Sunday, July 5, 2009

First day back on the job

Well by the time I woke up this morning, I was pretty exhausted from the events of the day prior, so it was down to the three customer horses today. Ugh, what a hot and muggy day - it was cloudy so all the clouds kept the heat in, and the moisture from the impending rainstorm is creating a lot of humidity in the air.

I had her approach me a few times in the pasture, but I was unable to actually catch her until I penned her into a smaller area. Her half-brother really helped me out just by being a calm shadow (a calm, clothes-and-skin-nibbling shadow, that is, lol). Once I caught her she wasn't too keen on being touched much, so I just spent some time with her and rubbing the areas she was more confident with (neck and head) before turning her loose again.

It's been a good two weeks since we last worked, so I wasn't even sure I would be able to ride him today, but it worked out! We played our usual ground games plus I incorporated a few extensions - he was phase 1 at it all! Afterwards, I tacked him up and "roundpenned" him a little before mounting up - his roundpenning was great with a lot of focus on me and a lot of "draw", ie. willingness to come in to me without pressure. He was a little skittish but no bucks and he did all he was asked without any reactive episodes - turns on the haunches, turns on the forehand, sidepass, bending (his nose to my knee) on either side, all at the walk only though today. He did fabulous, particularly after such a long break! I'm trying to get in all the days I can now before his owner takes him out to the mountains :)

While he wasn't all that one-sided today (he was actually very balanced, considering) he was quite reactive. Not that he was really blocking me out much, but there were a couple of scary moments where he almost exploded at, or on top of, me, just because he was so worried. For example, while playing the sideways game, at one point he felt like he was cornered and so spun his haunches in towards me and went completely reactive on me. I was extra careful after that to be sure I didn't accidentally push him too far. I worked at staying very quiet with him and tried my best to keep his focus on me. His games went well enough on the ground, so I tacked him up (he really doesn't like that cinch being done up and kept puffing his belly out) and eventually just let him loose. After some roundpenning he seemed a little better (he couldn't get enough of a straight stretch to really buck it out either and so his focus seemed to come around a little better maybe) and I stood up in the stirrups on either side. He was pretty worried about that though, so we called it quits there for the day before pushing him possibly too far. Tomorrow hopefully we can do a little more work in the saddle, but it will definitely involve some roundpenning first to get him focused in on me!

I'm not sure how this week is going to go, but I will definitely be working with Gypsy, Twist, and Sunny to finish up their 30 days (that would originally have been drawing to a close real soon here - being stuck up in High Prairie set me back a good week), as well as Missy. I'll be getting Silver, Koolaid, and Link in wherever I can, but hopefully on a regular schedule (*sigh*). Enjoy the day!!

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