Saturday, January 31, 2009

Volunteer time!


Today, I volunteered at C.A.N.T.E.R. and I’m going to start going every Monday (the image above is CANTER’s logo).   CANTER is a NARHA member with certified NARHA instructors. I had a lot of fun today! I’ve done therapeutic riding before, but never with NARHA instructors, who to me seemed much safer than the Certified Horsemanship Association versions I have dealt with before.  Part of me has always loved therapeutic riding and thought about becoming an instructor myself.  Maybe one day. I’d like to get some other riding instructor accreditations first and then maybe move in that direction one day. 


  Photo from CANTER’s website.

The kids that rode today really enjoyed it!  At one point I was handling a horse named Snowy who is near 30 and wanted nothing more than to trot and go fast.  It was funny.  The boy who was riding him was very independent and didn’t require any sidewalkers, just me to control Snowy in case of emergencies (or more likely, Snowy not stopping). 

Anyway, I had a good time and recommend therapeutic riding as a great volunteer activity for anyone who enjoys horses and kids (and adults too!).


In other news, I rode both my boys today and worked with the baby.  Needless to say, it was a horsey day and I’m tired!  Thunder is still somewhat sore on the front feet.  He’s just outside right now tied up with hay and ice boots on his front legs and hooves.  I took Titan through both the barrel pattern and the pole pattern today.  He did pretty well at each of them, and we’ve almost fixed the problem of him changing the lead in the hind end and crossfiring around the turns.  He does it maybe 40% of the time now, but that’s far better than 100%!  Part of it is that I have to lift the rein higher than I have ever needed to for Thunder as we turn.  Keeping it lifted seems to keep his front end better elevated and doesn’t give him as much opportunity to swing his butt out of alignment and change leads.  So, what I’ve been doing is working on my rein being in the right position, but when that doesn’t work and he still changes, we break to a trot and go back around that pole or barrel a couple times on the correct lead and move on.  It’s tedious and involves so much repetition.  However, it seems that Titan likes repetition.  In fact, the more repetitive I make his workouts, the better he seems to do. 

I got Orion out and we did lots and lots of rubbing with my training stick and whipping it in the air and getting him used to the sound and sight of that.  He did pretty well at that part. Then we did some giving to pressure exercises.  I ended with practice leading around obstacles.  He still has a hard time not speeding up and getting way in front of me if I turn toward him.  He also crowds, so we’re working on that too!  He did scare me a bit, and I got really lucky.  Being a brat-like baby, he suddenly struck out and managed to snatch the leadrope right out of my hand with his hoof.  I felt the bottom of his hoof scrape across my hand, ever so lightly!  All I can say, is good thing my hand was where it was!  Goodness.  Of course we did a little reprimand after that.  Oh, and he didn’t go anywhere after snatching the leadrope, he just looked at me dumbfounded as if he was lost. 

Anyway, enough horse talk for one entry!  I need to save something to talk about tomorrow, since I’m going to try to post everyday this month!