Saturday, May 31, 2008

Two Days...

The ticker tells me there are really five days left to practice, but we've only got two days left at home. I try hard not to think about loading him for the last time. Sandy's progress the past two weeks has been phenomenal; he's done flying changes and has begun to work through the trail obstacles. I no longer wonder if we're going to be able to ride in Sacramento, but instead wonder just how much this horse will absorb between now and then. He's incredible. He really, truly is.

Last night I felt like we were working as a team for the first time. He got to feeling a bit frisky while we were loping and kicked up his heels, but he settled back into his lope and continued working. Rather than get tense, I was able to push him harder and try to get the point across that little things like that were unacceptable, regardless of how bored or tired he may be. His comfort level has increased 100 fold in the past three months.

I started doing trail obstacles outside this past week. The bridge was a piece of cake, of course, because it really didn't require much more than stepping onto it and walking across...something we've done countless times from the ground. Backing a straight line proved to be simple enough because we've been working on our back up in the arena. Turning a 360 and the sidepass, however, proved to be more of a challenge for our boy. We've not worked a whole lot on moving off the legs in tight spaces, but with a bit of see sawing he finally figured out the turn around in the box and now does it least to the left. Turning to the right is a bit more difficult for him, but he still stays on the inside of the poles; it's just not as pretty.

The sidepass has slowly come. He does it beautifully from the ground, so having the pole beneath his belly is a bit of a clue to him. Last night he stepped four or five nice, fluid steps to the end of his pole. We need to work on him not trying to step forward and over the pole, but it's coming.

But what I take the most pride in is the "L" shaped backup. This is something he wasn't sure of from the ground and he really struggled moving slow enough around the corner to switch gears from hindquarters to shoulders when it came time to turn. From his back, however, its proved to be much easier, and his third time doing it was flawless! Not that the fourth and fifth time were as smooth, lol, but at least I know he's got the concept.

So that's the story from here. The sun has been shining and the outdoor arena is finally dried out, so this weekend I'm planning on some solo rides out there. Last night they'd been working the bull outside when I led Sandy out. Curt hollered over that if I got on I could work the bull. This, as you know, is something I've wanted to do but Sandy hasn't quite been ready. Well...we're ready!

And then Curt turned chicken. He thought I'd say no and be the first to back down!

No, he said, we didn't want to jeopardize anything at this point with just a couple days to go. He said if we had two more weeks, he'd put me on it and he figures Sandy will follow and work it, but he doesn't want to risk anything falling apart right now. So no bull or even driving the calves for us. And I'm having the hardest time with that!

Jay asked again yesterday why I didn't move one of my other horses on and keep Sandy. I told him there were about two thousand reasons why, and they all began with a $. He was surprised, not realizing the horses sold for that much. Darling has expressed an interest in Sandy the past couple of days, but she's very guarded and lucky for her, she's not been with him each day. Saves her the tears and heartbreak...

Anyone want to buy a couple thousand dollars worth of handmade soap???

Please say your prayers for Sandy! Ask God to find him the perfect new home so that I don't need to worry about him :)

Join the Hay Burner's Club and donate $15 towards Sandy's upkeep and I'll send you a 5x7 photo. Or buy advertising space in the form of a button.


Mrs Mom said...

Man Tracey, this has been one heck of a ride for all of us. We have all fallen in love with Sandy, and should he go, it is going to be hard for everyone. (Want me to ship you an industrial sized box of Puffs Plus?) We have our fingers and toes crossed for you guys, and have been keeping you in our prayers nightly.

Hang in there..... and know that the entire equine blogosphere is pulling for you!

Jessie said...

Tracey, I know how you are feeling right now. You and Sandy will be in my prayers!

Sandy will find the right home! (whether it's back with you or elsewhere!)

Callie said...

Tracey, I know you two will do great at the challenge and I hope Sandy gets a great loving home, even if it's not with you. This has got to be hard for you, so I'll say good luck and I can't wait to hear what happens at the challenge and who Sandy goes home with.

projectjasper said...

Good luck Tracey! Not that you will need it :) Hope to see you there!

Beth said...

Sounds like you guys have done a great job! My prayers and thoughts are with you! Best of luck!!!

Rising Rainbow said...

oh my, I can't even imagine what this will be like. I have tears in my eyes just thinking about it. I sure wish you all luck! And I'm definitely praying that Sandy gets a good home.

Becky said...

Do you know what I'd love to see? (Not that I have ANY right to ask for anything on someone else's blog, seeing as how I've practically abandoned my own...)

I would LOVE to see a before/after pic of Sandy.

And on a less needy note.... I have LOVED reading about your time with Sandy, and seeing his transformation. My heart goes out to you as you find him a new home, and.... GOOD LUCK!