Caught on Camera: Wally at Work

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    You know it had to happen. Eventually I’d get my hands on a camcorder that would allow me to upload videos onto this blog. Lord knows I’ve watched countless videos of everyone else on their horses. Now you’ll be subjected to watching me on mine.

    It’s too bad I don’t have filmed footage of Wally when I first bought him, for comparison’s sake. Originally he was a very angry, unhappy horse. Though he had years of professional training, something had gone wrong along the way. Maybe it was too much drilling and nitpicking or perhaps he had been competed to the point of rebellion. He could’ve finally said, “Enough with the fake tail and the coat polish. Just let me roll in some poop and grow whiskers.”

    Then again, Wally has a dominant personality combined with a lazy temperament. He could’ve just hated working for a living. At any rate, he was incredibly arena sour when I bought him. He was fine on the trails, but as soon as I rode toward an arena he’d get all jacked up and start bouncing around. He’d arch his neck, hyperventilate, and then start bucking. Once I figured out that he wasn’t athletic enough to unload me, I marched him into the arena and then worked on getting him to settle down long enough to realize that I wasn’t going to beat on him or school him to death. I just wanted to do a little rail work and then we could go back out on the trails.

    Patience and peppermints are what worked. I didn’t ask much of him in the beginning, and then he was rewarded with a little candy for behaving like a gentleman.  Believe me, it took a while, but eventually my method paid off.  So watch this video with all that in mind. Oh. And you’ll have to look past the whiney tone to my voice (it’s no wonder I never went far in my college theater group!) and the fact that I wave my arms around a lot when I speak. Now I know why people back up whenever I become engaged in a conversation. They’re liable to get walloped as I gesticulate. Thank goodness I’m not sitting on a spooky horse!

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    14 COMMENTS

    1. I love Wally! But then, that’s my favorite kind of horse, a big ole Paint gelding with a heart of gold. He seems happy in his new life — what’s not to like, after all? I think that’s why I’m such a fan of Paint geldings..I’ve never met one that couldn’t be won over with the promise of a treat and consistent kindness. Happy trails!

    2. I APPRECIATE THE COMMENT ABOUT THE HELMET, BECAUSE I KNOW THERE’S A LOT OF PASSION ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ISSUE. YET I DON’T WANT MY BLOG TO END UP BEING SWOOPED UP IN THE DEBATE.
      BUT IN RESPONSE TO THE COMMENT, I’LL SAY THIS: I GUESS I’M NOT AS HELMET CONSCIOUS AS I USED TO BE SINCE I SWITCHED FROM RIDING HUNTERS AND JUMPERS TO RIDING PRIMARILY WESTERN ON A RATHER DOCILE BEAST LIKE WALLY. HOWEVER, JUST FOR THE RECORD, DURING THE PERIOD WHEN I WAS RE-SCHOOLING WALLY I DEFINITELY WORE A HELMET. YUP, THERE I WAS, IN MY BILLY COOKE WESTERN SADDLE AND MY VELVET COVERED, CHARLES OWEN, ASTM-SEI HUNT CAP.
      I AM A FIRM BELIEVER THAT EVERY TIME WE SWING OUR LEG OVER A HORSE’S BACK WE’RE TAKING A CALCULATED RISK, WHETHER WE’RE WEARING A HELMET OR NOT. I CERTAINLY HAVE TIMES WHEN I ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET. FOR EXAMPLE, WHILE I DON’T RIDE MANY YOUNG HORSES ANY MORE, I DID SIT ON COWBOY A FEW TIMES WHEN HE GOT BACK FROM THE TRAINER, AND I WORE MY HELMET. WHEN I GO HORSE SHOPPING AND GET ON AN UNFAMILIAR HORSE, I WEAR A HELMET. IF MY TRAIL RIDING PLANS INCLUDE ROUGH TERRAIN, I WEAR A HELMET. OF COURSE, I ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET IF I RIDE ENGLISH, BECAUSE I USUALLY HOP OVER A SMALL JUMP OR TWO. SO YOU SEE, WHILE I MIGHT NOT ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET, I HAVE MADE PERSONAL CHOICES ABOUT WHEN IT’S PRUDENT TO STRAP ONE TO MY HEAD. NEEDLESS TO SAY, I WOULD ALWAYS ENCOURAGE ANYONE WHO FEELS INCLINED TO WEAR A HELMET TO DO SO. I CERTAINLY DON’T THINK ANY LESS OF SOMEONE’S RIDING CAPABILITIES BECAUSE THEY’RE WEARING A HELMET. OR NOT. EXCEPT FOR YOUNG RIDERS. THEY SHOULD ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET WHENEVER THEY RIDE A HORSE OR PONY. WHY? BECAUSE I’M THE MOM, THAT’S WHY! 🙂

    3. YES, BAILEY, I DO LIVE OUT WEST! I LIVE IN A SMALL, HORSEKEEPING TOWN CALLED NORCO, WHICH IS INLAND FROM THE BEACH COMMUNITIES WHERE I GREW UP. WHAT GAVE AWAY THE FACT THAT I LIVE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA? THE DUST? THE PARCHED LOOK OF THE HILLSIDE? THE LEATHERY TANNED APPEARANCE OF MY SKIN? HA!

    4. Great to see videos of Wally. Looks like he’s come a long way. I don’t know how I would make my horse canter so slowly without breaking into a trot!

    5. YOU KNOW WHAT’S FUNNY? ONE OF THE REASONS WALLY WAS BOOTED OFF THE WESTERN PLEASURE SHOW CIRCUIT (BESIDES HIS BAD ATTITUDE) WAS THAT HE COULDN’T LOPE/CANTER SLOW ENOUGH! HIS LOPE/CANTER IS CONSIDERED TOO FAST FOR THE WESTERN PLEASURE AND WESTERN HORSEMANSHIP DIVISIONS. I DON’T EVEN TRY TO MAKE HIM ROUND HIS BACK OR LIFT HIS SHOULDERS IN AN EFFORT TO GET THE DESIRED WESTERN PLEASURE LOPE; HE OBVIOUSLY GOES SORT OF STRUNG-OUT AND FLAT. BUT HE’S HAPPY GOING THAT WAY AND I’M NOT GOING TO SHOW HIM, SO I FIGURE THAT’S JUST HUNKY DORY FOR BOTH OF US. 🙂

    6. I’m used to reining and roping horses and lopes are like gallops so don’t feel bad. I love Wally’s face too. I can tell he is your best bud.

    7. I enjoyed your introduction to Wally! He has come a long way. Wally looks happy and content and you two look great together! Way to go:)

    8. Thanks for sharing your video. It’s nice to see you and Wally “in person” as opposed to just pictures and blogs. Makes me feel like I’m actually getting to know you both. I loved Wally’s slow trot and canter. I’m working on that with my horse, a canter to her is full speed ahead!

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