Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Mocha Challenge

Life is in full swing (still) over here in the south Pacific. Our new horses, Tsubasa and Diamond, are both picking up weight. I really think I am in trouble with Tsubasa. He is stealing my heart every time I go to the barn. He has a (so far) wonderful disposition. He's inquisitive and friendly and loves to be patted and rubbed. I just hope and pray and hope and pray that he is able to maintain his sweet disposition. I also really hope that I get to ride him when he is ready!

Not the best photo but hopefully gives you an idea of Mocha's Dachshund(ness)
Well, in order to give myself something to work towards while I am over here I've given myself a little challenge. I've finally started riding a little bit more but I'm still riding little Mocha. I think of Mocha as the Dachshund of the horse world. I'm pretty sure he is longer than he is tall. 

To say he has an unfortunate conformation would really be an understatement. Flat work is really not a lot of fun with him, not just because of his short, choppy strides paired with his short neck and thick throat latch but also because of his pony attitude. I actually really like Mocha but he gets away with a lot when kids and beginners ride him so when someone like me gets on him we are dealing with lots of bad habits. But despite all this Mocha is actually a very cute little jumper and he seems to enjoy it. So since I really just don't have the time or patience to try and really concentrate on Mocha's flat work (not that I am completely ignoring it) I've decided to try just working on me for a change.

That means I've joined the no-stirrup club! My goal is to be able to ride an entire hour at walk/trot (both sitting and posting) and canter and to be able to jump an entire course (well, as much as we have room for over here anyways) without stirrups. So far it hasn't been too bad. I was really surprised at how easy it felt the first day I tried it. The only time I have a little trouble (so far) is the downward transition from canter to trot. A lot of this is because Mocha is often times the opposite of round and can get really bouncy but I figure the bouncier he is the harder I'll have to work. I've already gone over cross rails without any trouble and one small vertical. So here's hoping I will come home from Okinawa with legs of steal and a core to match (if I can just stay away from the darn Halloween Candy!)!!

Mocha does have a very sweet face and he is a good boy just smart enough to get his way with most riders and hey who can blame him!

 If I do get to start riding the new horses then this goal might have to be put on hold for a bit depending on what kind of time I have but it's definitely nice to have something to do over here.


  1. Congrats on losing your stirrups! :)

  2. Hey! Amanda! Great to finally meet you at All Souls. I'd love to take a Mocha challenge too, I just need to talk my husband into being able to take lessons again :( -Kristy

    1. Hi Kristy, It was so nice to meet you in person! How funny that we've been passing each other all these days and not even know it. I hope you are able to work out some riding lessons!!