GOAL: test Monarch for calmness and connection before taking him to Bosom Buddies Event Saturday, 10/10/15
METHOD: I cleaned up Monarch with Miracle Groom, then spray painted his mane and tail pink for breast cancer awareness. He was really suspicious of the hair spray, though he easily allows me spray him with insect repellent. I think the little paint ball inside the can and the paint smell put him on his guard. I bought the hair spray at Sally’s Beauty Supply, so it has to be safe for horses too. After he was cleaned with his new hair do, I hopped on him bareback with just a rope tied to his halter. I tested him for engagement and connection without a bit or spurs.
It was really fun. Today, as I put him “on the bit in collected trot” he got more and more engaged. It felt wonderful to ride. We trotted a good part of the 5K. Thanks to all who put this event together, and everyone who gave us a wave and a smile. We really enjoyed participating. Best wishes to all my Bosom Buddies.
OUTCOMES: Walk still much improved with lengthened strides. Trot became more and more engaged through the ride. It took him awhile to figure out how to round and become connected without a bit. When that happened, it was lovely and easy to hold.
REFLECTION: Riding bareback is such a gift from the horse, as they are not built to carry our weight. Riding bareback allows the feeling rider to receive so much feedback about how the horse is moving underneath her. Monarch lifted his back in a swinging rhythm; the trot was nicely engaged. He is ready for the Bosom Buddies event tomorrow.
GOAL: raise awareness for breast cancer by participating in the Bosom Buddies 5K Run/Walk; have a calm horse that can handle a variety of unusual stimuli without spooking or bolting; raise awareness for the lovely qualities of a Lipizzan
METHOD: We entered last. The runners left at 9AM and the walker went shortly thereafter. After tacking up, we went to the main event and rode through all the banners, loud sound system, etc, and entered the route. The walkers were about 1/2 mile ahead of me. When I was sure he was connected, I asked for a slow trot to help relax him and to catch up. As we crossed a street or came up to a group of walkers, I asked for Monarch to walk.
OUTCOMES: After the first kilometer, he became very engaged, and the collected trot became very lofty. Looking at our shadow, he looked lovely. It felt wonderful to ride. We trotted a good part of the 5K. Lots of well-wishers and admirers along the way. Lots of fun.
REFLECTION: Thanks to all who put this event together, and everyone who gave us a wave and a smile. We really enjoyed participating. Best wishes to all my Bosom Buddies.