Saturday, November 30, 2013

Ginger

 Today, my older brother, Robin, accompanied my parents and I to the stable so he could watch my lesson before heading back to college. Meghan was giving a young girl a quick lesson on Reno, so she said I would get to ride Ginger today instead. I was excited about about that.

 Ginger is a chestnut mare, about 15.2 hands high. She was once a polo pony but was later sold to a woman in the Bay Area, who did jumping with her. Now, Meghan owns her and uses her as a lesson horse. Ginger is a little more energetic than Reno.

 When I tried to put the halter on, she raised her head a little bit, so had to reach a up to get it on. I led her to the crossties, hooked her up, and grabbed her grooming supplies from a shelf in the tack room. Unlike Reno, Ginger has been body clipped and has a short, pulled mane, like most other English horses. While I groomed her, I talked to her and tried to get to know her. Then I picked her hooves. She was reluctant to lift her first hoof, the left front, but she lifted the others almost immediately. Once I finished, I pet her and talked some more.

 By then, Meghan had come so I began to tack Ginger. I strapped on her boots, saddled her, put the bridle on, and led her into the arena. Usually, I mount using the large mounting stairs just outside the barn, but this time I used the smaller block that always stays in the arena. The arena had bee cut in half, lengthwise, with poles and dressage letters. Lily, one of the girls in Pony Club, was trotting on Milo, a tall dappled grey Thoroughbred.

 I rode the section she wasn't using and warmed up by halting and walking. Meghan taught me about the subtle aids, so I focused a lot on halting and going without using the reins and without saying, "whoa." Then, I did more trot work. Meghan made sure I kept contact with Ginger's sides and gripped her with the side of my calves, rather than pushing down hard in the stirrups. After working on that for a little bit, I rode the usual route around the barn to cool Ginger down. While I rode, Meghan told me that in my next lesson(next week), I would be riding Reno in the round pen to do even more trot work if it is not being used by someone else.

 Once Ginger was cooled down, I untacked her and began grooming. Lily soon brought Milo, who was wet from a bath, into the barn and tied him in the crossties next to me. Milo is a huge horse, at least 16 hands high, if not even taller. He actually came from the same polo barn as Ginger, but he never played in any games because he was not good at polo. Milo is the same OTTB that I saw in one of the outdoor stalls the first time I took a lesson.

 I finished grooming Ginger and picking her hooves, so I led her to her paddock. It was a great lesson. I learned a lot and I really enjoyed riding Ginger.

 P.S. I was wondering what you do to clean half chaps and/or boots. I just wiped mine down with a moist rag, but I wanted to what you do.

8 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great lesson!!! It's awesome that you get to ride different horses,very good for any rider, especially a beginner, to help develop a more versatile seat. :)

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    1. It was really cool riding Ginger. She felt different to ride than Reno, so I can see why it helps my riding skills.

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  2. This is what I generally use for leather cleaner but there are many brands that would work just as well. http://www.smartpakequine.com/effax-leather-cream-soap-10819p

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  3. Cleaning depends on what type of material your items are: for real leather, I would invest in some type of cleaning product.. I personally alternate between spray glycerin soap and Effax Lederbalsm. For my boots, I wipe them down lightly probably twice a week with just a damp rag and do a deep cleaning maybe once a month. I would probably do something similar with sythetic, although skip the Balm.

    For suede, I'm not quite sure. Maybe someone else will have experience cleaning that?

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    1. Thanks for the info! I think my boots are synthetic.

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  4. Sounds like a great lesson, lots of progress!
    As to cleaning your half-chaps and boots, wiping them off after every ride is great. You can buy and use leather cleaner at tack stores or online. Lexol is a good brand. I'm sure you can get a mini-lesson on tack cleaning from your coach, and then use those skills on your boots and half-chaps. =)

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    1. It was a great lesson! Thanks for the advice on cleaning. My coach told me that if it is too rainy to ride, we'll probably be doing stuff like that inside the barn.

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