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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Just a proud Grandma and Grandpa

Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2012, at 7:00 PM

Jilly has been seriously riding for about a year now.  She's only just now 7, and she is quite an incredible  young horseperson already.  To date, she hasn't yet taken a spill, (though she will) ...except off of Precious, who is all of 2 feet of the ground.  She has had some freaky close calls, and clung on while I held my breath.  You can't teach that "hang on for dear life" to the degree that she has it.  I've seen some that don't have it, and you can help them prepare and "know what to do" but it takes a lot of self preservation to cling when everything is telling you it's hopeless.  Then, they need to know what to do, when all else has failed,... tuck and ROLL!   Land on your feet if possible.  And actually, now that I think of it, Jilly has come off Marshmallow.  She leannnnnnneeeeeeeeeeddddd soooooooooooo far out to get a flag outta the bucket at the play day, that she tipped herself right off.  But then, to her credit, she knew she'd over done it, and grabbed Flaxen mane of Marshmallow, and let her feet go first.  And stood there wondering how that happened.  So, her lesson at that moment?  Two of them 

1.  don't lean farther out than your body has arms. 

2. when you realize your error, land on your feet, save yourself!

now that I've remembered, I've gone back and found the photo.  Here she is with Jess going to put her back on.  She just doesn't have enough leg for that either. 

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The following photos are from Monday night, and show how this little girl has come a long long way.  If you remember, Marshmallow only had her first jump a couple months ago.

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And it takes a lot (or did) to get her lined out and over the jump.  She doesn't want to work any harder than she has to, and she's a pro (if allowed) to just veer around the jump.  We teach the kids to use their legs, and not just the reins.  And as you can see, Jilly is using her legs to keep the filly lined out, and to support herself.  The proof is in the photo.  Those reins are LOOSE and SWINGING.  I can't fake that in a photo.  Jilly isn't pulling her to one side or another, and yet, they are centered over that very high tech log.  (we use the best of stuff here!) Obviously, that isn't a big log, and really, it's not a big jump.  They've walked over a lot, and trotted over it.  This particular jump is their first lope over.  Jilly has been practicing 'climbing up her neck' for this moment. 

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2nd jump of the day.  Just as good.

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The 'come down' is just as important for the rider.  You gotta get your feet up there to 'land on'  or you can topple right off the front.  Jilly's hands are at Marshmallow's neck, to help herself.

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3rd Jump.....

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4th Jump, different direction.  That girl is concentrating on a million things.  I can't begin to describe the things she started learning the first time we put her in a saddle, that started preparing her for this day, and many like them.  Positioning is soooo important. 

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This photo shows a great 'come down'  It shows both filly and girl relaxed.  Reins loose.  Marshmallow's ears have Jilly in her thoughts, and where she's going in her thoughts.... One ear to Jilly, one forward.  Jilly is looking ahead, her feet are ahead, and her hands/reins are laying on the filly's neck for support.  Climbing up on the neck, and grabbing some mane, keep you from accidentally jerking the horse's mouth. (enough of that, and the horse will decide jumping isn't worth it, if they are going to get jerked on each time)  It has other purposes too, but it's not a sign of weakness as many people think.  You see people who NEVER want to grab on, cuz it's looks like they're scared.  To me, it looks like consideration of the horse doing a lot of work. 

Then on the come down, lay that loop over the neck, and balance yourself, and you don't topple forward, and you don't jerk that mouth again.  Considerate.  (Now that I think of it, there's a lot to be learned from this!)

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I thought I'd bring photos from Mother's Day.  It's good for kids (anyone really) to ride as many horses as they can, safely.  Learning the different feel and cadence makes it easier to adapt to different feels and cadences. 

Beamer of course, is the horse that should be jumping.  At 17 hands, there isn't much he shouldn't be able to jump.  He's pretty lazy though, and would really prefer to not have to do this type of shenanigans.  But everyone has to work!

Mother's Day 112

And another "come down'.  Love how Jilly is "looking where you wanna go" 

Do not mistake though, that this comes easy.  I do a lot of nagging, and I demand if she's going to attempt jumping, she has to "without a doubt, do it my way"  And she's MINE, so I have permission, (and Jilly wants to) so demand as near perfection as I can weedle out of her.  (I'm not an expert, but her safety is of my utmost concern) These are the moments that make her know what I was talking about.  I always tell her, "Look where you want to go"  so, "Do NOT look at the ground!" (unless you wanna land there)

Mother's Day 113

There is an increasing possibility of accidents when you get more experienced and start to do more things.  And then of course, you might be a higher rate of speed.  Doo doo happens fast sometimes....

What happened here  .... (and many have heard similar stories)  was an low hanging branch.  She didn't come off, but it made her duck, and scared her pretty good.  To Marshmallow's credit/discredit, she was in charge here, and Jilly didn't plan the route very well.  I'm thinking that won't happen again.  That tree has been there probably since I've been alive.... (or not)  so, she has been told ...better stay away from there.  Well, she didn't always listen to me, but the branch had another 'say' that I think had pretty good impact. 

This picture shows her learning to 'tough it out"  And I'm telling I'm proud she's still on!  And my dork of a Beamer horse is looking at the camera, saying "Didja see that???? huh??? didja?  I didn't do it! Yellow horse did! so there!"

(Thanks Evan, for capturing that moment of fear, love, triumph  and dork horse, or is that Duck Horse?  inside joke)

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Jilly is leaning down for a well deserved hug from a totally relieved Grandma.  Shewie!

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Moments later....I think she is ok

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Her Dad is pretty proud of her.  Some of these photos are compliments of one of my cameras, in his hands.  He is a professional in his own right.  He knows more technical stuff about these cameras than I do, and manages to help me learn inspite of myself at times.  I just wanna 'do it'!  He is incredibly persistent though, and I'm learning technicalities all the time.

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She is learning to handle split reins.... and it's not easy.  Trust me...and this face shows it!  I love this photo!  Some say there "is nothing to riding a horse"....hmmmmmmmmmmm

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I do think she's figuring it out.  I know a plethora of adults who can't figure out what to do with reins, except pull on them.  Learning now will make her life and the horses she rides, so much more pleasant.

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If you look closely, you can see her hands, she's sliding off, to give the horse to her brother.  It's his turn

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How cute is he???!!!!!  Ask me, I'll tell ya  That hat is one of his "Prides and Joys"  It's like Grandpa's summer hat, and has a 'made by Grandpa" leather hat band.  Don't even consider taking it from him.  It won't happen easily!

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Start them young, and they learn it forever.  I can't wait to see what this little man will be doing next year, the next year, and so on. 

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It is really hard work, when you arms are barely 3 inches long.  It takes everything you have.  And he is ultra willing to give it all.  He's been riding behind Jilly and Al now for months, and he's been waiting for this time!  He's not about to give it up!  His hands are wrong, but that will come

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'specially with me around to nag help out

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I'd say he's figuring it out.  With a smile on his face.

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Just hanging around chit chatting

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Most people hold the reins kind of in front of their belly, in front of the saddle (or should) but when you are this short, you practically have to hold them up to your eyes, to get them high enough to be where they need to be.  Lots of effort going on here!  And of course, he doesn't reach the stirrups, so even more effort.  Maybe next year, he'll get to the stirrups....

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Here he is practicing his spins.  We may have an up and coming Reiner on our hands.  Scout is there, keeping an eye on things with his kid

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And his first jump/walk over.  I can NOT tell you how I love this horse. 

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I might be just a bit proud of this lil Cowboy....he just slid down by himself, with me holding his shirt, like I do.  It won't be long and he'll just be doing it on his own.

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Then he's off to play with Daddy on the trampoline!

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Every story has a 'behind the scenes' .... this is what was also going on. 

Another lesson girl, learning to use split reins.  She says "I'm worried"  ...what do I do?

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give a loving slap of the reins on her leg, and say "I'll tell you what to be nervous about!" Now, before you think I'm mean, imagine this in a joking tone, with a girl who is totally comfortable with me. She's been coming for years.   I'm serious though, don't go worrying about things you don't need to worry about.  So many times, we bring on our troubles, where they don't need to be at all.

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She's laughing....

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Jilly is lucky, she gets to come every time I have a lesson.  Gives her opportunity to ride each horse, cuz I like certain other lesson people on a particular horse, at a particular time.  And it's funner to learn with a friend.  Jilly has lots of friends!

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She's trying to act like she doesn't like her picture taken, but we all know that's not the way it is.........

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How convenient!  Evan took this photo, showing the branch that become a suspect!

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Any guesses what this is? 

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Do you suppose the kids have fun here? 

We talk a lot about discipline and being strict.  A lot.  I kindof don't believe in 2nd chances.  Not when you've been told NOT to do something, or it's just so dang obvious.  And around here, where there are horses, (gentle though they may be) I don't want that "2nd Chance" to be a fatal kick to the head.  If I say "No"  You better believe I mean it, and I am the SCARIEST GRANDMA around, if you show you doubt it.  Bryce walked into the field once, after being told not to.  It was his first offence.  I got in his face and climbed up one side and down the other.  I didn't hurt him, but he cried.  Or started to.  I told him to "better stop that" or " I'll give you a reason to"  He quit crying, (cuz they can turn that off) and he NEVER has gone in there again, and he makes sure no one else does either.  "Grandma will get you"  That experience was over in a moment, and I never speak of it to him.  He has absolutely no doubt, that something real bad would happen if he goes all illegal on me.  Right along with all that, is my belief, that the good times have to outweigh the other times.  He told Jess on Sunday  "Mommy, I love you the mostest, but I might love Grandma Jessie a little more"  Grandma's heart swells,.... and Jess knows he loves her with all  his heart.  The point is, that he knows the rules, knows the consequences, and knows I love him, and it's always fun....

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Saying "bye bye" to my lesson girl for the day.  They never want to leave.  But at my house, if you don't leave "nice", you don't get to play next time.  Very Simple

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I got a smile on my face when I read the first word of your blog "Jilly". That kid is too cool :) Then that smile turned to anger when it set in that she is a better rider than me , grrrr! lol

Great blog as usual and OUTSTANDING pictures!

P.S. Sorry I couldn't make it out Sunday. I don't do too well with holidays and people. Add that to the "weird" list. LOL

-- Posted by KentuckyTransplant on Tue, May 15, 2012, at 11:59 PM

They have better nerves than I ever did. I wasn't ever much of a horseman. You don't forget the lessons though.

Thank you for the pics. They bring back some memories of my own with Dad.

-- Posted by KH Gal on Wed, May 16, 2012, at 7:39 AM

The little ones do add cheer to many of the more mundane things in life. Yesterday, I took my grandson with me to get haircuts. It was his first trip to a regular men's barber shop AND my first solo adventure with him.

The barber is a long time friend and has cut many a nervous child's hair. As Orrin rather reluctantly climbed up on the chair and sat down, he looked my buddy square in the eye and said:

"Will you please try not to give me a BAD haircut?"

Wish I'd thought of that....LOL!

-- Posted by wh67 on Wed, May 16, 2012, at 11:37 AM

That is a really cute story Warren! Thanks for sharing

-- Posted by jessiemiller on Wed, May 16, 2012, at 8:41 PM

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Jessie Miller
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I am interested in this Community, County, and the beautiful state of Idaho. Most of my photos will be in Idaho, but from time to time, they will be my vacations aay from Idaho. You'll see lots of my Children and Grand children, along with others in my family. Of course there will be horses and horse related things, and things I photo'd horseback.
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