Friday, January 23, 2009

Three for One

Yesterday was another beauty in Deroche. I gave Tonka a cursory grooming, saddled him up and rode him at a walk in the pasture with Raven at liberty so that all three of us could get our workout for the day. Raven was stressed about the whole thing, but between bouts of bucking and farting and kicking and rearing she did manage to walk calmly alongside us for several 200+ foot stretches. This is my very first step towards ponying Raven off of Tonka, and he was absolutely fantastic. Raven's biggest problem was that she couldn't push him around with me on his back, and every single time she tried to dominate his movement he listened calmly to me, always trusting my judgment.

Beyond racing I doubt that Tonka has ever been more than a recreational trail horse, so we worked on straightness at the walk and bending a little through the corners. He kept his mind on his job and mostly ignored Raven's antics. My workout came from keeping my leg on Tonka, who rides like some of the warmbloods I used to know -- capable of huge movement, but not without huge input. Under normal circumstances I would have a dressage whip at the ready, but I didn't want to introduce that into the general chaos. No pictures from yesterday, but I was wearing exactly the same outfit as shown in the one above (taken last March, obviously before I had adjusted my right stirrup) if that gives you the idea. We'll do it again tomorrow to see whether Miss Thing can settle down faster than yesterday.


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Great day with Raven & Tonka! It's good to see you out there riding in the sunshine. I don't think I realized just how tall Tonka is. He's a big fella!
And handsome adorable as all get-out! :D


Funder said...

He looks so pretty in that picture!

Aren't you worried about getting kicked by Raven when you're riding Tonka?

allhorsestuff said...

Oh That shot is wonderful..he is so dear like..the look on his face...I'm in love too!
Nice work..sounds so good..funny when the boss mare can't boss huh!
They get bitchy!

I LOVED to pony Wa along side Pantz. Pantz was so stoic and would never kick or bite. She would look mule like sometimes if mad. It is so good to ride one and pony!
I did it at the beach last year. I brought Pantz for a gal who did not show up and I couldn't even ride my own horse!
But, I took them on the beach and while I was alone, cantered them. Then...all of a sudden Wa took off and Pantz sped up and I suddenly was "Lorenzo, the flying horseman"! Have you seen him? He balances on the backs, with his feet only, on White Stallions while driving them,sometimes in the ocean tides.
I was standing up in the stirrups and leaning back, with reins in one hand and rope in the other, hangning on and trying to slow them! I did just hoot and laugh out loud, with the thought of Lorenzo!

Well...can't wait to hear more!

dp said...

Lisa: Yes, Tonka is a big fella. I am 5'5" and his withers are just up over the top of my head, so I assume that he's an honest 16.1 or maybe 16.2 hands. I've never sticked him. All I know is that I can't mount him from the ground unless I lengthen my stirrup, which is embarrassing.

Funder: Handsome is as handsome does, and Tonka is handsome all the way through. I don't worry about Raven kicking me, but I do worry a little about her kicking Tonka. Whever she got too close for comfort I just asked him to stop, told her to get out of the road, and yielded him a little in the direction she was pushing, then we would move on. I thought about bringing a stick to whack her with when she was within reaching distance, but I ultimately want her close so I decided it was best just to play it very calm when she was wired.

Kacy: Yes, I know who Lorenzo is and that story made me chuckle. Glad to know that you can pony Wa -- there is hope for the crazy Raven too!

Black Jack's Carol said...

Love that picture, with your expression of quiet pride, and Tonka's head leaning a bit to the side, the better to figure out what that camera thing is doing. Maybe? Good for him for staying so calm. Seems to me the four of you (with David) will eventually have a lot of fun together on trail rides.

Grey Horse Matters said...

What a great horse Tonka is to ignore her antics. Boy, do I know what you mean about riding warmbloods with a lot of leg etc... Looks like you are headed for a lot of fun, hope the weather stays nice.

Anonymous said...

Can someone please explain to me... why all the fuss over horses?


dp said...

Our men drive us to it, Gareth.

Others: this is David's brother and, other than David, the only man to have commented on FFF so far. His wife also has horses.