Sunday, September 21, 2014

A new challenge leads to a new adventure

A new challenge leads to a new adventure
Surely you have something for me, a small treat perhaps?

Last week I joined another Horsemanship challenge group hosted by some of the same people who did ran the Winter Horsemanship Challenge Opal and I participated in earlier this year.  This one is set up slightly different and includes the following goals:

1) 25 rides of any length.  If riding twice in one day, there must be a 2 hour break between rides.

2) Achieve 25 hours spent working with your horse.

Work on the following:

1) Flatwork
2) Trails
3) Jumps (baby cross rails count)

4) Do a Job (learning to Bow)

5) Performance Piece on something outside your comfort zone.

Opal and I have had a couple rides, hit the trail soon, have 'jumped' a baby jump, and work on flatwork frequently.

As for the 'out of my comfort zone' I really struggled to figure out what to do here since I really don't have an outside my comfort zone with horses.  I've done a lot in my riding career, and have a lot more I can still learn, but as for something that makes me 'uncomfortable', well, I just don't feel that way around horses.  (Not to be mistaken for being careful, safe, and educated around horses)

After talking with a few people and thinking it over, I decided to see if Opal and I could take a stab at something I've always wanted to try, but have little to no knowledge on.  Mounted Archery.  

Yep, you read that right.  I have not shot a bow since Girl Scout Camp at age, oh, 11 or so.  Before I go and spend money on a bow and taking classes, practicing, ect, I needed to make sure Opal was on board with this idea.

I first started by throwing crops/whips out in front of her while I was standing next to her.  Piece of cake, no reaction.  

Next our barn owner Tami offered to fire off a few arrows at out target while I held Opal to see how she would do.  We started out in front of Opal, then next to, and finally over her back.  You can see Opal's "Big Reaction" here in this short video.

Needless to say this is all very encouraging.  I'll be attending a beginning archery class in a few weeks, until then, Opal and I will be working on moving off my legs and flexion while riding.

Ehawee is being ridden not only by my family, but by a younger student as well.  She is a patient schooling horse and is very forgiving to her students, but still makes them work for it.  She is also being schooled with the side reins and working on cavaletties when I ride her.

Kip's Horsemanship Throwdown Progress
2 rides
4.5 hours total

Goals Completed
Do a Job (new trick, bow)

Visiting with Opal

Emmy is progressing nicely in her training.  She worked with the buoys today again, and sported her new bridle and bit her Mommy sent her.  We are still a ways away from riding, but she is being introduced to the tack now to wear it while she works to get use to being tacked up.  She plays with the rollers on her bit a lot right now, but likes her bit overall.  She also let me trim her a bridle path so her bridle will sit nicely behind her ears.


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