Sunday, December 27, 2009

Riding Z, driving Tina and back to trimming myself!

My day started off with Gemini. He was in the neighbors pasture. He'd gone down the driveway (1/4 mile) through the gate and down the road. All in all, about a 1/2 mile walk but looping around our property. I threw out the hay for the others, then Deuce and I headed out to bring Gem home. Gem was happy to see me - I think he was trying to figure out a way into the pasture with the others. I think I need to put another horse out with him. He seems to be getting lonely. I want to play with him more, but he has to take the back burner with the horses I have here in training.

Then, I got Steve to give me a hand with a trim. Nina was pretty overdue and I also needed to get her hind soaked as she's developed scratches. I've never had a horse with scratches and I don't understand why one horse would get it and not the others. I have a clean property, but I know they can get it from the dirt. Is her immune system low? Anyway, Steve used the nippers where I placed them for me and I did the rest. I was able to rasp with my broken arm ok, not great - but I got the job done. I got her soaked too. Hopefully, her skin will start to heal rapidly now.

I did some chores while the horses got their fill of hay, then I decided to ride Z. I started by taking her in and out of the trailer. She'll get in fine, but I want her confident inside. Actually, she knows the difference between being in a stationary trailer and one attached to a truck and likely to take her somewhere. For the latter, her anxiety goes way up. I need to attach the trailer - or at least back the truck up to that position to fool her and help get her more confident.

After that, I hopped on and she and I just went around the property. We practiced nice, light sideways, up on the pedestal, then bridleless weaving around a little patch of trees I have. We practiced backwards a bunch and halting bridleless. Her responses are good, but they can always be better. I'm noticing that when I ask her backwards bridleless, it works better if I move my hips back in rhythm with hers versus being in rhythm with the foreleg movement. I think naturally, I moved with the fore. As I practice and play with it, it works better with the hind. Of course that makes sense, but I was just following my gut with the fore movement. Her bridleless back and halt are very good. We really need to get our freestyle film done. I've been saying that for months... Sigh. Just need to do it.

Then, I got Miss Tina out for move driving. I wanted Chrissy to help out by causing some commotion with a tarp. Tina is driving nicely and we'll continue to practice. But, she needs lots more confidence building too. Gem was hanging around when we got started and he finds tarps to be quite fun. He grabbed it with his mouth and shook it up and down for 15 seconds or so. Tina wasn't quite sure what to make of that!! Of course, if Gem isn't afraid, maybe she needn't be either. Soon enough, Tina was also mouthing it and moving it and lifting it.

Chrissy went around and I drove Tina behind the tarp. I wanted her to feel like she was "chasing" the tarp - a great confidence builder for horses. Then, I had Chrissy walk a circle around us. Tina was concerned when the tarp was in zone 5, but otherwise she was fine. We then followed the dragging tarp some more, but I wanted Tina to step on it. I also had Chrissy shaking it and doing more than simply dragging it.

We found a good place to stop and Tina was calm and in a very good frame of mind. It was a great session!


Alice said...

Loved the picture of Gem playing with the tarp. A quarter horse at our barn named Earl loves the cross tie hanging outside his door. He draped it over his neck once and stood there looking at us with it dangling behind his ear. Cutest thing ever.

So glad you are back in the saddle. :-)

Tia Jones said...

Thanks, Alice! November and December have been hard months while I couldn't get my full horsey fix. I have big plans now that I'm back!

Happy New Year!