February 15, 2021, Volume 16, Issue 6
Jupiter reporting the latest ranch news again. To start out, we had some very cold days this week with temps as low -25. The crew has been doing a very good job of keeping the waters ice free for the herd and I. In the early mornings, the ponies and I come up with games to play to keep ourselves warm. We might wrestle each other or go for a run around the pasture. The cold days make me happy to come into the arena and warm up. I enjoy taking little snoozes under the heaters and feel the icicles melt off my whiskers.
With the temps so low, the work load is lighter in the arena as not to get us horses sweaty before going out into the arctic. I’ve really liked the slow work this week. It’s given me the chance to understand Maddog a bit better. I’m understanding where to place my feet while backing, leg yielding, turning etc. During one of our dances, Maddie and I were experimenting with the refinement within a leg yield. I’ve done many leg yields in my years, so I was ready to nail the exercise. As Maddie’s leg touched my side I put a big bend in my withers and gave to her hands. I glanced up in the mirror, yep the big bow in my neck made me look stunning, I thought. Just as I was about to cross my legs over, Maddie walked me forward and straightened me with her hands and legs, taking out the arc in my neck I was so proud of. Well she sure doesn’t know future bridle horse form thats for sure. I mean with that bend in my neck, all I was missing was the silver bit and bridle to complete my look I had going on. But I guess Maddie didn’t agree on all the flexion I was showing off.
Each time we approached the mirrors, I took my form but then Maddie would straighten it all out. And we would
start over. “I just need your jaw to roll buddy, not your whole neck” Maddie would whisper to me. After a few more tries, I decided to give Maddie’s idea of a leg yield a go. We came into view of the mirrors. I gave to Maddog’s hands putting slack in the reins, and ever so slightly rolled my jaw but kept the rest of my body straight. I was surprised at how good this felt. I moved my head back and forth exploring the new feel. Maddie’s hands gently corrected me back to center. My legs crossed over underneath me with much ease and Maddie stopped me as a reward. I stood there processing. Without all the flexion in my neck, I was able to lift my withers, making me taller. My legs then flowed in the movement since my weight was correct. I felt so much looser in the movement too. Even though my stellar head positioning wasn’t the way to go in leg yielding, I’m sure I can incorporate it in other movements.
Well, I’m sure hoping to see some sunny days soon. I’m ready to shed this thick winter coat and sport all the muscles I’ve been building. I can almost taste the sweet green grass that will cover the mountains and pastures.
And so the journey continues…..