Friday, December 21, 2012

The SidePassing Baby and Great Rains

My lack of blog spots has been due (in part) to the major rain storm that we've been having. It rained all last week, and most of this week. It rained and rained and rained. Which is fine with me, I put a synthetic saddle on my horses and ride in the rain all the time. However, when it rains a few days in a row, it creates deep slick arenas. I have never had a horse injure themselves in wet sandy arenas, because I have never ridden or turned out my girls in one. We have an open track that stayed dry, but I don't feel comfortable riding or lunging a hot Nova without some walls keeping her enclosed. So Roxy and Blossom have been out plenty, but Nova has been penned up.

Prior to all this rain Nova has been getting really good at side passing, and separating her body. Lots of great fluid movements and leading by the nose and shoulder. Here are some great pictures of her side passing the last time I rode her.

I love her baby face when she's trying to figure things out. 

She'll need a refresher on work after all this time off, but after that she'll be ready to start getting a headset put on her. I'm tired of her head flying in the air every time I ask anything of her- specifically backing up. Nova could use a lot of work on her back up.


  1. Ya, Toffy does the same thing when I ask her to back up while I'm ground driving. I just keep asking for that back up until she quits flipping her head. I figure that she'll eventually stop. Toffy has a really nice back up though. When she quits flipping her head she tucks it in and backs up smoothly and lightly. Usually I like to stay away from things like side reins and overchecks. If it's nessessary I am open to using them but I will eventually want to go without that aid.
    I've had two of my horses have problems with flipping their head. Misstack and Ana. With Misstack I just changed the bit and that seemed to solve it. Ana... I think we tried a tiedown on her and it made it worse so we took it off and now she doesn't do it anymore. I can't even remember when she stopped doing it. Or what we did to try and fix it.
    So in the interest of furthuring my horse education, what does a headset do?

    1. I use it in many ways with Roxy. Since she's retired now most of the time I use it on trail. If she's acting spooky, I ask her for a really nice headset- no half assing it. It gets her mind focused on working, and suddenly she doesn't have the ability to think about anything scary anymore.

      When I was showing it was a requirement for Roxy to win. In Western pleasure you want it long and low on loose reins. Essentially an even top line, 'peanut pushers' are no longer the trend thankfully. When we were doing English she had a round arched neck. Roxy can do a great pleasure headset some of the time, but an English one has always been easier for her.

      Nova has a decent natural headset. I don't plan on doing any competitive western pleasure showing with her, but it's just something I really like my horses to know. I feel like it's part of being a well broke quality mount.

  2. Wow... I knew that. Seriously I did. Headset... Dur. Just one of those moments were you look at something and it just doesn't click.

  3. the rain messes everything up hope it stops soon and I love the pictures!