I rode Ivan!!!
I know some of you are thinking, what’s the big deal? I took on Ivan back in August 2010 when he was advertised for $100 from a local horse flipper. I was able to track down a little bit more information and found out he’d been at a youth camp but I don’t know the reason for them letting him go. He’d come from a lady in Iowa that needed to rehome him and another horse. I took him on because he had a problem with his … umm.. man part. J I took him to the vet and he said it was cellulitis. There wasn’t much to do for it so just watch it. When I first got him, he never sucked it in but over the years he has and now doesn’t let it hang out all the time because the swelling has gone down.
But I digress. I’m stressed over not having a drill team horse and then Ivan gave me a sign. It’s a little weird. I sometimes say the horses tell me this or that. Like Zeke told me he was done with drill team. Of course he didn’t “SAY” the words but he let me know in other ways. Ivan did the same thing. I think he was itching for more attention.
I’d put blankets on last weekend when that terrible cold front came through and dropped the temps to -30. Well yesterday was 30. Yes, a 60 degree swing in temps. It’s tough to cope with. I needed to put a bale in (normally it’s two but for some reason they didn’t power through that other bale so I need to look at it during the daylight to see what’s wrong). But anyway, I was out and decided to halter him up, while I pushed everyone else out to get the bale in. I left Ivan and some of the others in the barn and when the bale was in and the hay net on, I decided to pull blankets and then hop on Ivan.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had never gotten on Ivan and even when I looked at him, I’d never talked with the actual owner or tried him out. I just bought him knowing that he was in danger of being picked up by a kill buyer. I couldn’t bring myself to let the local horse trader pick him up. I’m normally a reasonable person and can tolerate people but this horse trader I just want to punch in the face because he’s a snivlining little twit. But again, I digress.
So I left the halter on and put two lead ropes on and hoped for the best. Ivan is so tall I had to bring him over by the gate to climb on. He was actually way better for getting on than some of the other “broke” horses. I was a little surprised. I’m not sure if he knew what was going on or what. I always figured I’d have to send him to a trainer for a refresher before I got on (I apparently was feeling brave last night). But I threw a leg on before he walked off and then hopped on. Nothing. Good ol’ Ivan just stood there like a good boy.
He’s rusty. And when I say rusty, I mean super rusty but he was remembering pretty quick. I ended up just sitting there for awhile not doing anything because Ivan had pretty much locked up and wouldn’t move. I had all the other horses near so he wouldn’t be nervous and Brego was right there by his side the entire time. Chaos came over a couple of times to try and torment but left after I told him to go.
At first I was able to get Ivan to back up. He backs better than some of the other “broke” horses! Crazy how they remember certain things. After a little bit longer, I was able to get Ivan to walk around the bales and just putter. Super, super rusty but still you could tell he was starting to remember some queues.
I’m planning on hopping back on him tonight and see if we can repeat what we did last night. I was on cloud 9. I am always on the ground cleaning and feeding that I forget that I can ride a few of the younger horses that don’t have health ailments or lameness issues that render them pasture sound only.
I’m not sure if Ivan will work out for drill team or not. But I may end up scraping up the money (and going without for other things) to send him to a trainer to get a quick refresher. I’d love to be able to promote the Sanctuary with Ivan. There aren’t any other thoroughbreds on the team so it would be fun!
Here’s to trying new and exciting activities! Wish me luck that Ivan and I click and we can become amazing riding partners spreading the word about the Sanctuary.