Monday, March 23, 2009

Ponying Nina and Undemanding Time

Today, I took Rain and Nina out for a trail ride. The wind was insane - gusts up to 40 mph. I could tell Nina was affected as she was bracier than normal and generally tight. Rain was even a little more on edge and looking to move out instead of her casual walk.

We went only about 5 miles and Nina got ahead of us a few times. I was looking for different ways to handle her forward behavior and tense feelings because commotion in zone 5 wasn't enough in those moments. I circled her around us and that helped some, I tried using my stick to increase Z1 commotion (marginally effective) and we tried waiting. It didn't seem any worked more than the other and I'll be working on helping her more in future rides. She had some good moments of pure prey animal behavior.

Rain was also a little more agitated as I noted, and when we got back I tied off Nina and played with some mounted work with Rain. We worked on a very soft and bridleless sideways in both directions and isolating the ends. She got much more calm and I called it a day. She's my favorite horse - just love her.

When I got back, I spent more time with Z - filling up the "love" bucket. I see my bonding time truly paying off and realizing that will be part of our deal. I'll have to consider that to be as critical and slow down our challenging learning sessions by putting in sessions of bonding only in between.

I trimmed some hooves, too. Rain's fronts are especially interesting and the hoof capsule is turned inward from her crooked legs. I'm trying to keep the hoof as balanced as possible while allowing the heels to expand. I'm not crazy about the way they look and I may get my mentor out to coach me some more.

No comments: