camera to try to document her ride however I feel that The Big Guy was a little uncomfortable in front of the camera. I snapped one picture and then just put it away. I was planning on cropping him out anyway but figured I'd be better off to leave well enough alone. One day there will be a HUGE picture of The Big Guy on Rose for all to see. I can wait.
As they went into their turnarounds, I couldn't believe my eyes. Each step Rosie took was correct and precise. She never faltered and they were adding speed to boot. I couldn't believe it. Rosie was already spinning. She is quickly surpassing the expectations under saddle AND she was started 8 months later than her futurity peers. Everyone there already believes she's a Futurity contender. Call me superstitious but you won't hear me say that nor will you see me get excited until she's actually in OKC in 2010.
The arena was full and I don't think The Big Guy was intent on working on any stops which was just fine by me. I was happy with what I saw. After sitting in the middle he and Rose came riding over to the rail where Halie and I stood. While Rose rested, he explained his saddle pad concoction. He'd been trying to experiment with all her pressure points along the back and once he feels he's got the right formula for her he'll contact a manufacturer to put his design into action. This will be a HUGE plus for all those horses with lordosis out there. I'm excited about that.
As he explained his techniques for training on her I couldn't help but carry a smug grin on my face. I couldn't have picked a better match than The Big Guy for her. I was so happy with her situation and so happy that he was taking such good care of her. He told me she gets plenty of turn out time, she's better with her turn out time. That doesn't surprise me. She's the kind of horse if you keep happy, she'll give you 110% every time. I also told him the stories of how she'd dig craters in the field on her mole hunting escapades, how she'd chase deer and race me in the four wheeler up and down the fields. He smiled a huge smile and nodded and said "Yep, she's not like any other horse".
I second that.