The Archives 5/28/08 – 8/11/08

Bali starve? Perhaps if left in a dry lot for a few months, she might starve. She is an air fern. My little tick who I worry will explode if I squeeze too hard! (no, not really).

I seriously need to shorten my stirrups, but I have this mental image that if I have longer stirrups, I’ll magically have longer legs. Sadly, it STILL is not working.

Bali just turned 4. She’s been home and in work since 12/2007, so 6 months of regular work.

I do love her, she is a kind horse. And, she’ll come galloping up to me from the furthest corner of the biggest field when I call her. She is also a pain in the ass, and has knocked over Inverness more than once when shoving her way out the gate.

On the cover of the current Virginia Horse Journal (May 08), on my counter, there is a white pony/horse on it. It is fairly fat. Chris did the horses for me last week and came inside and that white horse now has a diagram across the middle/body.

Healthy Horse
Fat Horse

These are all drawn in Sharpie on the cover.

So, today, I decided to tackle that FDO concept…forward, down, out. I went back to the dressage saddle, worked on forward….and the Down & Out was coming along nicely. While my stirrups are too long on the jumping saddle, they are still shorter than the dressage saddle and I think that may be part of it. Also, perhaps my focusing on forward, with out nagging, working on the quick response to more forward helped. My dressage stirrups may be bit too long on Bali…need to punch more holes for her. It is always interesting how the shape of the horse can affect stirrup length.

The cooler weather helped no doubt, but Bali makes me smile. I’m quick to go out on Bali/Sparkle days because they are the most fun rides. The Jules/Pico days are not bad days, just not quite as gratifying….particularly Pico, although yesterday was really nice. And, if you wonder why they are paired that way? Saddle. Not getting out a second set of tack saves time.


I took her to a lesson last night, new farm, new trailer, new everything, and she was fantastic. We got there and she had broken her halter! ACK, a couple of rough corners (neighbor corners a lot faster than I do) and she’d slipped and fallen to her knees. Probably not helped by the fact that she was in a straight load, not the slant she is more used to as her chariot!

But, we got there, and after locating a halter to borrow while the neighbor worked on getting the tack room door open (broken latch that requires a screwdriver for the moment, but she’d accidentally left the screwdriver inside), I unloaded the girl, and she was as placid as could be. Just looked around and said “I approve of this location”, tied to the trailer, and then helped my friend get tacked up. I was worried about Bali being a bit “up” in the new location so did not want to ride first. Needless worry.

I took her inside, borrowed their vacuum, watched a bit of my friend’s lesson, hand walked her around the indoor once, then went back to tack up and ride around the outdoor. This horse is fantastic. I know some prefer a more reactive horse, and I have had reactive horses for most of my life, but I could become used to the laid back horse.

For Bali, it was another lesson in “when I add leg, you go FORWARD”. Reinforced with a lunge whip. That only took 2x, and she was all “I’m on it!” Lauren thinks she moves like a hunter, which is fine with me. I just love how comfortable she is.

Homework is, 1) forward always, now. 2) keep contact on the outside rein, even when she is counterbent. It is counter-intuitive for me to keep contact when she is bending to the outside.

I did get two bucks, both when I applied the whip at the canter. She took offense, but then settled into more canter!

Bali has been pretty good in our rides…although really, stepping on me was a bad call on her part, but hey, she acted very subdued until I left for RI. She is back to herself, but she is growing up, so is not quite the kid about EVERYTHING…just 90% of things.

Today, I discovered a new treat for her. She loves ice cubes. As in, begging, making faces, please please please love of ice cubes. This is a good thing as her waistline does not need calories in her treats, and it was amusing watching her beg for ice cubes. When one fell, Duke was waiting below to eat it up. I offered them to the other 5 horses in the barn, and they all looked at me like I was on something….offering them ice.

Bali was very pleasant on our ride. Once I realized the hopping was from a landing B52, and not bad behavior, and then established that “no, rolling will not be an option to keep that fly away”, she was excellent. The left bend is still not as good as I’d like, but it is coming along and she was fabulous about jumping. We started with a cross rail in the ring, then progressed out to the tiny course in the field. Tiny, since 4 of the 6 jumps are crossrails (one a crossrail oxer). But, then I have the 2’6″ vertical and a 2’6″ oxer (back height)….perhaps 2’8″..I think we did 4″ increments on the holes, but eh…close enough. Other than me riding a bit backwards to the oxer the first time then asking for the long spot…and she was more than happy to give it to me, it was fantastic. We ended on the oxer, from a lovely distance and a lovely jump.

Then, idhokie hopped on her as we played musical horses and I rode Pico around. I jumped her as she was sound enough…her stifles are a bit weak, which makes downward transitions rough, and she is dreadfully out of shape, but it was only a cross rail course and she was quite happy to take a spin around the course.

A month has gone by without me updating Bali’s journal. I ride her about 4x a week and she is fun. Since I’m riding her in the Medhi clinic in a couple of weeks, I’ve been working on more jumping.

Here are a couple of pics from last weekend.


Ok…so one.

Here she is after we’d finished jumping



About Mel

Random musings in a riding journal
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