I Love A Parade
I’m sure there’s a whole history behind why Yucca Valley, California celebrates Memorial Day weekend by holding a yearly “Grubstakes Day”, but I don’t know what it is. I’m just glad they like to have a parade through town that day, and this year the Yucca Valley Equestrian Center rode in it once again.
Tempted as I was to take Zeke, he’s a few rides short of ready! No, today I rode my wonderful 8 year old horse, a “paint that ain’t”, GS Sundown Slim. Slim and I rode in the parade last year, it was our first one, and he did great. So this year I could completely relax and just enjoy the ride with a good solid mount.
We had a great time riding through town with friends, and even stopped along the route so kids could come up and pet the horses. Slim was fabulous – he is the first horse I ever trained from the ground up (Zeke will be the second!), and I always say he’s the best horse I’ve ever ridden. I hope to get Zeke trained to share all of Slim’s good points, but avoid some of the beginner mistakes I made that first time. So Zeke should be a superstar when he’s finished!
Today was Zeke’s seventh ride in the roundpen. We did rides four and five on Thursday, and snuck ride six in yesterday before the big winds started. All the rides went well, although the fourth one was a little bit of an argument.
Usually on the third ride a horse thinks he has it all wired, and tries to do things his own way. For Zeke that was ride four instead. We got out there and he just said “no” to everything – didn’t want to turn, didn’t want to go, didn’t want to stand still for me to get on. But in the end it all went well, because I kept going past the point where he wanted to quit, and got him to understand that sometimes things aren’t under his control! And he still needs to behave, and he did.
Today I rode after the parade with Cindy watching, and we had two firsts. We loped, or cantered, for the first time today! He was great to the right, a little slow to get started on the left and had trouble with that lead, but at this stage, who cares? The idea was just “go”, and he did. And I can’t wait until we’re more practiced and can get out and really ride, because his canter is SMOOTH. He has really nice gaits, I got lucky on that one!
Our other big news is that when we were done, Cindy opened the roundpen and we rode out. We took a walk by ourselves around the pens, and Zeke did a great job. The next two days we will be off due to my work schedule, but I can’t wait to get back to it on Tuesday!
All in all, a really great day to end my vacation with.