This morning we headed off to JRA Baji Koen (which had 100 horses there at all times, it's pretty busy!) to check out the barrel. It is definitely the most realistic barrel I have ever seen! It looks like maybe they took a tack store model horse and modified it or something? Its great because it has a real surcingle on it, but the roof is a little bit low, so I just need to make sure I don't do cartwheels or something, it will be great for a lot of stuff though, just not quite enough room for trying some of the harder gymnastics stuff (which will probably make the JRA people happy!).... I'm pretty excited to have found it, and they seem happy enough for me to come during the week, as long as it isn't during the weekends when this riding/vaulting club of ten year old girls from Tsudamaki comes to use it. I haven't named 'my' horse yet, but if anyone has good suggestions, please leave a comment!
as yet unnamed barrel horse
nice side conformation shot ;)
basic seat (arms too low!)
(some kind of swing/heel click... *those are compacted sawdust bales in the background*)
Peter had a valuable learning experience about grumpy ponies today! There was an OLD (maybe with cushings) bizarrely conformed pony (13hh?) in a little paddock right across the aisle from the barrel. Peter kind of went over to it, and it pinned its ears and glared, so I warned Peter that he was grumpy and to give it space. Peter came back over to the barrel, and then drifted back over there a few minutes later, same thing....A few minutes later, another horse walked by, and grumpy pony rushed the gate and glared at that horse too...This was a pissed off horse!
Yet Peter, despite warnings, still went to check it out further (not trying to touch him, just kind of near the fence looking at him)... This time, the horse swung it's quarters over to Peter, and just as I'm trying to more forcefully warn Peter that he's dealing with an aggressive horse, the pony wheeled around and took a chunk out of Peter's leather jacket! Peter and his coffee went sprawling across the aisle, and the pony looked pretty happy with itself! Luckily Peter is OK, though a bit tender in the boobular area (he's so going to make me edit this out!), and now has a much better appreciation for the power (and length of neck) of a horse. (FYI, Peter, they can also kick as far back as their body length behind them...).
Luckily, no one saw, or I probably would have been thrown off the property and not allowed back, Hitomi had JUST finished assuring them that I grew up around horses and knew what I was doing! (They should have asked about my ojisan! <-- hey, something did stick from last night!) Peter and Hitomi left shortly thereafter, and I stayed for just under an hour, working mostly on compulsories, it's great to be able to practice reverse scissors with a surcingle, and the realistic neck is weird for a barrel, but actually probably very useful for horse kur building!
After that I came home for a few hours, didn't do too much of anything, and then headed back out to the library to pick up an eyewitness book (inventions) for the boy I was supposed to teach tomorrow. It's since been rescheduled for Sunday, so I have a bit of time to type up my lesson plans, but that's better than scrambling! In the same phone call, the Dad said he wants us to go twice a week now instead of once, so that's good too!
I came back, made myself some dinner (total bachelor meal of fries and turkey sausages) and then Venuppi and I settled down for a girls night in of about five episodes of Sex and the City (a random sampling from Season Six Part Two, just before the end of the series)... I did work through a couple of the episodes, planning questions and worksheets and the such, but really, we just chilled... No idea what's planned for this weekend, with the brief exception of Sunday morning, so it could be not a whole lot, but something might crop up! Actually, I just got an email from the Tokyo Gaijins about futsal on Sunday afternoon, so I might go check that out! Through that email, I also found this website, which is a way better train planner than the one I had been using, train times and everything! Maybe all of you who use Tokyo Transit knew about it already, but just in case, there you go :)
And that about sums it up!