Friday, May 21, 2010

Thunder – 5/21/10

When Thunder arrived here he was scrawny, covered in hardened mud, and recently castrated.  He was hot wired from being confined to a stall for a few weeks, but was supposed to be a well-broke trail horse.  I don’t know about the “well” part of being broke, but he’s definitely been ridden before.

He was laid back to the point of being lazy.  It took some pretty good whacks on the butt with the longe whip to get him to move.  Once he got going, he did much better and just moved off Maggie’s leg. 


He also acted like he couldn’t figure out the bitless bridle.  The power steering was certainly not working today, but with a little more work he should progress quickly.

Maggie said his trot was wonderfully smooth and I could tell it was very easy to sit.  I can’t wait to get on him later next month and see what he knows!

Cinnamon – 5/21/10

When I took in Cinnamon she was terrified when her owners had tried putting a saddle on her.  They were told she was broke when they got her, but it was pretty obvious that she wasn’t.  She knew nothing about ground work and had very little interest in people in general.  She was skittish and difficult to catch.

Since coming here I’ve done nothing but feed and groom her.  She was pretty good for the farrier on the front feet, but horrible on the back.  She doesn’t even like her back legs touched, so we’ve been working on that now and again.  She’s much easier to catch now, and sometimes even allows me to catch her in the field even if I don’t come armed with cookies.  Her overall attitude has taken a major turn for the better and she seems much more relaxed and at ease with humans.

Maggie was here today, dressed to ride, and feeling pretty confident after the first Maverick ride.  I joked with her and said if she wanted a challenge after Maverick, to try riding Cinnamon. 

It was obvious that Cinnamon was just waiting for something to hurt.  When the girth got too tight her eyes widened and she danced around.  When it came time to put on the bitless bridle, we could tell she was expecting some big shank bit and curb strap – which got us both thinking that maybe she really was broke to ride.  

I gave Maggie a leg up since Cinnamon would not get close enough to the fence around Maggie – she knew what was up!  It was so obvious that this poor little mare has not had a good experience with people in such a long time. 

But once Maggie was on board, Cinnamon was fine.  She knew her job.  She knew her leg cues, had good brakes, and stayed relaxed throughout.


Maggie only rode her for a few minutes at the walk.  Just enough for Cinnamon to understand that she’s not going to be pushed too hard or hurt every time she’s ridden, and going for a ride can actually be a good experience.


After the June event, I’ll put some saddle time on her and see what she knows.  Maybe even go for a trail ride or two. :)

Maverick – 5/20/10

Maggie came up today to get on Maverick for me since she’s a very good rider and also very thin (I hate her).  She brought her bareback pad and bitless bridle with her, and her really sexy leopard print hard hat.  Maverick thought it was a big edible cookie.

We didn’t even longe Maverick first.  He was his typical easy going, laid back self and Maggie felt confident just hopping on.  Since my mounting block has gone missing (I’m wondering which horse was smart enough to cart it off and hide it in the woods), I just put Maverick next to the fence and Maggie slid on from there.  Maverick had about 5 seconds of fast walking while the “my goodness, there’s something on my back” surprise wore off.  Then, it was business as usual.

It was difficult for me to get pictures of him because he really just wanted to follow me (and the cookies) around the round pen.

Today was just about having someone on his back.  Maggie didn’t use her leg at all and the reins stayed slack the whole time.  

He did trot a few steps while I ran ahead and Maggie said he has a nice comfortable trot. 

She could also feel him trying to keep her centered and balanced up there.  He quickly figured out that it was more comfortable for him if she were comfortable. 

I really can’t tell you how proud I am of my baby boy!  I knew he’d be easy, but I am amazed daily at how willing to please he’s become.  I am really going to miss him!