Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sandy's Sixth Week

By now you've likely read the post from last night. I was ever so thrilled with my boy's progress! He's looking to me for reassurance, but his confidence in himself is growing daily. Compared to so many out there, we're slow as a pair of turtles, but that's okay. I want him as solid as can be at the beginning, not only because it will help keep me safe, but his new owner has the right to obtain a horse who's not got gapping holes in his early training. So while the excitement of his Saturday has me thrilled in how things are clicking, I remind myself how Sunny would slip backwards after huge strides forward and know that the same may happen here. We can only do what God is willing to allow us to do here.

Now, on to Sandy's accomplishments for this week!

1) Lunging in the big arena. He's become soft and responsive, no longer moving in flight or fright. In fact, he's gone so slow and come so close to me that I've been able to reach out and give him a pat on the rump with my hand to keep him moving.

2) He's walking around cones. Seems simple enough, doesn't it? But when I left them sitting in the arena one day and turned JoJo out, she thought her world was coming to an end! Cones can be frightening if a horse hasn't been exposed to anything like that before, and Sandy certainly did his fair share of snorting, but he now has no problem with maneuvering around them.

3) Sandy is giving to pressure on his barrel. While saddled, before climbing on, I began pushing on his middle while bending his nose just slightly. Rather than turning around me like some would do, Sandy moved off my hand as though it were a leg in his side, leading off with his shoulder and doing the nicest half pass!

4) He got a pedicure! Although he backed himself into the corner of his stall (he feels comfy in corners), he stood real nice as Jay sweet talked him into lifting all four.

5) He had his teeth floated and wolf teeth pulled. Despite the drugs, he was 'on the verge' throughout the entire process. He was very much aware that he was tied in a stall and that a stranger was messing with his mouth. I think Curt held his breath the entire time, but Sandy maintained his composure.

6) Trotting in hand! Sandy has up until now become somewhat frightened when I tried to encourage a trot from him; rather than coming along with me, he's hung back and even come to a stop. As of yesterday, he's felt confident enough to try to catch up with me as long as I provide plenty of clucking and kisses for encouragement.

7) Poles, backing and turn arounds! At first he lifted his feet high over the poles, but after a couple of passes it was just too boring to deal with and I began hearing clunk clunk clunk as he drug his toes over the poles. That's okay, though, as bored is better than excited. The fact that Doxee was busy showing off for him inside the arena at the same time had me grinning from ear to ear; he didn't care one bit about her squealing and clanging on the gate!

8) I've ridden! Four rides, trotting both directions, giving to the bit and legs, figure 8s in the round worries when my foot banged up against the wall, figured his way out of a potential scary situation when the lead rope ended up behind his butt. I Am Pleased!

That about wraps up the week. Darling will be driving down with me this afternoon and I promise photos!!! Y'all be careful with those Arabs and Quarter Horses, y'hear?

Little of Curt's cutting horse prospects.
Sandy would never waste this much energy!


Katee said...

I'm so glad that you and Sandy had a good week. Congrats on getting those first few rides done!

Pony Girl said...

What a good, positive week you had! Slow and steady wins the race....
"Y'all be careful with those Arabs and Quarter Horses, y'hear?" ~and Appy's!! Don't forget the Appy's! ;)

Rising Rainbow said...

You guys made great strides this week so don't ask for trouble looking for a backward slide. You've gone back and fixed the hole that caused that slide in the first place. There's a good chance he won't do that to you again.

I didn't even work a horse either day this weekend but I pick up full boar tomorrow.....I hope. If my daugher doesn't get called into work and can help me with my horse. I'm not ready for riding without help yet but soon I think. Holding my breath and still battling fear from the episode where I ate dirt and broke my helmet.

Molly said...

That is such fabulous news! You are doing a wonderful job with Sandy.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you are doing great! Kudos for taking things slow, it sounds like you have really built up his confidence! Now are we going to get to see some video??