Friday, January 8, 2010

Trying to trail ride

Finally, a break in the cold. This is sure one hard winter. It's been frigidly cold and the snow hasn't melted. Today, it was about 30 degrees and I was determined to get out and move some horses. I tacked up Rain and grabbed Miss Tina, thinking we'd head down the trail. I figured we'd just walk and take it easy. When we got to the gate, I realized there was a good coating of ice and I was concerned that Rain or Tina would slip. I decided to stay on the property and ride through the snow on the perimeter.

Tina ponied very nicely, no pulling - just staying in her spot and paying attention. Rain was my trusty mount as always. Gemini was out on the front acreage, so he was silly running around us, stopping to eat, charging forward to catch up with us, just lots of energy. It made me laugh and it was a good test for the mares to pay attention to me and not him. A couple times they thought about running off with him when he ran past. It only took once or twice for them to realize it was about what I was asking for and not about following Gemini.

It was a nice little jog around the property and I let Tina go to hang out with Gem to play with Rain alone a little. I worked on sideways towards in the barn aisle with Rain and amazingly, she earned it in 10 minutes. We have a great relationship and she is a fantastic learner. I was so proud of her and she could tell. She must have licked for a solid 30 seconds when she really had it. We quit there.

I put her back out with the herd and brought Gem and Tina in. I want to start working on clipping confidence with Tina. As a dressage horse, she'll need to be good when the clippers get pulled out. Gem also needs more clipping confidence, so I figured I'd work with them both. Tina was very afraid and I had to take it very slow. I got her to the point where I could rub the running clippers around her neck up towards her throat latch and she was starting to relax. Good place to quit.

Then, to keep things interesting, I broke the clippers. I dropped them. When I turned them back on they were super loud and scared ALL the horses. :-) I played with the noise for a few minutes, looking for them to get used to the noise, then I called it a day. It was a great 3 hours! Between the weather and my broken arm, it's been a hard horse winter.

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