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Quiet Flows The Don

Quiet Flows The Don

Postby Late Starter » Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:23 pm

Now that Travis has gone to live with Pollyanna, my number one ride is Donnie. 16.3 of Chestnut muscle. Apparently he is an Irish Sports gelding. The gelding I am sure about, but am always a bit uncertain what constitutes a "sports horse". I am sure he has more than a touch of draught about him. To look at him, with his big clown feet and comedy ears, it is hard to imagine him jumping, but he does. I rode him in a "fun" jumping competition a couple of weeks ago and he jumped like a salmon. The tricky bit was getting him to jump the fences I wanted, in the order I wanted to. But we did it and, as I reported earlier managed a double clear. That was only the fourth time I had ridden him and the first time jumping.
This Thursday we were in Economy Group and I was on the Don, Sarah on Minstrel, Naomi on Bailey and Martine on Oscar (her own). Tracey was taking the class (the boss is unwell and we all wish her a speedy recovery). Tonight was jumping. Tracey had set up three jumps a stride apart. We started with poles on the ground, just to get the feel of the stride and to practice jump position (finding balance). Once the first fence was popped up as a cross pole we all had a few goes at it. The first time, I approached at the trot (with T, that was often wise as he could eaily get on the forehand and barge through jumps if you let him) but that all seemed oddly rushed and lacking in any rhythm, so second time around we had a go at the canter. Bizarrely, this seemed less rushed and was certainly more rhythmical. Tracey warned me that the Don does jump in school the same way he does when he sees a course. In a school situation, he will just go through the motions if he thinks he can get away with it. However when the second fence was popped up, there was no sign of that. Again he kept a good rhythm and jumped nicely. When teh third fence was popped up (all three as cross poles), I found out what Tracey meant. I suppose I was getting a bit cocky and was not using my leg enough. I could feel a hesitation going into the first element, then he dropped to a trot to squeeze in an extra stride for the second and I had to virtually carry him over the third (well, that's how it felt). Next time round I was ready for it and we got over all three nicely. After a few more runs, Tracey changed the final element to a spread. I guess I was mentally backing off from teh spread a bit and by the time we reached it, the Don had virtually stopped and mainly went through it. Ok, so next time I put some real effort into getting the impulsion and we got over a bit better, but I rather got left behind a bit and nearly went out the side door. tracey gave me a time;y reminder to lengthen my right leg (sans stirrup by then) and we recovered. Straight back round and I was able to relax a bit more and giving him plenty of verbal encouragement we got over nicely. In fact, by the end we had all done good runs over the full combination and we had all had our little bits of excitement. Mind you, I am now feeling it in the legs...
For those who have not seen the photos of the Don, here they are again.
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The title of the blog comes from the novel of the same name by Mikhail Sholokhov, which descibes the lives of a group of Don cossacks from just before the First World War to the end of the Russian Civil War. In russian it was entitled Tikhiy Don. This literally translates as "Quiet Don", "Quiet Flows the Don" catches the sense much better.. If you do not get on with Russian literature it is very good for keeping doors open on hot days.
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Re: Quiet Flows The Don

Postby Trudi » Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:51 pm

Look forward to more tales!
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Re: Quiet Flows The Don

Postby littlewhitehorse » Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:10 pm

Somehow I don't think your lessons will be dull with the Don. Btw, I have heard of the book but don't think I ever read it. Thanks for photos :thumbup:
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Re: Quiet Flows The Don

Postby Chevalblanc » Sat Oct 17, 2015 6:57 am

Late Starter wrote: If you do not get on with Russian literature it is very good for keeping doors open on hot days.


As is some English literature :wink:
Helen

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Re: Quiet Flows The Don

Postby spottygiraffe » Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:31 pm

Nah, we're not really into the description 'sports horse' much either :thumbdown:

It does look like he has quite big feet!

Well done for starting a new blog for him, looking forward to hearing how you two progress.
Sarah x

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Re: Quiet Flows The Don

Postby fabikat » Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:33 pm

Looks like a good sort. I am sure you will have some fun with him. Look forward to hearing more.
katy x
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Re: Quiet Flows The Don

Postby Late Starter » Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:29 am

He certainly is a good sort.
Every bit as forward as the Big T but a total gent. Nikki beat me to him for the monthly Friday show jumping, so I had to sit it out. There is a newcomer, Maisie, but I have not had a chance to ride her yet, so straight into a bit of show jumping would have been a very steep learning curve.... Katherine was riding Candy, but came a nasty cropper. Candy was really going for it and K had forgotten to tighten the girth before her round and went flying out the side door on a tight turn when the saddle slipped. She gave herself a nasty dead leg on landing. Because she was not able to walk unaided for a while, I took her down to A&E. They gave her a clean bill of health but banned her from riding for a few days, so she had to miss pony club. However, LIz got back into the saddle for the first time in humfty doo years and also the first time since her hip replacement :thumbup: . Half an hour on Donnie with Tracey (who knows a thing or two about hip replacements). Topped it off with a meal at the Pheasant, washed down with a bottle of 2009 Danebury Cossack (one of Hampshire's better fizzes).
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Re: Quiet Flows The Don

Postby spottygiraffe » Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:08 pm

Oh no, poor K! Get well soon xxx

Great to see L back in the saddle though -did she enjoy it?

Hope you get to have a go at the showjumping next time it comes around.
Sarah x

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Re: Quiet Flows The Don

Postby Trudi » Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:56 am

:hurray: well done Liz and :hug: to Katherine.
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Re: Quiet Flows The Don

Postby littlewhitehorse » Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:46 pm

K had forgotten to tighten the girth before her round and went flying out the side door on a tight turn when the saddle slipped.
Oh no, not that old trick :roll: I hope K is mending, bet she won't forget to tighten the girth next time!
What a lovely shiny chestnut coat has the Don :thumbup:
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