Friday, September 11, 2009

I'm Hot, Sticky, Sweaty...

The sun has come out again here in the northwest, and rather than out for a nice ride I've been unloading hay. I've barely ridden at all this summer, and I'm really wanting to hit the trails before things get too wet, but seems my time is slipping away.

I spent a bit of time messing with Sky Bar's Chance this week. He's had the saddle blanket on and off a few times, but he's a bit nervous about it flapping on his sides. Need to work on that. He appeared completely clueless regarding the snaffle when I put it into his mouth, tugging this way and that. It's hard to determine if he's been ridden or he just naturally accepting after 4 years in captivity? Or has he had some miles put onto him?

The other day we took our first walk 'outside'. We left the stall, walked down the alley way of the barn, and out into the driveway. Sky's first week here, he'd been kind of nervous and pulling or pushing when led into new spaces. We'd concentrated on going up and down the alley way and in and out of stalls to help him relax (all with the big barn doors closed, of course.) But once outside in the open air he was completely fine. In fact, he was wonderful! Where other horses (mine, in particular) would be diving down for a fresh blade of grass after being all cooped up, Sky Bar walked pleasantly as you please down the drive to the arena.

Once there, I worked on lunging, which he wasn't so certain of. Without the round pen wall to hold him up, he pulled this way and that, which isn't at all abnormal for a young horse with no training, but definitely a tell tale sign that this was as unfamiliar as the bit had been. Once he figured it out for the most part, we walked to the wall where I let him stand with the rope wrapped around the post. Wrapped, because I didn't want him to come to the end of it and panic; this way there'd be some drag, but also some movement to give him a feeling of security. Rather like the blocker tie ring...only cheaper.

Sky Bar stood pretty nicely. He's impatient, though, and did a bit of pawing until he realized he could manipulate the rope into lengthening. Okay, smart horse. Before trying out the saddle with him, I tossed my long rope over his back (another area we need to 'fix' on him...he's uncomfortable with things like the rope flipping about) and pulled it tight under his belly like a cinch. No response, so out came the saddle. Aside from the flapping of cinch and stirrups, he was fine, and we ended our session with a bit of lunging. No buck, just an "I'm not sure about this circle stuff" attitude.

Darling and I agree, Sky Bar is a lot like Sandy in attitude. Sure, he's got a few holes that need plugging, and we don't know what he's like to ride (or if he has been, but I suspect so), but there's something very familiar about him when you just hang out together. He's not lovely dovey, but you know he likes you.

National Adoption Day is September 26...better show up and bid on this pony.


PaintCrazy said...

What a sweet boy...he reminds me of the 1st Pinto we had in that he too loved to walk around outside with us and would NEVER dream of diving down for a bite of grass without permission. Just loved being out with us I guess.

I hope he does well enough with his training you get a chance to ride him some before the adoption day...

Paint Girl said...

Can you believe this crazy weather? Upper 80's? Maybe all winter will be this way! Just kiddin', I know how much you'd hate that!
Stupid question for you, did you get Sky Bar your last trip to pick up the mustangs and how would he have had been ridden before? Was he adopted out once, than given back? Okay, a few stupid questions!!
He is very pretty and I am sure he will be adopted quickly!!

Tracey said...

Crazy, thank you...I hope his training progresses well between now and then, too.

PG, I also hate the rain and freezing cold. What the heck am I doing in WA??? Yes, Sky Bar was brought home a couple weeks ago, and yes again, he was adopted and turned back FOUR YEARS LATER! Amazing, isn't it? Still a stallion, too! (But he's since been gelded.)

Shirley said...

Just love the looks of the mustang. If I had my own place I would adopt one for sure. You were talking about hayin'. I never helped in the field but have helped stack it in the loft. Yes, talk about feeling buggy!!!!! Couldn't wait to get to the showers!