theridingwriter

Just another WordPress.com site

Bahea Goes to a Horse Show May 12, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — theridingwriter @ 1:58 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

One of the “tests” that remained with Bahea was how she would be at a horse show. This Saturday I took her to a small schooling dressage show and did training level test 1. Prior to the show, she bathed fine and clipped fine after giving her a few moments to remember what the clippers were. Then she tried to eat them and kept wiggling her muzzle while I was clipping it. She loaded on the trailer perfectly and (along with my horse Nadia) off we went!

Now I decided to show both of the horses on the same day because in that way I was taking up one weekend day instead of two. Good idea in theory, but the girls were definitely more worried about where each other was. Thank goodness that Plantation Valley Stable allowed me to use 2 stalls and my friends Carol and Deb were available to help me. If it weren’t for that I don’t think I would’ve been able to manage them.

Bahea warmed up like an experienced show horse and she stood outside the arena like she’d done it many times before. I’m not sure when her last show was, but it’s been years. Still, she obviously remembered what the scene was all about. Alone in the arena, however, she got nervous and tense. She started grinding the bit and wanted to look around a lot. She tried to be a little extra exuberant in the canter. But overall, she behaved herself well and acted how I expected her to. She scored a 61.45% which was lower than I would have liked but good enough to win her class. Good girl!

Storm clouds rolled in soon after we were done. During a break in the showers we loaded the horses up, but the rain started again soon afterwards. I had the misfortune to drive back to the farm in what felt like a hurricane. It was not a lot of fun and the horses were not happy. It started thundering by the time I arrived at the barn so I quickly managed to unload and get them in before it got too bad. Bless little Bahea’s heart she fell asleep in her stall about 15 minutes later. It was a tiring day for the girl.

Of course, in trying to just get the horses, myself and all our stuff, I completely forgot to take any pictures at the show. Sorry about that folks. But, believe me, she was a cutie all cleaned up!

20140512_094352_resized

 

Finally a video! April 24, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — theridingwriter @ 1:33 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

With better weather finally the opportunity came to shoot some video of Bahea. You can view it by clicking on the link above. It is unedited and gives a good representation of where she is. She knows a variety of movements, but she obviously still needs to build a lot of strength and suppleness, especially in the canter. Under saddle I’m taking the advice of Cheryl Swing…do 20 to 30 minutes of correct work and quit before she gets too tired. With Bahea’s strong work ethic, she will keep on going even after fatigue has set in. Cheryl also suggested doing some canter leg yield, which is really helping her canter improve.

On the ground, Dr. Deb of PECTS has been doing some massage/chiropractic work focused on her hind end to help loosen and stretch Bahea’s tight muscles. We are also doing hind leg stretches before and after her rides, and I can definitely feel a difference. It’s only a little bit at a time, but slow and steady wins this kind of race.

I’m entering her in a small schooling show on May 10 doing training level. I’m looking forward to her return to the show ring!

 

Introducing Bahea January 21, 2014

20140114_152849_resized

I have another horse to play with – a 17-year-old Arabian mare named Bahea. Now…let me start by saying that Bahea is NOT a rescue. She was a youth dressage/jumping horse that’s been hanging out in a pasture for several years. Her owners were getting out of the Arabian business and looking for homes for their horses. Bahea’s first stop as a horse for an at-risk youth program didn’t work out (through no fault of her own…she just wasn’t the right fit). I offered to take her, get her back into riding shape and look for the right person for her. She definitely has some training on her. She does lateral work VERY easily! I can see her being a good horse on which to learn, but she is sensitive, so she is not a beginner horse. I don’t think she would do anything bad (she is a total sweetheart), but I think she would end up going this way and that as she is very responsive to the leg.

Bahea was bred to be a race horse, although she never did. Her sire is Virgule Al Maury, an imported French-bred Arabian stallion who has been one of the most successful French sires in the United States. (http://www.lonechimneyranch.com/virgulealmaury.html) At age 25, he’s still standing stud in Oklahoma. Her dam is a Polish-bred mare named Bintkana (Pierrot x Baska Lana, by Cytrys). Bahea has more of the Polish build to her. She is relatively small and compact, but she has the chestnut coloring with chrome that her sire is known for passing along.

Bahea is very sweet around people…and very food motivated. She barely leaves a scrap of hay behind. The barn manager at Windy Oak mentioned that they just need to figure out what is the right amount for her. I said that she’s the kind of horse that will eat as much as you give her. Hence the considerable hay belly. (Don’t let that picture at the top fool you. She only looks narrow there.)

Bless her heart she is a trooper. I rode her once before taking her so it’s not like she knows me. Last Monday we loaded her up and hauled her to her new residence, Windy Oak Farm (www.windyoakfarm.com). She loaded and traveled like a pro, settled right into her stall and started munching hay.  The next day I led her around the indoor, outdoor and outdoor jumping arenas. Other than looking around with the occasional whinny, she was quiet. Thursday she had her feet done and Friday she had her teeth done. She handled it all with the professionalism of a quietly confident mare that’s been through this a time or two.

20140113_161128_resized

On Saturday, I got on and walked her around the indoor arena. Since she hasn’t been in regular work for several years, I want to bring her back slowly. She does need some work with bridling as she swings her head around. Otherwise she is good in the crossties. She stood quietly to be mounted at the mounting block, but was hollow initially under saddle, and she did get spooky by the open door. Her trick seems to be coming to a dead stop and then backing up. She goes forward with some persuasion and after a few times of confidently riding her past it, she was fine. I’m still not sure if she is really afraid or is testing me. Probably a bit of both. Eventually, she did relax some and stretch down with her head and neck. We did large circles, diagonals, and 3-loop serpentines. It was fine for the first day back.

20140114_165040_resized

I was told by more than one person that she is an alpha mare (she is a chestnut Arabian after all…). So far, however, my mare Nadia is keeping her away from the other horses. Watching herd dynamics is fascinating. Bahea is keeping a respectable distance so far, but I suspect she is buying her time. I look forward to getting to know this mare better and finding the perfect match for her. I think she’ll do great with a small adult or teenage girl who wants to learn lateral work. She still has many good years left to give and she deserves to find a person of her own.