Sunday, May 6, 2012


His barn name is Chip, but I call him Chippers. This is the only picture I have of him. The young man standing next to him is named Mason and together they won the Country Pleasure driving class at the last TASHA show, showing against some pretty competative adults!
Chippers is an interesting horse. He is by all means completely broke, but you cannot let your guard down and assume he will just carry you around the ring. You MUST ride him...or - well you just might find yourself eating some dirt. I like a horse like that! Another interesting trait is that he cranks right up to full show horse mode at the horse you had better be ready. * * * * Today, I was prividelged to introduce Chippers to the sidesaddle. Sandy, the head trainer was not there today, so I was working with Leslie. Leslie is an amazing equitation instructor, but she gets nervous when she sees me coming with the sidesaddle in tow. I keep reminding her that I am more comfortable in a sidesaddle. I would rather get bucked while aside than astride and my confidence soars with my 'leg over'! * * * * I rode Chippers astride first and then resaddled him aside. Immediatly I noticed that the Owen sidesaddle was sitting WAY uphill on him, which I knew would make it impossible for me to post the trot...but that is not what this ride was about. I will deal with the unlevel saddle later this week. I took him into the round pen and lunged him for a few minutes. He did not act any different, so I proceeded to mount him. I was quiet when I got on. He did not move, even when I moved my offside leg back over his neck. We walked around the ring on a lead rope as Leslie walked beside us. Chippers was great - as if he had been doing this forever. I had her turn us loose and I asked him for a slow trot. Chippers obliged. I asked him to step up and he did. We walked - we cantered - we rated our speed and it was almost too easy. I love it when everything goes this well!! * * * * Next week I will ride him in a skirt and will have made adjustments to my overstuffed saddle. I am also putting together a special saddle pad with a booster pad in the back to halp get this saddle level. I hope it works because in 2 weeks Chippers and I will be showing at the Summer TASHA show.....YIPPIE!!!!!! * * * * This is the 4th horse I have ridden aside - all American Saddlebreds and not one of them has had even the slightest objection to it!!


Michelle said...

Sounds like fun! You are getting to ride some really neat horses!
Question for you, could it be that your saddle doesn't fit chippers? Usually if it's too narrow & "perched" on them, it will sit really uphill.

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Anonymous said...

How exciting to have the opportunity to ride and show these other horses.

Here is a sweet postcard I found on Etsy.