Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Another notch

This weekend was just chock full of horsey and doggie activities. Sunday morning was another SCA practice. I missed last month's as we went to Albuquerque, and there is only one more before the Champions event at our place Aug 3rd. So I was keen to go.

(See also: Going Medieval; Grand Day Out ; Joust! ; and last but actually first: Caer Galens Event at SPR 2007)

Dave, on the other hand, wasn't all that keen, lol. So - I got J all loaded up and just took him myself. Talk about cutting a few notches into that irrational fear I still have about trailering. Other than forgetting to close the escape door on the side of the trailer... We did fine! (I closed that door in the neighbor's driveway.)

Anywhoo, we had a terrific practice. Jordan was my little star! Being entirely sensible about all the brand new experiences and not trying to run away with me hardly at all. (We still need work on cantering in a nice, relaxed manner tho.)

We started off with a ring lance. These lances are considerably larger than the broomstick we play with at home. They are esentialy 8 foot long closet rods. So we messed with carrying that around. When couched on my hip I was woried about hiting the rafters with it - but the others said it wasn't that close. (Did I mention we were inside the indoor arena?) We gave the quintane a go, getting a couple good hits but struggled mainly with the fact the ring lance is tapered at the end (all the better to spear rings with) so it had a tendency to slide on the shield target rather than push it. No worries, because I really wasn't in the mood to try even riding with the quintane lance, much less aiming it at anything. That thing must have been 15 feet long. Not terribly heavy, as we did handle it on the ground, but just trying to manoever it seemed like more than I wanted to tackle that day.

We did some rings too. That clearly is just something that takes a lot of practice. And strength. After awhile of just holding the ring lance my shoulder was aching and I had to hand it off to the ground crew. But my next project has to be fashioning a real lance and ring stands.

Then we tried... Archery! The arrows are just 'boffer' arrows - big tubes with blocks of foam on the end. But it was a blast. Started with twanging the bow from his back, to get him used to that sound, and I'm sure he gets some of the vibration through my body too. A few flinches, but then it was nothing. Took several shots at the quintane at the walk. Typically horseback archery is done dropping your reins to shoot. At the walk I could have done that but didn't.

Finaly I tried pig sticking. Its a long metal tipped spear and you skewer a styrofoam block on the ground. Sounds easy, and it started out seeming like it was, until I was informed I was doing it all wrong. LOL. You are supposed to hold the spear in a really unnatural way - so that you can spear the block, then let the momentum of the horse carry you past it. The block goes back and is to swing up in an arc so that in the end you have it over your head. Well, this means you have to have it cocked and ready to go on the approach in a way my arm just couldn't accommodate since it was already fatigued. So - something else to look forward to working at in the future. :-)

Anyways, the folks are all super great and it was that much more fun this time than the first, starting to get comfortable and all. And my J-baby made me soooo proud! Sorry no pictures to share, as my squire decided to sleep in. :-P

Soon after we got home, Ginger and I headed out to go take a look at a horse someone wanted to give us. It still amazes me, how many times we've been approached to be given a horse! That this was yet another referal from our vet makes it a little more understandable. (some have been out of the blue. Joey came to us from a woman who found us in the yellow pages. Apparently our website does a good job of convincing people that we really care for our horses.)

This lady had just gotten a newer, younger horse to continue eventing with, and wants her 16 year old thoroughbred to have a nice life doing easy lessons. That fits us to a T, of course. Unfortunately we didn't think the horse fit us well. Wonderful horse - but massive! Not quite as tall as Jordan, I'd bet he out weighed J by 200 pounds. And he had great energy; very athletic and bouncy gaits - but they aren't easy for beginners to ride. So we turned her down. Fortunately she had another option, to give him to a lesson program at her previous barn. They are much more focused on his style of riding and knew the horse already, so I think he'll work for them better. What I don't understand is just HOW IS IT that we end up feeling guilty for not accepting a gift horse??

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe how quickly you two are adding to your repetoire. Go Jordan! Go Monica!

LOL - I was thinking you were looking a gift horse in the mouth :-D (is that how that saying goes?) ~Lydia

6/11/08, 11:19 AM  

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