Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dog killers!

After sweating it up...see, she looks trimmer already! Well, one can dream.

Expressing mutual "missed you's". 60 minutes apart must have felt like an eternity, how did we ever survive?? *roll eyes*

I was looking for action shots from Missy, but I guess I should have taken them when she was floating around the arena, rather than trying to entice her to do so in the field...

Our little (okay, big) golden powerhouse did fabulous with her groundwork today; we played all 7 games and included some fitness work in with our circling game - 5 minutes of trot in either direction. We also started off with some liberty work in the roundpen, just getting her tuned in to me - she worked up quite the sweat! So much so that Koolaid gave her shoulder a good lick when she returned, despite my raised brow directed towards him. Real suave, Koolaid, real suave. I feel like she could be started under-saddle right away but I want to create a stronger partnership between us first...she spent a good part of her time with her neck craned around towards Koolaid. He screamed and screamed until he finally figured out he could supervise 'his' mare from a nearby pasture (thankfully quietly). So my plan is to do one week of groundwork with her - including some hill work, patterns, and ponying off of Koolaid, before starting her under-saddle next week.

Silver reacted pretty badly to his vaccinations (given Wednesday evening), poor guy. It's happened previous years, so I'm hoping to do something different next year - blood titres, holistic work, I'm not sure but I guess I've got some research to do! Luckily he was feeling much better by today though, but I'll probably give him the rest of the week off before I start him into a regular schedule.

Someone neglected to notify Koolaid that Missy is his half-sister (same sire)...that same someone also neglected to remind Koolaid that he is still a gelding. No, stallion parts do not regrow. Sorry to be Johnny Raincloud, Koolaid, but it's just not gonna happen. So, whilst Koolaid awaits the good news, he's taken to guarding his mare as if she were made of gold.

The big paint pony was great! We started off with a thorough grooming session - a bridle path, a mane that wasn't entirely composed of dreadlocks, a tail you could actually run your fingers though, and a shiny coat! I was shocked at how much old winter hair I pulled off of his back, and really only his back (well, you can see it littering the ground in the photo) - we could have made another horse out of it all! It seemed to have been collecting for a rainy day...which is fabulous because we actually had thundershowers today. Well, somewhere we did. I missed all but a few sprinkles, but I'm told by the ever-so-trustworthy weather report that we had, or were to have at least, thundershowers. Myself, I'm still waiting. Anyways, so today being the rainy day, the hair had to go. He learned 5 of the 7 games very easily and quickly - I saved the last two games for next time or so. The yo-yo game I had to throw in some driving game to help him get the hang of it, but once I did he was immediately backing up on a light Phase 2! His circling game was good too, as apparently he has been taught to longe before. Overall he was pretty good; he seems to have a pretty nice foundation already in place and he's not overly reactive or unbalanced (no major right-brain tendencies apparent, at least yet). The circling game is where the dog killer part comes in though. Aly, our pup, was lounging about in the sun and lazily walked past where Sunny was circling. That was, until Sunny the Hun spotted her. As he came around the circle, he suddenly leapt into the air and came down, inches from Aly's head, both feet smashing hard into the ground. He reached out another time or two to deliberately grab at Aly's darting figure before I could correct him. The angry expression on Sunny's face was actually pretty hilarious (afterwards, that is - during, I nearly had a heart attack)...no mistaking those intentions! Good thing Aly's such a quick pup, lol.

I couldn't catch her whatsoever (very reactive) and so had to funnel her down into one of the small pens to "roundpen" her (well, it was a square pen, but it definitely served the purpose). With some approach and retreat, she eventually allowed me to touch her head and get ahold of the halter she normally wears. We tried a little circling game out in the larger pen I usually work in, but she was too reactive so we settled for some simple grooming time and friendly game (my running my hands all over her), which she seemed to enjoy somewhat. When I first started with her today, she was absolutely terrified when I first touched her neck, but once my hand was actually there, she'd relax a little. She definitely loves her head rubbed! Plenty of lip-licking and chewing before we finished. She's going to be slow work, perhaps even slower than Twist, but she seems smart and like she can move along alright given time and careful handling.

Finished with Mr. Mustachio today, but just groundwork after last week's session. He actually trotted then walked right up to me and then even kept getting in the way as I worked with Gypsy, sidling in for pets constantly, haha. I used my carrot stick to work with him during our games for the first time (usually I just use the end of my rope or my hands), which seemed to help us clean up our games a bit! He did pretty well today with very little reactiveness. Returning Twist to his pasture is where the second part of the dog killers comes into play...I had my back turned to him as I unchained the gate when he suddenly (after standing quietly behind me) tore past me like a madman as Aly trotted past, tearing after her with ears laid back before I quickly pulled him up. Not Aly's day in the horse world, obviously, hehe.

The third and last part of poor Aly's adventures with the dog killers involved my favourite pony gelding, whom I call Pip. The little yearling tore after Aly, a good 150m or so, down the alleyway! Last thing I see is this baby's tail as he chases Aly down the alleyway and around the corner to the front pens. I couldn't believe he kept up the chase for so long, and poor Aly couldn't believe it either, she kept looking back at first, seeing if he was still after her! Hehehe. Aly, maybe you shouldn't have chased after those ducks in the water...karma's a b**** eh?! Lol ;)

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