Horses, True Cowboy/Ranch

Culture Shock

It’s funny how much you can learn in a week. I have this colt I’m working with. Ok, technically a filly, but everyone just calls her ‘Coaly’ or ‘your colt’. I’ve been riding her for about a week and a half and we’ve had her for two weeks before that. She’s my first colt, describable in two words.

Culture shock.

Don’t get me wrong. I love her. I love riding her (mostly). I love seeing the blue roan in our pasture (close enough to a strawberry roan, ya know?). But I’m used to a fifteen year old gelding who’s biggest problem is that he whinnies and is a little bit herdy. Not too herdy, but a little bit. Ok, ok, I take that back. If you aren’t careful with Okey, he’ll buck with you. But he hasn’t done that since he bucked me off three years ago. He still does little hops…but not full bucks. So yeah, we have some pretty good horses.

Enter Coaly.

She was pretty good at first. She took the sacking out, picking up her feet, all that stuff real good. Then Grandpa gave me a boost and I was laying on her back. Then I slid a leg over. Then I was sitting on her. And all I could do was smile.

We did pretty good then. The next day, we put on the saddle and I rode her around like that. The next day, we went down through the housing development. The day after that, the trail. Then:

Culture shock.

She figured out where the barn was. Mhmm, barn sour. Bad barn sour. We live on a busy road, so we’ve been leading her down that (I don’t relish the idea of getting hit) and then getting on. On the way back, we found out that, as well as being naturally gaited, she was very eager to get back to the barn.

A little too eager.

Oh boy, I thought. But then, the next day, I tried to ride her away from the barn. I didn’t have a lot of time that day and I didn’t figure that it would be that big of a deal for her and me to do a little obstacle course. It wasn’t that far, just a little way out to the pasture and back. That was the day I learned about riding uppity horses bareback.

Culture shock.

Honestly, I’d never ridden a horse who threw her head around, sidestepped, plain refused to go–did I mention the head throwing?–much less bareback. But somehow, there’s this thing about determination. I was determined that she WAS going to go around that barrel. She was determined that she WASN’T (so know I know if she really wants to get that cow, that cow hasn’t got a chance! 🙂 ) . But somehow, my determination held me on her and she did go around that barrel.

Today,  when I rode her away from the house, I was saddled, and quite prepared for the battle…which took up two lanes of the road. 😉 But soon she was walking off down the side street and we were on our way. She did hurry coming home, but it wasn’t as bad as the day before. And she did keep going in circles at the stop sign, but I was able to stop her for about fifteen seconds–a good start.

Yes, Coaly is a culture shock, but she’s a good culture shock. Over this past week and a half, she’s taught me more than I’ve ever learned in a very long time. How to slide on, how to not spook her, how to know when to be forceful and when not to be, how to ‘feel’ her relaxing, how to hide my emotions–oh my word, she’s going to rear and I’m going to die (she didn’t, btw) to oh my goodness you are the most beautiful horse I have ever seen–under an impression of calmness, how to relax and let her explore, how to sit deep in the saddle, how to discreetly slip two fingers under the saddle horn so it doesn’t look like I’m a sissy, how to grab onto the saddle horn with both hands to go over a ditch only to find out that it’s not that bad at all, how to roll with the punches…and that’s only the beginning.

Yes, dear Coaly the Culture Shock, already, on that first day, when you found your confidence, I found mine too. Thank you.

We are going places together.

The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire. – Sharon Ralls Lemon

First Ride!!
First Ride!!
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21 thoughts on “Culture Shock”

  1. I really enjoyed this post. What an amazing experience you are having and still yet to have. It is moments like this, that change your life and make you into who you are meant to be. Our “Coaly’s” teach us so much about ourselves and about life! You go girl!

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    1. Thank you! Yes I agree, it is amazing. I’ve only been begging for a colt for about two years now. 🙂 Just the fact that there’s a colt outside waiting for me…”Coaly” might not always be fun, but that’s what makes us grow, right? 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. First and foremost Coaly is beautiful! Do you know what breed she is? She looks like a quarter horse but you stated that she was gaited! That’s pretty exciting! 🙂

    Second, I haven’t had much experience with barn sour horses; let me know what you find works best with working her through it!

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    1. She’s a Paso Fino/Spotted Saddlebred mix. Or at least that’s what we were told. She doesn’t have papers and was bought from an auction before we bought her from J.W. And yes!! She does look like a Quarter Horse! I am so excited about that! Grandpa wanted to get a Paso Fino but I saw a Paso Fino once and it looked like a stick. Inwardly I was dreading getting a ‘stick horse’ to train but enter Coaly! I’m so happy with her looks!! 😀

      Haha, I haven’t had much experience yet either! So, yeah, I’ll let y’all know what works. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and commenting. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I can’t believe you remembered that!!! 😀 college…yes, my plans are…still…unannounced. I have no idea what I want to be, there’s so many cool things to do. I DO know that i want to foster kids, ride horses, and write. Other than that? I have no idea. And how do you even combine those three ‘wannas’ together into a career? so yeah. but i am looking into taking first year of college, like the beginning courses that you have to have for every college. since i’ll still be in high school, it’ll be free. that’s about it. lousy i know.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. That’s not lousy at all! At least you are thinking about getting ahead on your career!

            Hmm.. .as for what to study I would suggest maybe a Human Development and Family Sciences degree or a Psychology degree with a minor in equine sciences and english? New media communications? Lol if that made ANY sense!

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            1. Hmm yeah. I was thinking about being a counselor but then I know that I’m going to be CRAZY sitting at a desk all day. I’m just not a desk person. Even if I’m working on a story, I have to get up and go outside or I can’t stand it. I was thinking horse trainer…but I’m know that doesn’t always pay good and if I want to FOSTER. I was also thinking writer, but i have to publish a book first and until it takes off, if ever, i’m living on bare minimum, also not good for fostering. Then I was thinking, ‘just find a husband and stay at home.’ then i could do all three! 🙂 If i could find the right man before I go to college. haha. as if. yeah, that’s around where my thoughts are going right now. if that makes any sense. 😉

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              1. Well, for my advice, don’t worry about finding a man. God will put one in your life at the appropriate time. The second thing, a lot of my friends give up on their dreams because a guy they thought was “The One” told them not too; if he’s God’s One for You then he won’t ask you to give up something that is so important for you!
                When you are in college look into doing lots of internships; they can be a lot of labor for not a lot pay but you will get a lot of experience that will look good on your resume! Look into the prisoner-horse work camps, foster kids and mustangs programs, Little Rascal Rodeos, special needs rides programs, etc. Those all may lead you into what you want to do and, if it doesn’t exist, create your own! 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

                1. 🙂 thanks! and thanks for remembering and asking and encouraging, and telling me to make my own way (with God). I really appreciate it. I will most definitely be looking into those things. What is Little Rascal Rodeos? I’ve never heard of those before.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. They are a group who work with rodeos to put on special needs rodeos so young boys and girls get the opportunity to meet their rodeo heroes in the form of cowgirls, cowboys and authentic rodeo horses. It’s a lot of fun and I hope to do more with them over the next few years!

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