Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ridin' In A Winter Wonderland


Darling delighted in taking Sandy for a little ride today. They never left the yard, of course, but just walking about in the driveway with a little snow on the ground was enough to create a happy face. Being the good boy he is, Sandy is perfect for a little bareback ride; he's nice and steady, meaning Darling can pack along her camera and take photos of his ears and their shadow as they go.

What she'd really wanted to do was take both Sandy and Jet down to the tree farm for a ride, but my fingers were cold to the bone despite being gloved. So she settled for what she could get, and was still content. Note the fact that Sandy is now sporting a snowflake pattern on his hiney...think he wants to be an appaloosa?

Steve Holt! was nervous as he watched Sandy pack around a rider. The only time they see horses carrying anyone at the corrals is when they're being moved from one pen to another. It was clearly a stressful situation for this boy, who's head was up as he paced nervously around his paddock.

There are clearly things that Steve Holt! is ready to move on to, but I'm limited by my facility. He's ready to move out to the round pen to work, but I'm not sure my round pen is sufficient for him. I also have my panels set up in a new configuration this winter inside the paddock, which means I haven't got anywhere to lock my other three while I lead Steve Holt! in and out. I'm going to have to figure that out here in the next day or two or we won't be making progress.

I'd hoped to haul him down to Curt's later this week, but with the roads in their current condition, and the cold front sticking around for a couple of weeks, we won't be hauling anyone anywhere for awhile.

While Steve Holt! approached me and reached his nose towards me on his own for the first time today, he still did not want me to reach out and touch him, and we were back to pushing him in countless circles before he finally stood for me to approach and pick up his lead. He's proving to be quite a challenge in this; it's never taken me this long before to get this far. There's no way he's ready to have a halter taken off. Even Firecracker, who was so worried about her face, gave in easier. But I'm determined to continue on things he can do and build from there rather than push what is concerning to him. At least he's allowing things onto his back in an easier fashion. He is a bit of a worrier, though...and I'm needing to balance moving ahead with keeping him focused and relaxed.

9 comments:

froglander said...

It has been a mite chilly that's for sure! It's so easy to forget about the cold frozen up here sometimes when we are always trying to battle the wet muck. Springtime is looking pretty darn good right now!

I think SH! is progressing just dandily and is gonna wow them all in OR come March :)

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I have always wondered how a wild mustang would react to seeing someone riding another horse.

gtyyup said...

Darling's smile is just precious! Beautiful ride she got to have. Hope you get the situation figured out so you can progress with SH!

Christa said...

I love the picture of Darling on Sandy. WOW is all I can say. I've been working with Gunner for 3 years now and no way will I get on bareback lol.

I think the progress you are making with SH! is great to Tracey. A bit different then Sandy but sill it's progress and I love reading about it :o) I hope you get to haul him somewhere soon cause I can't wait to see what this boy can do!

Cave BlackFyre said...

Sometimes the smarter they are, the longer it takes initially but once he's ready, I suspect he'll let you do most anything and you won't have to revisit stuff with him once he decides to accept it.

Besides, compared to what I went through with my red headed boy, who 4 yrs later you STILL did not leave the halter off of if you wanted to catch him with out roping him, a week into this not being able to take the halter off is NOTHING to fret over, hehehehe.

I'm impressed he's letting you blanket on and off already frankly! That will really help make saddle time less 'scary' for him.

Rising Rainbow said...

Look at Sandy packing Darling around like that. How cool is that? You must be proud of both of them.

I hope you and yours are doing ok in this dang cold. I heard rumors today it may stick around until after the first of the year. I sure hope they're wrong........

Rising Rainbow said...

Oops, forgot to mention, I love the picture of Sandy with the snow on his rump. I love the body language as he looks ever so carefully where he's going. That's a great horse, if you ask me.

Tracey said...

Chilly...yes! My fingers are suffering from time in the cold.

MiKael, that boy is worth his weight in gold. He reminds me so much of a gelding I had years ago as a kid; we did so much together and I learned an awful lot from him. Sandy's taught me even more...and he'll teach Darling, too.

Shirley said...

I know what you meean about needing to move ahead but wanting to keep your horse focused and relaxed- I had that problem with Chickory and only resolved it by getting a little tougher with her- which led to breaking down the last barrier that she was putting up, and earning her trust. It definitely is a balancing act though.