September 10, 2009

Prince Charming, and a new assistant trainer

This is my daughter’s pony Mac Gyver, aka Charlie.
He is such a cutie, a real Happy-Go-Lucky kind of character.
Always a smile on his face - the only exception being when you brush his belly (but if he is eating that's OK too)
He is 14 yo Swedish bred New Forest, and a perfect school master to our daughter.
He has not the most impressive of gaits, but he knows all the FEI movements and is happy to help the rider along.
He might on the other hand throttle the motor if the rider is not attentive, but hey, no-one is perfect. But he is very close to.
We all love him.

Yesterday I rode him as my daughter was not feeling well.
After some stretching and supplying work, we got down to business.
Once he got going, it was a treat to ride him.
He is very stable in the connection, and also in the exercises.
Starting up he was slightly stiff in the right side, but that loosened up during the session. Shoulder-in, half-pass, transitions – everything flowed quite effortlessly, he was such a good boy!

The trot work felt very good, in the canter work I had to watch those hind legs to keep them active.
He is not lazy, just checking me from time to time very subtly to see how much he has to work, smart thing.
Riding is so much about feel.
It is a privilege to ride a horse like Charlie when you normally ride a younger horse like Fame.
That way I can check out what it should feel like when doing it correctly, and compare it to how it feels like doing it on Fame.

Before this session I helped Anna out on my own horse Fame.
And today I got myself a new assistant trainer:

My daughter’s cat Simba.
He is a Very Macho Cat, mostly out hunting or sleeping the hard work off.
Yesterday he was following me around in the arena during the whole session with Anna, very sociable, stroking himself against my legs, curling up his back to get some pats and scratching.
Normally he might drop by for a short greeting and then take off again to check latest news on the mouse exchange, so it was a bit out of the ordinary.
He was very sweet, and I was flattered by all his interest.
When I was finished and walked into the stable, he even followed me into Charlie’s box (but disappeared quickly out again when Charlie wanted to say hi).

After checking on Charlie, I went into our house, still with Simba in my heels.
Then I understood.

His food bowl was empty.

Sometimes us Twolegs just don’t get it.


Anonymous said...

Love the pony and the cat - both adorable!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Simba is a beautiful cat and very smart apparently. Glad you finally got the hint and fed him. I guess he's not to subtle about his food.

Charlie is also adorable. It's wonderful to have a fun and safe horse for your daughter to ride. He seems like quite a smart little character...they all test us just to see if we're paying attention right?

Irene said...

Vilken underbar pannlugg! det är väl just en sån häst som passar fint som läromästare! Katten ser väldigt stilig o stolt ut.

Siri said...

Simba shouldn't be that hungry after the huge rabbit he dragged home earlier that day. The rabbit was the same size as Simba, scary cat!

stilllearning said...

Charlie sounds lovely. Wish I could drop by and take him for spin! I would enjoy riding a more experienced horse once in awhile, even if he tested me a bit.

RuckusButt said...

Ha ha, I know Simba's trick well! I always fall for my Tonka's extra affection, thinking I am special, only to realize a short time later that he is either in need of food or litter change! At least they keep us humble (as if we needed it!).

I would LOVE the chance to ride a horse like Charlie. I have been thinking lately that I really need to ride a horse who WILL do the right moves if you ask properly, so that I can learn to develop that feel. And, more importantly, to identify where it is an issue with my aids versus an issue with the horse (this can be hard to figure out with lesson horses).

I love Charlie's full mane, it's beautiful, but I do not envy the person who has to braid it for shows :)

HorseOfCourse said...

Thanks for your comments all!

Siri - Well that was a bit out of the normal diet! I did not see him with it, so I guess he ate it too...
At least he did not plant it on the living room carpet as he did with a bird the day before, TG.
He is very generous.

RB - I hope that you get the possibility to find someone like him if you search for a halfboard horse. It is such fun, and it is the best riding teacher one can get.
And his mane - it is a jungle. As you can see on the photos we were lazy and did not braid him on the last show. His mane has grown wild during the summer, and we have to have a massive hair dressing session before Sunday when my duaghter is to show again.

Once Upon an Equine said...

Catching up on several of your posts I have missed lately. You are so funny. Great sense of humor. The clinic sounded very good. You can learn a lot watching others. I liked your thoughts on with-you-ness and how you and Fame have that togetherness. I have that with Misty on the ground somewhat, but not in the saddle yet. I do notice how she watches me, like you said Fame watches you while she's eating. Misty does the same thing, and if I stop to talk to her or scratch her while she's eating, she'll pick up her head and look at me while she chews. Maybe its a mare thing. Marley on the other hand, keeps his head buried in his food and I could crawl on him, under him, around him and he continues to have his full attention on his food.

Simba is lovely. And smart.

HorseOfCourse said...

Thanks OnceUpon.

I believe Marley is just as occupied by his food as Simba, lol!
Seriously, I have never seen a Fjord who did not value his food above everything else...I believe it is in their genes!

mugwump said...

If my cat ran out of food she wouldn't come sweetly tell me, she would pee in my shoes.

HorseOfCourse said...

Oh Mugs, I had a cat like that earlier too!
He randomly peed in my shoes (did not even need an excuse) but got better when I had him neutered.
I guess it was something with the aromatic smell, lol!
I had him while I was a student, and I had saved up money to buy a pair of light blue pumps (mid-eighties, hehum).
I was very proud of those shoes. They were in soft skin, and in a lovely colour.
Guess witch pair that got peed upon?
I was devastated. I tried to wash out the smell, and was partly successful.
You couldn’t smell anything until I got warm inside the shoes. Then things started to happen…but I just couldn’t throw them away! The solution was to kick the shoes off when dancing, lol!
Oh, good memories. It wasn’t all that fun when it happened though.

allhorsestuff said...

Loverly Pony! Sounds like a very fun ride and partner for your daughter.He does keep you o your toes..jsut checking! Cute!
To see that assistant trainer really made me laugh too...I think Simba enjoyed the view and also the reward of remiding you of your duty to him!
Yea being a can hinder or at least inttrupt the fourlegs plans sometimes!