Sunday, May 25, 2008

Week Eleven? Yikes...

What is that strange white stuff on the hill out there?

Since returning from our little outing at Ride The West, Sandy has made huge strides. There's a new level of confidence that hasn't been there before. Spooking is nearly a thing of the least in his home arena!

Linda (Curt's wife) bought a new car, and Sandy knew immediately the difference. It's parked right outside the arena door, and for weeks he's trotted past without a glance at the old Ford Taurus. But now there's a Fusion sitting there, and he jumped and snorted when he saw it. Silly boy. Gotta admire a smart horse, but they sure can be tricky.

How much is that pony in the window?

When Sandy first came here, he'd get all confused while walking past the windows in the side barn. Who was that handsome horse? He snorted at first, startled by his reflection, then gradually became accustomed to seeing his twin following along.

This week Sandy learned to lope with me up on his back. He never misses a lead. He's balanced and smooth, and I can ride comfortably with slack in the reins. It's amazing. We worked yesterday on transitioning from the lope down into a trot, which he did easily. He's also more than ready to stop when he hears the word 'Whoa!', which is terrific. That's one thing I'm going to be spending a lot of time reinforcing this week. I don't want to get into a situation while in Sacramento where he gets scared and can't be stopped.

One of the things I'm working on from the ground is tossing my sweatshirt onto the saddle and letting him lunge with it up there. He's still a bit concerned about seeing it come towards him, but once in the saddle he's relaxed. That is, until he sees it beginning to slip, and trust me, he knows exactly where that thing is on his back! But rather than bolt in fear like he would have a couple months ago, he now puts it in park the moment the shirt hits the ground. This is a wonderful thing, in my opinion, as it means if (when?) someone falls off that the chances are good he'll plant all four feet and wait.

Aside from those two big accomplishments, I'm only reinforcing what's already been taught. Sandy is getting quieter while being handled both from the ground and in the saddle. We've yet to attempt any trail obstacles; they're the least of my worries. It's far more important that his foundation be in place than for him to be able to sidepass. Do I sound like a broken record on the foundation issue? Probably! But the rest of it will fall into place so easily once he's learned to work off my legs in the arena.

I wish I had two more weeks. The rain and poor footing up here really set us back right up front. But I'm so incredibly happy with where he's at right now that I'm just not going to worry about it. I've got another week with our boy here, and I'm planning on enjoying every minute of it!

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 (once the horse is here, of course.) Or buy advertising space in the form of a button.


Mrs Mom said...

Sandy looks amazing Tracey!

Could not agree with you mroe about the foundation. If you do not have a good foundation, it WILL come back and bite you in the butt later on!! Sounds like you have done an outstanding job with Sandy!

Will of course, keep you two in our prayers, that the perfect person takes him home...

Janet said...

Great job, see you soon. janet and Chato

Janet said...

Great job, see you soon. janet and Chato

Rising Rainbow said...

I can't imagine that you are down to just one more week. I'm sure your heart must be giving you little fits.

Anonymous said...

Wow - he looks wonderful. You've done a great job with him in such a short time. Your foundation is definitely paying off.

Callie said...

He does look great. Just enjoy your last week with him and I'm sure he'll go to a good home. Maybe even yours??? ;)