Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Quick Update

Beth and I had a pretty good session yesterday: the least fuss ever about saddling, nice lunge work, relaxed walk circles and serpentines. Then got a little balkiness when I asked for the trot--I had forgotten to put on my stubby spurs, and she didn't want to move out. Went and got them, remounted, and with a little bit of persuasion we moved out.
I am working really hard on staying off of her mouth. If I fuss at her too much, she starts pulling at the bit and snaking her head all over. But I'm learning I can trust her (and myself): we've had a few little spooks and all she does is jump to the side a bit and stop and look.

Like yesterday, we were coming down the fence line shared with the backyard. Sandy was digging a hole to China (bad doggy) and literally couldn't be seen. Just as we were coming even with her, Sandy popped out of the hole, all smiley and dirty-nosed and proud of herself.
Beth, on the other hand, got all wide-eyed and teleported sideways about five feet!
It was the biggest spook she's given me, but that's all she did. Although I had to grab for mane and reins, I stuck with her, amazingly enough! And we went right back to riding our trot circles (though she kept a close eye on that naughty dog the rest of the ride!)

Back in the barn, I struggled to pull her back shoes--although I do my own trimming, I don't have any shoeing ( or rather, de-shoeing) equipment. Trainer guy had wanted her shod, so he could take her up in the hills near his place (he never did). Beth had thrown one front a couple of weeks ago, so I pulled the other. But I wanted to get the backs off and trimmed before the sale Saturday.
Beth was very patient with me, even with her left hind, which she tends to want to snatch away. She did better when she let me use the hoof stand (more stable for her and much easier on my back), and I used an old wood chisel to loosen the clinches. But my nippers didn't have very good leverage for prying the shoes off, so we worked on one nail at a time until I could pull it out, and finally got 'er done.

I'm a little worried about riding her at the fairgrounds on Saturday. She's been there before, and did well being ground driven (last year's sale), but it will be the first time I've ridden her away from here. And the "show" area isn't really contained--just a grassy area, with a little bit of separation (usually step in posts with electric tape) from the bleachers and tack sale and all the other goings-on. I could always just show her in hand at the actual presentations, and offer to get on her back in one of the pens. But if she would handle it, it's a selling point.
I'm also thinking about hauling somewhere Friday morning just to see how she behaves in a new situation.
We'll see....


  1. Good luck at the fairgrounds, stay safe and have fun...and post pictures when you get home!

  2. Hi there gal!
    Sounds very good, all your working with Beth. I loved her "Recovery" with the dog in the hole event! She has a good mind.

    I used to have the stickies with my mare too...but do not have the guts for spurs of any sort!
    I just turned her in a circle(hated by her they are) immediately-so, if she did not trot off the asking...the "making it more difficult, boring her with the deatils" paid off..and she now normally trots off the "Thought" of asking.

    WOW...fairgrounds..I am excited for you. I feel your pensiveness too...about the little barriers thing. But, You should try...there is not failure in trying and it so is not about the score or ribbons...but your faith and building trust with Beth. After my Trail Trial...I have some more confidence in my mare...her boundaries have been broadened-mine too! THAT was the first time to be around all sorts of activities and a multitude of horses!

    I hope you do ride and try...praying for ya's!

  3. Just a clarification for KK: it's not a "show" I'm going to Saturday (if it were, I would use it as a training experience, as I often do with my young horses). It is a "private treaty sale" sponsored by our local rescue group--one presents their horse(s) to the audience and then can negotiate a sale privately--NOT an auction.
    So, though the experience will be good for Beth, I also want to be sure to make a good impression on prospective buyers (if there are any). And the "failure in trying" would be if I get dumped on my can! ;o)

  4. I'm really impressed that you stuck with Beth in that five-foot-sidestep! Had to smile at the vision of Sandy popping up, and Beth's decision to watch her closely for the remainder of the ride.

  5. Shoes: man I hate pulling them. One of the benefits of boarding at a barn is that it's so easy to get a farrier to pull shoes for you for cheap while he's out doing another horse.

    Sale: I think if it feels safe, ride her at the sale and talk about what a new experience this is for her. What a selling point!!

  6. Eeekk, horses teleporting sideways is now my biggest concern while riding. You might remember that's what caused me to fall of Baby Doll and sever my ACL. Sideways motions and ACLs apparently don't go well together. gah!

    Of course, Baby Doll didn't just jump sideways once, she did it several times. The first time I stayed on, but by the beginning of the third jump sideways, I was toast!

    Anyway, you and Beth will probably do just fine at the fairgrounds. I tend to over worry about things now, and then am pleasantly surprised when nothing bad happens.
    Of course, being prepared is a big part of it. If it were me, I'd do what you are considering and try her out somewhere on Friday...just to see. It would be good for you and especially good training for Beth.

    Hey, but I think it's cool that you trim your horses' feet yourself. Maybe someday I'll learn how to do that, too. It's def. a useful skill to learn.


  7. Hope the day at the fairgrounds went well, how did she do?