Saturday, November 28, 2009


Horses: Equestrian Girl made up a list of goals for riding that she wants to achieve next year. I thought this was a great idea and was pretty impressed. I don't recall having much in the way of goals when I was 11. Heck, I still don't! But one of them is learning "goat tying".

Since neither of us knew the first thing about goat tying we did what every modern family does - watched some videos on You Tube.
It appears the goat is tied to a stake at one end of the arena by a "leash". You start on your horse at the other end and when you get the "go", you ride like heck towards the goat, jump off your horse, run over to the goat, and tie up three legs.

So a couple of days ago we set our "stage". She decided Stanley should be bareback so it would be easier to learn to do a fast dismount. We set up a couple of cones as her "line" where she needs to jump off. Then we set up 4 cones all next to each other to be the goat and she'd have to stack the cones in lieu of tying it's legs. We decide she need to start at a trot until she masters the dismount.

Cones are set up and she trots towards her "dismount line". She leans forward as she approaches the line, starts to swing her legs and Stanley stops dead. Before the line. Try again. Same thing. Stanley has always been taught when you are losing your rider, you STOP! In this game, the horse should still be moving pretty fast across the line so the rider can hit the ground running and other people worry about stopping your horse. Not Stanley. His rider comes off and he stops dead - nobody needs to catch that horse! Over and over we try this with Equestrian Girl trying to get him to run over the line and even when we took away the cones and just drew a line in the dirt, he still wouldn't run across it if she started to come off but she did learn to get him really close before jumping so at least it was a fair trade.

Today we tried it with a saddle. First, Equestrian Girl ditched the spurs just in case. We didn't want any accidental stabbings. Since this was the first time with the saddle, she has Stanley stand still. He was still standing still when she tossed herself off and found herself dangling from her coat caught on the saddle horn!! We are so lucky to have such an unflappable horse. He just stood there chewing while I ran over to lift her free.

Motocross: One of the biggest races in the country is in Florida this weekend. We are proud to know several of the boys who are in the placings as of today!! Having such world-class riders here just ups the standard for all the riders in Michigan which explains why we have so many that qualify for these national races.

Homeschooling: I spent a good chunk of Friday getting the school assignments scheduled for the next several weeks - or at least until the Christmas break. I'm always amazed at how long that takes to do even though such a good chunk of it is cut and paste...but we are ready!!


Grey Horse Matters said...

I guess those saddle horns can get you once in a while. Glad she wasn't hurt. I've never heard of goat tying, but I guess if it's one of her goals she will learn how to manage it. Good luck.

Tracey said...

I hate when I get hung up on a saddle horn. Glad Stanley is such a good boy! Good luck with the goat tying.