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We Are Flying Solo

October 18, 2012

Back To School

So many things going, trying to cram every possible moment in before I am hobbled....

Batman (Dr. Bob -- he and Robin broke up, so now we only have the one, snif) visited on Tuesday and "refixed" Encore.  As I suspected, his tight hip muscle had rotated his pelvis again and his sacrum was tilted from his slips at 5 Points, so that all got worked out and he got a bit of muscle relaxer in the left hip ligaments to hopefully help keep things in place, along with a steroid in the right hip to tighten up that muscle for the same reason.  He has two days off, then tomorrow, a 2-hour date with the hot walker.  This weekend, we'll go back into work with low jumps and next week, with bated breath, training resumes.

The good part of the tradeoff is that I have gotten to spend some much-needed time with Solo.  Last night, we went down to the arena and did some stretching, lateral work, and transitions.  Damn, that horse is a nice-moving, well-trained horse.  Sigh.  I suspect he could improve with an SI injection, but he, unlike his brother, is uninsured so no bone scan or fancy back needles are in his future.

He still felt good once he warmed up and he still loves that extended trot (well, the lopsided version his current out of shape self can do).  I give thanks to Encore for making me a significantly better rider, so I was able to keep Solo soft in the bridle and push his back legs forward forward forward (No easy feat.  Solo firmly assures me that his butt only exists to hold his tail on).  Oh how I long to run a XC course on him again -- I am sure he does as well!

As we finished, our BO came into the ring for the weekly adult lesson group and we started talking.  I've offered Solo to him as a lesson horse for the many kid lessons he gives where they are just walking around, learning the basics and being comfortable on a horse.  Mr. Shiny is kind and generous, completely unphased by children running beneath his belly (yes, they have, headshake), and in about four steps, if he knows you are clueless, he will move at a snail's speed and take excellent care of you.  It will give him a chance to feel important (he loves having his ego stroked, you should see him ponying Encore, he takes no sass) and to be brushed and petted by new people, all the attention that he craves.

I have mixed feelings -- because of his past, I have always been very careful about the scenarios that I put him in, and because of his trust issues, I watch carefully to make sure no one accidentally waves the red flag.  There are certain shadows that will never vanish.  No one is able to longe him or even carry a longe whip by him except for me and he keeps a close eye on all other kinds of whips, especially if they are held up at the ready.  Despite years of training him to give to poll pressure, he will still freak out if he steps on his own rope or backs up against his halter.  It will be hard for me to know that someone is handling him when I am not there.

But if there is one person I trust to protect him and respect him, it is this BO.  Solo is already the darling of the barn staff (he's so manipulative) and BO is no exception.  I have spent months watching him train and ride his own and clients' horses, as well as work with his own instructor and he is the real deal.  I have never once seen him be unfair or harsh with a horse or allow his students to be.

It will be ok, it will be ok, it will be ok......


  1. Brave mama! But what a great opportunity for your pony to love on some kiddos :)

  2. Here's hoping it goes well!! Maybe he'll like getting out--Cuna sure does. :)

  3. I think he will enjoy it -- some friends came over and I gave them some brushes and turned them loose in the pasture and as they brushed him, he stood like a statue, looking at me like, finally, minions who attend my needs.

    I would love to half-lease him to someone who wants to get into eventing -- he could take someone around GAG, Maiden, maybe even BN and teach them so much -- but I have to wait until the right person comes along.

  4. I know I would have loved being able to take lessons on a horse like Solo when I was between horses. The right lessor will come along, I'm sure -- Solo's awesome and deserves to be cherished, and someone is going to recognize that.

  5. Solo will be happy - that is why it will be ok!

  6. I'm sure there is a special, worthy someone out there who would be the perfect lessor for Solo. Then he can feel all important and King of The Universe again and maybe even rock his bad self around a couple XC courses. It will take a while to find the right person, but that just gives you more time to perfect your questionnaire/interviewing process. Don't forget to ask about blood type, prison records, anti-psychotic meds, and whether they prefer Coke or Pepsi. ;-)

  7. *waves hand* ME! ME! I would LOVE to ride Solo. Too freakin' bad I'm 1,000 miles away... and have no money... and am not an eventer. ;-)The right person will come along, though.

    In the meantime, I think having minions/lesson kids to dote on him is a SWELL idea! The only thing I would worry about would be the poll pressure bit; if he has a freak-out, you might have a freaked-out kid. But your BO sounds wonderful and I bet he will keep an eagle eye on things and only assign Mr. Shiny Pants to kids he can trust. WIN-WIN.

  8. OMG, Frizz, Coke or Pepsi, I didn't even thing of that! Oh nooooooooo!

    Haha, RW, that would be a long commute! But pssst, the baucher has no leverage, the arm just stabilizes the bit in the horse's mouth. No lever to pivot around. So he's all good. :-)

    Thank you everyone for the kind words for my boy -- I think he is a very special horse, but I am sort of biased...

  9. Oh dear, no, I didn't mean his BIT, I meant the "part" about him maybe not dealing well with stepping on his shank or tying! I would not question your choice of mouthpiece, as I have a lot of respect for your thoughtful tack choices, and horsemanship in general. :-)

    But thanks for the lesson on Bauchers, which I knew nothing about!

  10. I bet he will love taking care if kids. My sensitive red head turns into a different horse with kids. She might be a hot mess if an adult does one thing wrong. Then give her a teenage girl who tells her how shiny she is and ooohs over her tail and she could care less if they have wild legs, flop around, or have terrible hands.

  11. Ah, RW, my bad, I misread. Brain is checked out these days!

    Super Ponies, I know he will love the brushing and fussing. And the workload that involves....walking very slowly. ROFL!