Wednesday, June 17, 2009

General -- 06/17/09

Sorry for the lack of posts here these days! Things have been so hectic around here with putting up new fence and trying to keep up with the day to day things on my own that I haven't had much chance to work with anybody. I have spent some time with the munchkins, just trying to get them halter broke and leading well. Jasmine is finally wearing a halter, but she doesn't know how to lead! It's always fun trying to get a skittish 1000 pound horse to lead without an enclosed area (like a round pen) and by yourself! But she's slowly coming around and finding out that what I'm asking isn't going to hurt her. Marbles and Maggie are leading pretty well now, but they are still not easily caught. They haven't figured out about treats and carrots yet, so the only reward they appreciate is a good scratching. They're getting better about having their feet messed with, so hopefully I can get those awful hooves trimmed soon.

Abbi has a hairline fracture on her left front that Doc says is almost calcified, so her training should begin in the next couple of weeks. Genesis leaves for Anastasia's pony training this weekend, then it's on to her new home when she's ready.

Gentry has improved when it comes to taking the bit and the terrible head tossing that he was doing. I haven't done anything special except to make the bit just something in his mouth, rather than something that causes pain. Soft hands and a plain snaffle did wonders for this guy! I put some beginners on him last week on the lunge line and he was awesome!

Frisky seems to be a fairly well-broke mare. She did test me when I first rode her and didn't want to go where I was pointing her, or even move forward when I asked. But she's the type of mare that shows her stubbornness by stopping and growing roots, not by bucking, rearing, or taking off. After 10 minutes or so, she finally gave in and decided that doing as I asked was a lot easier than doing what she wanted (which was head back to the gate and her little heard of dwarfs). After that, she was great! She has a very comfortable little western jog, but her canter is a bit spastic. I had heard rumors that her previous owners had done nothing but gallop down the trails, leaving their horses rode hard and put away wet. So when I asked for a canter, I got a "OMG, I have to RUN!!" reaction. The calm demeanor went away and she was off like a Thoroughbred out of the gate! Quiet legs and seat, half halts, and low-key 'whoa's and she finally settled into a fairly nice canter. As soon as she quieted I asked her to halt, got off, loosened the girth, and put her away.

I've been ignoring Jewel's training for now. One of the summer projects is to build a round pen and that's what I'm going to need with Jewel. She's going to take a lot of work and patience and I feel like I'm just wasting time with her on the lunge line in the middle of the pasture since her attention span is that of a cat being taught to sit on command. It's practically non-existent.

Tabby has gone on her first trail ride and went by herself since I couldn't find anyone to ride with me and Glenn was out on the road. I only took her out for 30 minutes, but she was awesome! She crossed a small stream without trouble, went past a big rusty van sitting beside the trail, and totally ignored the barking dog at her heals as we went past the neighbor's house. She was a little concerned with being by herself, but once she was out of earshot of the rest of the herd, she settled down and seemed to enjoy the ride. Her adopter is just about ready for her and Meghan, as their fence is almost done! Woohoo!

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