So, Horse Camp has been happening the past few days with coraa. Friday, we all had lessons; me on Khepera (above), coraa on Pandora, and dancinghorse on Camilla.
And I have to admit, my relationship with Khep hasn't been as easy as those with say, Carrma or Ephiny, the quieter and more reserved mares. Khep is my opposite, alpha pony, pushy, annoying, happy to untie any horse tied to the fence which used to freak me (and Carrma) out. And, lately, every time I go out into the arena, he thinks I'm his human scratching post and does everything he can to put his butt in front of me for scritchies.
On the flip side, he's always a willing volunteer for campers, is smart, can go anywhere, and knows his stuff. It's taken me a while, but I do like him an awful lot now.
See, I've been wanting to ride Khep for a while. Way back in January, he made it obvious he wanted a ride, too. Came up to me and nibbled on the halter when I took it out in the arena. And I kept promising him, "After Pooka goes on vacation . . . after the rain stops . . .after, after . . ."
Rode his mom, Capria, a couple weeks ago, and, as I expected, Capria gave me no coddling, and was rather amused by having a wriggly human on her back trying to get her to go and failing. After being much humbled (I can get Carrma and Pandora to trot, but Capria wants the Exact Right Movements, thank you very much), I expected the same kind of thing from Khep. I'd been on his back twice before; the first time, we were led around for a little bit. Second time, he wouldn't move, no matter how much I flailed around on his back. (dancinghorse didn't tell me I could actually kick him, either.)
He uses a western saddle, which is fun. We started out fitting the saddle so it's a bit more comfy for him, then did a bit of groundwork, and, much to my surprise, nosy, assertive, pushy Khep is actually a softy when it comes to working. Less is more, to the point that I barely had to touch him to get him to loosen up and walk a bit.
And since he's thinner than the others, being an Arabian cross, I expected him to have a very bouncy trot. Nope. Smooth. Small. And he has a lovely canter, which we found out accidentally.
There are a lot of things to think about when I ride ("Hands up! Outside rein! Close your hands! What is your butt saying to the horse? Breathe!") but I think the hardest coordination bit for me at the moment is the leg thing; that is, having the leg in the right spot to talk to the horse, and then moving my calf (not my foot, which is easier) up and down to get the horse to lift and go. And eventually I just get frustrated and sort of flail with both leg and butt, which no doubt confuses the poor pony.
And with Khep, it's either barely a touch, or a stern kick. There is no in between. Pandora is happy with whatever. Carrma was just happy to GOOOOOO when I let her. Khep--I still have to figure out which buttons to push and how hard. He wants to listen, and he wants to do good, and I'm sure we'll be able to understand each other better here soon.
Despite all that, we had a very good lesson. And by the end. . . boy, I just KNEW. Hard to explain, but Khep is my Ridin' hoss. Wham. He fits, and S and dancinghorse were all, "Yep, he's your horse. He's been waiting for you. Your rhythms match."
And that revelation had me a bit stunned for the rest of the day. I'm still utterly devoted to Carrma; she's my pony who is always happy to see me. Omega mare, quieter, more my personality type. Khep? Boy. He's so different that I didn't want to believe he could be my horse until he made it too obvious to believe otherwise. Though, I don't get to ride him outside of lessons for a while, as he's definitely an intermediate horse and I haven't learned quite enough yet.
So, now I have the alpha gelding and the omega mare, and the two horses in the herd that have the birthdays closest to mine. Yeah. We're all Aries. And, yes, I do feel like I'm living in a fantasy novel some days.
No pics of me on him, yet. Next time. And, actually, I just realized I need some better pics of him. I shall remedy that soon.
The Evil Gelding.
Overall, it's been a really nice camp with much good food (yours truly made pizza last night, nom nom) and a good week. Sadly, it's over soon, and I'm off to the airport here shortly.
- Current Music:Death Note series