Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Back to Business

It was BEAUTIFUL today, and of course, I had to work. But I came home, told the Cooker Bitch that I was working with horses tonight and that I'd let him know when it was time to get started.

First out was Squirrel. She ran to the end of the run, as usual, and waited for me to walk out and get her. I brushed her down real good (BOY! She's going to be beautiful when she's done shedding!), then saddled her. I led her out to the arena, intending only to lunge her. *snort* Ranch horses don't lunge!

So I turned her loose and free-lunged her. She got to playing and bucking, but it was only half-hearted. She spooked at the water tub. She spooked at the bag of leaves out by the flowerbed. After 20 minutes, poor out of shape darling was breaking a sweat. I thought briefly about climbing on, but the last time I got a bright idea right before a big barrel race, I got bucked off and hurt. I decided not to push my luck. While I'm not entered in the race in Walla Walla this weekend, I have promised to help in the office AND my good buddy Barb O is coming and I really don't want to be hurting when we meet up at the race!

I know...I'm a weenie, but I had a great weekend riding around on Angel, so it's all good!

Horse number two was Millie the Fillie. This girl is so dang smart! Last Friday, I dinked around a little, trying to see if she'd yield her hip and lunge. She was fine with the hip, and lunged fine to the left, not so much to the right. I was thinking "Wow! Barb did a great job!" But when I talked to Barb Friday night, she said "Nope. Didn't do any of that with her."

So tonight, I did a little flexing, giving her face and yielding her hip. Then I got a bright idea...I'd put the saddle blanket on and see what happens. So I showed it to her. I rubbed her shoulder and bumped her with it. No reaction..she just looked at me like I was a dork. So I put it up on her neck. Again, nothing. I pulled it down into place. She looked around like "WTF?!?" I pulled it back on her butt. She humped up her back and walked forward. WHOA!!! Now THAT was different. She did a pitiful little humpy-buck (her toes didn't even come off the ground) and walked around me.

We ended up walking around for 10 minutes or so, blanket on, blanket off, on her neck, on her back, on her butt. She got over it. So "PING", I'll put the saddle on her. So I did.

I let her smell it, and she wanted to chew on it. So I bumped it against her shoulder. Nothing. So I put in on her. She didn't care for it and tried to walk away. She gave me again the little stand-on-her-toes thing. She didn't much care for it. BUT...it was down on her shoulders and not cinched on. I'm really happy with how she handled it. So I put the tack up and got the lunge line.

She remembered going to the left from last week. She did great..walk and trot. After 5 minutes or so, we went the other way. It took about a minute for her to figure out what I wanted, then she walked and trotted quietly at the end of the lunge line with her nose tipped in.

Then we quit and I put her away. It was a great day!

The weather is supposed to crap out tomorrow, so I'm really glad I worked with the horses tonight!


moosefied said...

Hey, congratulations with both horses! I'm especially interested to hear about your work with Millie. So she moves prettily and has sense as well. Good to hear!

Barb Ollivier said...

I am SO excited for you and Millers!!! She's so much like her Mom was at that same age.

Karen V said...

I'll have to make a blog about my plans for Millie. She so willing. But she's still a baby and has a bad habit of kicking out in play. She's almost gotten me a couple times. I'm not quite sure how to deal with this yet. But she picked this up so fast! I'm going to give her a couple of days then lunge her again and see what her retention is. I also don't want to bust up my saddle, so I'm going to get a bareback pad to work on cinching....

yeah...I've got to do a post on her.