Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ride when the Sun Shines!

Poor Sandy. I can't even tell you when his last day off was! Luckily for him, some of our rides have been on the soft and lazy side, such as today. I loaded him up, along with Wadatika, and went to the nearby tree farm for a lazy day 25 minute ride. I gotta say, that little pony of mine is turning into one heck of a wonderful horse. Not only can he cut cows & carry Darling over 2' jumps, but he's a pony horse supreme! What do I mean?

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Well, we got ten minutes into our ride and Tika decided she'd gone far enough. And she stopped. Eeeek. Brakes. Stop. No go no more. Now, I typically give a horse a moment to change their minds at times like these, and the first time Tika did just that. She thought about it, I tugged a bit, and she came forward. But only for another 20', at which point she stopped again.

This simply was not going to make the rest of our short journey very pleasurable, so I turned Sandy around to face her, pushed her around in a 180 degree turn so that she was now facing the direction we'd just come from, and had Sandy march right into her face. And backward Tika went, a good ten paces, before I asked Sandy to step around and continued down the trail. The diva didn't give it another thought...forward motion is better than backward motion any day, and the rest of the ride went without a hitch.

Sandy and Tika were not the only ones getting extra attention in the good weather. Red has had a few extra moments of me pestering him as well! Current goal for this boy is allowing me to touch him in a tight space, and getting a lead clipped on and off his halter without a knock down, drag out fight.

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As you can see in the photo, there are two leads hanging from Red's halter. One is short, about 30" long. This he has on all the time. It's short enough not to be stepping on all the time, but long enough that I can reach out with the end of a stick and pick it up. These horses just crack me up, to be honest. They don't want your hand reaching in to grab the rope, but they allow a stick to lift it, and once they see it moving, they're caught! Kid you not, they'll follow that stick and lead like they can't get away. Red is no exception.

Anyway, once I've got that little rope in hand, I've been working on getting him to relax enough for me to get the long rope attached. Not that we do anything that requires a long rope most days, it's simply the motion of getting a hand that close to his ever elusive head. He reminds me so much of Steve Holt! it's not even funny, except that Steve Holt! progressed much quicker. Red needs more time, but all of his actions are similar. Neither could stand still to be touched and I'd stand in the middle while they made tight circles around me, wondering if I'd lose a toe in the process. Actually...Red is still doing this, but he's relaxing and slowing down. Steve Holt! was extremely protective of his head and face, just like Red, too. But Red is progressing, even if slowly, and the snapping of the lead is happening quicker each time.

Oh...in the pic of Red? We practiced some make believe tying today. As long as he wasn't feeling pressured, he stood there and respected the short rope draped over the stall while I moved around, taking photos of Momma horse and cleaning the paddock. Yup...he's coming around.

5 comments:

Blob said...

Sorry about the last post, my computer is playing games with me. What I meant to say was:

It's so good to hear about Sandy's progress and how far he's come and what a useful horse he's become for you and the family in so many ways.

It's so funny to think of your mustangs being led around by poles. The whole pole and rake concept is a funny one for someone used to domestic horses like me. If I came at almost all the horses I know with a pole or a rake they'd probably jump out of their skin. But if you think about it from the standpoint of an animal that's never really had human contact, it makes sense that they'd prefer a pole to a hand.

Paint Girl said...

Sounds like you are making progress with Red!
Glad you got out for a little trail ride, we need to hit the trails soon. After Fritzy gets over her sickness and I get back from my next horse show, are you up for it?

CTG Ponies said...

I love the fact that Sandy looks completely bored in the first pic. He's such a cutie! And Red is making progress which is awesome!

Rising Rainbow said...

Glad to hear you're making progress.

The stick thing doesn't surprise me. Once they've got it in their mind they're caught, they are whether it's real or not. It's a good thing too or we'd never get them trained.

Paul Nichols said...

Hi. I went and snatched that bridal (not bridle) photo of Kristi. It's now on My Hats Blog and I thank you both very much.

By the way, if you go take a look, scroll down to the next photo. My Daughter is wearing a white hat, too. What a small world, huh?

http://peoplewhowearhats.blogspot.com

Oh, and be sure to click the link to "a friend."