Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wanted: Sleep. Dead or alive

Mustachio was fantastic today, little spooky, but overall great. We did our 7 games with the carrot stick today (which he was still a little suspicious about) before moving to under-saddle work. He was a little uptight under-saddle and was flexing a lot to his right while on the left rein, I'm actually finding it very difficult to get him to bend to the left when we're on the left rein! More work and his learning leg aids will eventually solve it though, so we'll keep plugging away at it. He did buck a bit, but mostly just some nervous crow-hopping; he did give me a little attitude though at one point, but he came around with some passive persistence on my part. I had originally planned to take him out today and tomorrow, but I felt like today (and tomorrow) was better put to use working on some basics. He's comfortable under-saddle, enough that I do not feel a trail ride would have been of great benefit - I felt like a stronger foundation would be a better choice. So we stayed in the pens and worked on figure-8's, circles on the rail, halt, back-up, and even turns on the forehand and hindquarter! He did very well and I look forward to making further progress with him tomorrow!
Today I had quite the trouble bringing her in from the pasture. Where yesterday I had been able to chase her into the alleyways and thus funnel her into a smaller pen, today she'd caught on and wasn't about to go anywhere near that alleyway! Eventually though I got her in and funneled her down once again to our "roundpen". 2 minutes later she was at the end of a lead. I think more roundpenning might be in our future, but today we spent time just touching her all over (except her legs) and grooming her. She was pretty nervous overall, but fairly good and less nervous than yesterday. I also left her this time, with Sunny, in the alleyway and closer pens rather than the pasture with Twist and the other ponies, so she should be easier to catch until I can catch her without trapping her!!

I can definitely see that I had better be on my toes with this horse. I couple of times he gave me a little attitude, like I'd better watch my back, and several times when he was nervous about me, he swung his hindquarters into my face. Several periods of "oh shit, I'm gonna get the shit kicked out of me". He seems like a great horse, but I need to make sure I have his respect at all times and that I am a really strong leader. He did well at all 7 games today, very well. He seems to be becoming more and more comfortable with me as well, which is great - that's my exact goal with him this week. Next week we intro the saddle and get into some basic under-saddle work.

I didn't have too too much trouble catching her today, but I definitely need to work on earning her friendship, just spending some chilling time with her and such...there were a number of times during our work where she just wanted to be back in the pasture, so my work is cut out to get her to the point where she wants to work with me. She definitely seems to like being around me and she fully trusts me for the most part, but she doesn't necessarily want to work with me, lol. Nothing that involves sweat, at least! Haha. I ran her around the arena a couple of times to try and get some nice photos, but all I was able to get were these:

Nice, but not her usual movement, none of the really nice extended trot. Next, we worked on our 7 games and tried to clean up the porcupine (really trying to get her lighter - I know she can be, but she just doesn't want to yet, her focus isn't quite there so far), etc. For our circling game, we did some hill work. She's got a pretty nice topline, but I'd like to see further development on her topline and also overall fitness of course. So we spent 5 minutes trotting each side over a hill, with a 3-4 minute break in between. Except it was more like 7-8 minutes each side, because she started to throw tantrams to get back to Koolaid. She'd get to a specific area then just balk and back-up, taking her closer to Koolaid in the pasture. She'd refuse to move forward...ugh!!! Oh well, work in progress and it's only session 2 so far. I'm expecting to be able to pick up where we left off last year and that's unrealistic. She certainly remembers everything, but our partnership needs to be built back up again. Right now, Koolaid's her herd, not me. So, as usual, more work for me! Lol.

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