Saturday, July 19, 2008

Meet my new training partners!

I thought since I'm spending a bit of my time with the horses, I should introduce them.  Here's the background:  A little more than 15 years ago, Janzen gave up on dating and bought a horse.  There's some property not quite a mile from where we live that rents stables and use of a couple of pastures for really cheap.  They're still there today.  I met him shortly after that and after we got married and he was working and going to school, he just didn't have the time to train her and ride like she needed.  He decided to sell her.

Left to right:  Sassy, Ritz, and Bianca

His mom, who was raised on a farm, offered to buy her and has taken care of her ever since.  Bianca is a really smart horse and is pretty stubborn.  She has pushed Janz out of the stall after he's given her medication and shut the door behind her.  She has learned how to let herself out of her stall and forced grandma to buy bigger and better locks.  She knows how to steal hay from the other horses stalls and is kind of a tease.  She'll bite the other horses out in the pasture while they're minding their own business and she loves to run.  But you put a kid on her and she's the best horse in the world.  She just seems to know that they're more delicate and she is wonderful.
Grandma (Jill) bought another horse shortly thereafter so that two people could ride at once.  Ritz is a bit older than Bianca and is much more mellow.  She has a much smoother ride and is a little thinner around the middle, not so hard to stretch those legs around.  She was a breeding horse and constantly had her babies being taken away from her.  She feels that pain, I think, and doesn't like being separated from the rest of the horses.  She is a really good horse.
Sassy came next, just a couple of years ago and was such a cute baby!  Too bad her stall is next to Biana's and she's been learning tricks from her.  Sassy is a good name for her.  She still likes to buck and is really nervous.  But she just needs to be ridden.  She's shorter than the other horses.  But that's not saying much since the other horses are about 17 hands (5 ft. 8 in.) tall.  Like I said, I have to use the step ladder to get on!  They're all American Saddlebreds.  They're great at endurance and comfort while riding.
Jill bought a trailer that hauls all 3 horses and will take them any where we want to go.  She grew up with horses and loves them.  In fact she thought she was a horse when she was little.  And then pretended she was a horse until she was about 10.  She recently bought a surrey and had Ritz trained to pull it.  That should be really fun.  Jill is so willing to share her love of horses with others.  She has given many of the neighborhood children horseback riding lessons and lets a cute girl who lives close by ride Ritz whenever she wants.  The kids have always loved to ride, but it hasn't been until recently that I've really loved it.  About 4 years ago is when I injured my IT band riding horses with her in the mountains.  I didn't really know what I had done until it was too late and it just about killed my running.  I've been leering about riding ever since then, but I've fixed the problem and riding bareback is the way I like riding the best.  No fuss, just bridle and go!
Jill read about a horse race that's 26 miles long that we're thinking about doing next year.  It would have to be on Sassy because she's the only one without arthritis and she's the youngest.  We don't have much info yet though so we'll see.  It would take a lot of training to get both of us to that point.  I know somewhat about that kind of training!  

So this week was kind of a bust for me as far as exercising went.  I did some major weight training on Monday that kicked my hiney.   Tuesday I ran 5 miles and went to the horses but they were eating and I didn't want to disturb them.  Wednesday I missed running because of a big mess with my credit card (read about that here) but rode the horses for about an hour and 1/2 while Janz worked on some plumbing at the stables.  I rode Bianca this time since Ritz was literally worn out from some neighbor girls the night before.  Then I rode Sassy for a bit with a saddle on.  It was great to be out riding as the sun was going down.  We left the next day for some camping so I got a lot of good walking in and even some hill work from ice blocking down a really steep hill and racing back up it.  No long run this week.  I plan on doing better next week.  


JBPacker said...

When I see the horses I want to go ride them. Can I come over someday?

From, Olivia Packer

JBPacker said...

Olivia is looking over my shoulder. We need to come down and ride.