Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mostly groundwork

Ah, so today was an early morning (particularly for a night-owl whose perfect world would consist of rising at 1pm at the earliest) to get the horses done before I hit up Calgary to take a look at some trucks. Ultimately, I'd love to have a truck bought within a week here, and I think I might have one bought within the next few days! Keep your fingers crossed.

I worked with him first since he'd gotten out during the night (some panels were knocked down) and I had to catch him anyways, plus his owner turned out to be hanging around and had nothing better to do than to watch our saddle work! His ground work was alright today, though he was quite reactive for whatever reason (getting loose, the wind??). I was a lot more comfortable up on him today in the saddle, though I was still careful. We still mostly went where he wanted to and I didn't argue with him too much. I was nervous that if I argued with him over direction that he'd become reactive and buck - he didn't, but I was careful not to push him over the edge (though I was certainly feeling that edge out a little to figure out what we had and where it was). Monday I'll be a little more confident that I can argue with him a little (maybe with the Happy Mouth bit? I don't like to use a bit until the basics are done, but I feel one might be appropriate in this particular case), as he was mostly calm today. He was a little reactive though and still very unconfident - he felt like he could explode, but he didn't - something I was beyond pleased with. I spent maybe 10 minutes up there before dismounting and calling it a day on a good note. Once I've hit the threshold with him and just knocked down his wall (soon), then riding him 1,2, 3 hours, even all day, won't be a problem, but for now it's a little at a time. Once we've gotten through the tough stuff he should progress very quickly.

I had a very hard time catching the Mustachio man today - usually when I say I had a hard time catching a horse, it means it took longer than 30 seconds and the horse didn't walk/trot/canter up to meet me, or stand still at the very least. Like another 30 seconds longer. When I say that it means the horse didn't walk right up to me directly, but that he/she turned away then came back to me after I blocked him/her off or something similar. Today though it took me a good 10 minutes to catch Twist - he really didn't want to be caught, despite such a great, relaxing session yesterday! So I spent a good 10 minutes or so just rubbing him before turning him loose again. Sometimes spending time with a horse is just as important as saddle work; believe it or not just chilling with your horse can actually progress saddle work because your horse is working more in partnership with you next time.

I ran out of time by the time I hit this girl and she was being particularly difficult to catch today. SO, she's a Monday project. She is coming along though, so I am hoping she comes around to where I can catch her more easily by the end of next week. Wow, what slow progress though, this mare just wants nothing to do with people!

Once again I had to skip Missy; though I desperately need to work her(!!!), a vehicle to get me around to the horses has to take priority unfortunately. Tomorrow is supposed to be my day off from working horses though, so I think I will work her in the morning, which will make up for one of the days here I have missed with her. Hopefully I can get this truck thing all sorted out so that I can just get back to work! I'm tired of being tired and I'm tired of there not being enough hours in the day to get done all that I need to. I did look at a bunch of vehicles today though and have a few prospects so am hoping to have some money down within the next few days. One more to look at tomorrow as well. I will also be giving mom a lesson on Sonny tomorrow and so will be riding Link - I'll report back tomorrow evening!

Oh, and I had two things to comment on today, but can only remember one. While tacking up any horse, I always allow the horse to check out whatever I am about to throw up on their back if they'd like. To me, it is just showing respect towards my horse and a part of being polite. I don't care how many times you've tacked up that particular horse before, wouldn't you like to know what was going up on your back? If the horse just stands disinterested, then no worries, I'll just throw the tack up there. More often than not though, the horse will turn its head a little and their interest will range from "oh, that again - just making sure" to "wait, wait, wait! What's that going up on my back!". I just feel that if we expect our horses to be polite and respectful that, as partners, we should be the same. On that note, our horses should be involved in team decisions and thus also in anything that very directly pertains to them (or to the team), such as equipment being put on them. I feel like they appreciate it - I certainly would! So consider it and just keep it in mind :)

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