Punks Kid Rock is the registered name of my American Quarter horse gelding, Rocky. This blog chronicles our adventures together,
as well as stories from my horse past and, occasionally, a tidbit from my non horse life.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Trail Ride! And photos!

I promised you photos of Rocky in his new getup, and here they are!
 I went for a trail ride today, and it was great.  Rocky was ready to go down the trail, and Bear trotted along faithfully behind us.  Rocky was very interested in trying to graze along the trail, or snatching quick mouthfuls of greens, but otherwise he did exactly as I asked.  We trotted down a length of fenceline and made it through a knee-knocking section of the trail (weaving between trees) without incident.  I was going to take him up a hill and around the top, but I stopped to flex him a bit and noticed a little rabbit about 30 yards up the trail.

It was right in the middle of the trail, frozen in place and hoping we didn't see it.  Bear walked around sniffing things and waiting for us to continue.  I decided to let the bunny have the trail and start heading for home.  I was lucky, it started to rain while I was tacking Rocky up and it stopped in time for us to head out for the ride.  I didn't want to end up at the far end of the trail if it started to pour- my poor leather saddle!

We trotted up a gravelly, sandy hill and out to the open.   Here there was a fence line along the back of some pastures, nice even ground for cantering. I have been wanting to canter along the fence here, up a bit of a hill, and then along the next pasture.  Today, we did it!  I circled Rocky in a grassy area at a trot and then a canter, making sure that he was listening to me. 

He wanted to canter back but he listened right away to my cues, so I let him canter.  He was a little fast at first, and I reminded myself to keep riding him; don't freeze up.  We made it up the hill and he started to slow, flicking his ears and asking if I wanted to trot.  I nudged him on and he gave me a lovely canter down the rest of the fence.  I turned him around and cantered back down the line, then walked down the hill to the start.  We turned around again, and cantered the whole way back down the fence!  I must have had the biggest smile on my face- I felt confident and he was with me all the way.  I love my horse!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Struck Down in the Prime of Life

Top 4 TV Shows That Were Canceled Before Their Time:

1. Firefly. I think there wasn't enough attention paid to this show while it was on the air, and it gained more of a following by word of mouth over time.  Witty, funny, and entertaining.  You really care about the characters and the plot keeps you interested.
2. Lie to Me (maybe... I'm not sure if this was officially canceled or not. If they do cancel it, I feel they need to do a real season/show finale that ties up some of those loose ends.  AKA, I want Lightman and Foster to get together.)
3. Moonlight.  This show was really clever, not just another vampire flick. Ok, yeah, there were attractive vampires, but that wasn't the point of the show. I love True Blood like a lot of other people, but that show is pretty much eye candy. Moonlight was legit.
4. United States of Tara.  My favorite characters are Tara's teen children- they are smart, capable, and realistic. Kate is sexually active without being a slut, and Lionel is gay without being horribly stereotypical.  The family dynamics are great to watch, especially with Tara's multiple personalities and how the family functions (or doesn't) around them.

Alright, this was originally going to be a Top Ten list, but right now, I can't find/think of another 6 shows. I will update the list as I think of things... feel free to leave me suggestions of great shows I missed!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Super Sweet Presents

Ok, I have been sad and complaining lately on this blog, so today, I'm here to celebrate!

My birthday is coming up, and my parents decided to give me my presents early.  They got me... Clinton Anderson slobber straps and mecate reins!   For those of you who may not know what I'm talking about, here is a photo:

Clever readers will note that the horse in this photo looks very unlike the picture of Rocky I have posted on the left side of the blog- which is good!  The lovely chestnut in this picture is a random photo I found on the internet, not my horse. I will take a picture of Rocky in his new getup the next time I am at the barn, but for now, this will suffice.  Other disclaimer: the slobber straps and mecate reins in the photo are not Clinton Anderson's brand.

Ok, on to the fun stuff!  The slobber straps are the leather pieces attached between the bit and the reins. Their function is to provide the horse with a pre-cue that you, the rider, have picked up the reins.  It helps get horses lighter in their responses to pressure from the bit/reins.  They have a chance to respond to a cue from the rider before pressure is put on the bit, thus, making them lighter to cue.

My reins are awesome.  I love them with big, silly pink hearts, like the ones we used to make in elementary school for Valentine's Day, with the lacy trim.  Here's why: they are a combination rein/lead rope/lunge line/riding crop that can be adjusted for length.   Clinton Anderson's reins are 22 feet long, which means they fit ANY horse for length.  I know a woman that had to search carefully for reins that would be long enough for her Cadillac-style horse.  These reins are fully adjustable.

I know it looks like there are two reins coming out of the left side of the horse's mouth, but the bottom rope isn't part of the rein- that's where the lead rope/lunge line/riding crop part comes in.  While you're riding, that long "extra" bit of rope gets tied off over your saddle horn, looped into your belt (NOT tied to you, just looped through your belt) or tied to your saddle's gullet.  From there, you can see a bit of rope in the photo resting against the horse's shoulder.  CA's reins are longer than the ones in the photo, and the end is weighed to make it a "popper"- or riding crop.

I used to carry a riding crop, and I would have to hold it in my hand or loop it over the saddle horn.  Maybe I'm not the most dextrous person around, but the hand holding my crop couldn't move on the reins as easily as the other hand.  If I had it on the saddle horn, sometimes it would poke me in the stomach or start to slide under Rocky's saddle pad.  Essentially, it was a useful nuisance. Now I can pick up the end of my mecate rein, use the end to smack Rocky's butt when needed, and then drop it again. No more getting poked in the stomach or losing hand dexterity!

When I'm trail riding, I'll be able to dismount and use that extra long rope to lunge him or do sending exercises if he's scared of something.  You can also tie a horse to a post with mecate reins- I haven't learned how to do it yet, but I will!  You are never supposed to tie a horse with reins connected to a bit, but you can tie mecate reins in a way that the horse will not be able to pull back and pop themselves in the mouth. Oh, and I found a picture of CA's setup:

See, his reins are longer.  These ones are white, but I got black ones. I figured I would get the white ones too dirty too fast.  The slobber straps I got are almost the exact shade of brown as my saddle, and have a matching barbwire print.  Yay matching!