Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Kananaskis trails!

Well, I'm back! Wrote my exams last weekend. Long weekend but it's over and done with - what a relief! SO. Back to daily blogging as well as new posts on my other blog board (tomorrow, hopefully). To catch up/back-dating:

June 2

Getting the green horse to stand still when he's yet only just barely comfortable under-saddle...is quite the chore, lol

Prior to my exams still so it was only Twist for the day! I rushed him a little; started off with a quick run at our 7 games before saddling him up on his left side (he's gettin' there!). Definitely somewhat spooky but after riding around the pens a bit until he was comfortable, we took off for a short ride in the nearby field. He was a little nervous but was otherwise very good, and also very willing.

June 3
Twist was okay to catch this session, so we tacked up quickly, played our games, and hit the trails for a good but short ride. This time we took a tour of the entire field, passing by Moustachio's buddies...he was not impressed. He was pretty willing to continue onwards but as we hit the last bit home he started throwing a bit of a tantrum - tossing his head to try and head back to his buddies, then progressing to a little bucking and even rearing. Yea that's about when I decided it was time to dismount, haha. No way in heck I had to stay up there as he continued to escalate. I tried remounting a few times in the field, but Twist had other ideas, so I waited until we left the field to remount. A little trip further under-saddle to end on a good note and we were finito for the day. Hopefully we can look forward to a better ride next ride, though at least we still did make progress today ;P

June 08

Looking back towards more Kananaskis country

Back at Wareabouts Ranch, nestled in K-country - where Sonny is currently temporarily residing

Link and I enjoying the ride...well actually I think Link was more or less eyeing up the scrumptious grass beneath his feet at this exact moment...

His herdmates were past us at the gate en route "home"...this is Link panicking as he honestly believes I intend to keep him - alone - in this "wild" and "dangerous" forest. Racehorse meets wild country alone. And panics. Lol.

Link eyeing me up at the trailer after our ride. This horse "bounced" in the trailer the entire ride here. 3-hour ride later...no bouncing. He was quiet the entire trip home, haha.

First day back with the horses after exams!! Mom and I hauled Link out to where Sonny is currently at, out in Kananaskis country, for a solid 3-hour ride through the mountains! I wasn't sure how Link would handle it, but he did awesome. He walked over roads with creeks passing beneath, walked over a long (approx. 25'?) and narrow (like 4' wide) wooden bridge over a wide and rushing creek, passed through three wide creeks (he rushed the first one but by the last one, the widest and deepest, he walked through completely relaxed), made his way up and down muddy hills, went through fields of cattle, and made his way over all sorts of rough ground (which seemed to surprise him at first - what? ground isn't always flat?? LOL). What a great horse! He was pretty energetic - as usual, but there was so much to keep his mind busy so for the most part he was pretty relaxed (loose rein, low headset, etc). A few anxious episodes the odd time I asked him to keep his feet still, but that's to be expected. All in all Link completely wowed me, completely blew me away. He handled it much better than I had anticipated and - as my mom pointed out to me - he was pretty tuned in to me, which was great!! The first couple of logs he walked over he accidentally tapped with his toes but after that he was much more careful with his feet and rarely touched another log lol.

Sonny back at the trailer later

Sonny did fabulous as well, he seems to really be coming along nice with the trainer who's got him. And, joy, mom listens to him (the trainer) haha, so not only is Sonny benefiting from all the mountain riding, but she is being pushed to do things she wouldn't do if it were just her and I. Sonny handled everything beautifully with a calm head. I'm going to take him on for July and put some additional work onto him, including (hopefully) some dressage work. The guy working on him now doesn't think he's all that smart, but I personally think it's simply lack of motivation and immaturity on Sonny's part. When I do teach him he picks some things up quickly and other things...he just doesn't pick up at all. But I think it might be because he just doesn't care. Like how he raced, lol...or failed to. So, how do you motivate him? My other horses and others I've worked with, I don't have that problem. You develop a partnership and they want to work with you, it just comes. But Sonny seems to just. not. care. Sometimes too I'll be working with him and he'll just completely play around, bolting and squealing on the ground, rather than work with me. *sigh* So we'll see if we can't get him motivated, or if it maybe comes with age? Or with a job (cattle?)? We'll see.

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