Today Orlando and I went for a quick ride before the sun went down. It’s been a long, trying week and tomorrow marks day one of a new future and there’s no better way to face that than through the ears of a horse. I’m only sad I don’t have a picture of the ride but that would be due to the fact that I rode Oreo today instead of Arizona.
Oreo is currently in foal and due next spring. She is a sweet girl and will fall asleep in your arms if you stand at her stall and pet her. Today she was pretty feisty. Hunger, mosquitoes and a slight case of “I don’t wanna” made her a ride I had to concentrate on. She took off trotting back to the barn and I cut her off and made her turn back around. We proceeded to also face a few neighborhood dogs that were all up in our business and maneuvered a few patterns on both sides of the road. I discovered a gorgeous western pleasure trot of magnificence on her though I didn’t ask for it. When I finally let her go back to the gate we stood and watched a giant truck and trailer go by and when it passed her, semi-spooked and swung her hindquarters around so she could watch it more. Overall after my first ride on this girl I’m not pissed off or defeated. I’m looking forward to putting some more miles on her.
Meet Oreo! She’s a gorgeous in-foal paint mare at my barn.
Also… Yesterday Sabrina and I rode around the pastures with Arizona and Oreo. The only thing to note is that I got Arizona walking through the puddles on the driveway. Hurray for [small] victories!
Today I had Jessica out to trim Powder’s feet and I was looking forward to seeing how she did. She’s BTDT with trims but I had yet to see it. Well, the minute I got into her stall she had ears pinned and had me backed into the stall wall and kicked out at me. Luckily for me she didn’t do it with intent to damage, because she could have. I’m a little bummed that for my first kick (I hate breaking my track record) I don’t even get a nice bruise.
ETA: I did bruise a day or so later!
Wait. What?? Are we talking about sweet little Powder?!
I was stunned but it goes to show you how an animal is an animal, bottom line. She’s the sweetest horse I’ve damn near ever interacted with but she turned a dime and essentially flipped me the bird. I wonder what was up her ass though.
Jessica drove her around her stall after that. She turned her attitude around well enough and gave no trouble for her trim. I even put on her new, radical halter and rope and stood her for some pics. Next time I’ll get better ones.
I also learned that Cheri from the feed store is friends with Alberto and actually was the one to convince him to buy Powder! I told her I was buying the rainbow tack for my new cremello mare and she said “Where’d you get her? Because I only know of one around the city and my friends got her.” I told her I got her from a private breeder named Vega and she gives me that look… “Albert? You got her from Albert?” Small world, Corpus.
She confirmed she’s had no training and supported my ground-zero breaking methods for her. She said she’s a great mother and she knows of at least two foals so far. It’s all pretty interesting to me.
I do love my girl Powder. A little at a time, a little at a time.
Training Day 2 – 45 Minutes
Today I met with my horsey pal Krissy at the barn and she helped me do a quick evaluation of Powder and even she’s concluded she’s one hell of a mare. I have lead her, bathed her and tied her up until today, and now that I’ve taken her into the round pen and worked her a bit I have more confidence that she will be a breeze to train. (I’m taking my own comment with a grain of salt.)
To my knowledge she’s never been lunged and when we got her out there she in fact did not know what to do. She was also not afraid or threatening. I sent her around me and tried to keep her out of my space – this is one thing we’ll need to work on going forward. She does not make circles around me yet and will often just disengage and face me then walk forward instead. The lunge whip does not bother her even when it touches her rear and this is a great thing.
I also gave her another rinse bath. She moved a bit more this time but I made sure to stop at the right time. After she’s able to lunge properly I’ll introduce more specialized desensitizing techniques like the plastic bags.
In other news, I’m going to rename Powder as soon as the right name sticks! All I can think about is that horrible movie about the albino boy and it doesn’t inspire good memories. Right now I’m thinking about Gypsy or Opal or Sequoia. Hmm.. I’ll be thinking on it.
Training Day 1 – 35 minutes.
This event marks day 1 of her training as I’m calling it. The first day of me really getting nitty gritty with her and instilling confidence and my leadership with her.
The other day bode well for Powder’s second bath since I’ve known her. Who knows what number it was in her whole 10 years though, but we know she hasn’t had much training. You can tell by the way she reacts to certain loud noises close to her and the way she is curious yet cautious of the new. This is all fine, she will come along.
So this bath I gave her, it went well! She did not react as much as she did when Alberto gave her one after our ride that Sunday last month. I remember she was doing circles around him. This time I was careful to watch the water pressure and start her gently, and low. Started with the feet and worked my way up to her chest, then down the side of her body. She had a bit of busy feet but I kept with her and talked her down as I went. When I saw her start to stand with acceptance or even boredom I would move the water to another part of her body and eventually the other side. I switched back and forth a couple times and waited for that golden reaction each time. I was even able to jerk the hose over when I needed more slack without any spookage. It was a success.
I also tied her up for a while at the hitching tree to see how she would do during a short dry-off. She was able to stand quiet from the get-go. No issues whatsoever giving to pressure on the halter I’ve noticed, but she does need work on giving from the ground off her body. When I push her back from the chest she usually does fine, I’ve only seen her act even somewhat pissy about it once. However when I’ve asked her to move her hindquarters from the ground she may have offered to kick out. I’m not sure as I was in the stall with her and not keen on testing it like that but I will be paying close attention to her attitude toward that when I get her into the round pen this weekend.
On Sunday Sabrina and I are going to the barn for a ride and afterward I really want to work with Powder. I need to get more of a taste for what kind of effort she’s going to require from me as her boss-mare.