Today I went out to the barn after work, after being super lazy and not having been out since saturday. When I made it to the barn, I opened my car door and it was almost blown off the hinges from the massive gusts of wind. Whoa! I immediately regretting coming to the barn at all!
Pony had also JUST been fed, so I grabbed her away from her food (after her spooking at her own halter, didn't you guys know that wind turns everything into horse eating monsters?)
I groomed her quickly, since I wanted to get her home before the other fat mares took all her food. The herd dynamics in that pen are SO funny. They are all frenemies. Pony and Pebbles are the leaders, and will share food and rarely bat an ear at eachother, but every once in a while they will go seriously ass to ass, and neither of them ever backs down. Every once in a while I find her with massive wrinkly spots where she's been kicked or bitten. But, they immediately are best friends again, and even share food. What silly mares. (Pebbles is monstrous. She's a OTTB and probably around 16 HH and has hooves like the size of all of Pony's put together. But Pony stands her ground!
I jumped on her bareback, and we walked around a little in the indoor arena. With the wind howling, and her being a mustang, I figured I wouldn't get a whole heck of a lot done. So we walked around, and then I asked for a trot. She gave me a great trot! I've been working a lot on sitting a more extended trot, and I think I've been getting a lot better at it. I've been really trying to engage my core as much as possible.
After a while of sitting and talking to a boarder that came over to talk, I asked her for a lope. I don't know what our problem is, but I cannot lope her bareback in the arena. I get nervous and grabby and clutchy. I think that I am going to have to go bareback and brideless in the arena and just let her lope. Because the gait that I get is great, but when I try to get it from her in the arena when I am holding onto reins, it is SO difficult. Its off balance, and my body gets all out of whack. We did a few half circles where she would pick up the gait for a few strides, break down, try to pick it up, and by that time I was off balance and on her neck. So I would of course grab at the reins until she stopped, since I was about to slide off her side.
The great thing about Pony, is that if you get off balance majorly, she will stop. It will be a really ugly transition downwards, and a lot of people will lose their balance and fall if they aren't prepared for it, but she is so small, that she doesn't like to carry people when they're off balance!
So finally I succeeded in getting a good circle of a rough but in gait lope. Then I asked her to stop, and I walked a small lap and got off. I don't know why I have such a bad time with it, but I really think I'm going to have to just man up and do it brideless, and I'm hoping that will teach me!
Afterwards I took this picture. I absolutely adore it. I think it's so beautiful!
I also braided her mane. It was so dang windy, and her hair literally becomes dreadlocks. I don't know why she has the WORST hair, but its so fine and cruddy. But she's so cute! I've been working on teaching her to hug....basically I go up with a treat in my hand, stand on her side and put my arms around her neck and say 'hugs' and hold out a treat behind my back. She reaches around to grab it, and hugs me back. Such a lame pony trick, but still cute! Especially since she knew I had a treat in my hand today, so when I went to hug her today, her head flew around to hug me back, knowing there was a treat waiting!
|She says 'you can't hide treatz from me'|
|'Are you gonna whip out more treats, or can I eat? Cause I'm not going to put my head down for this hay and miss out on carrotz'|
Me and Pony had the biggest disagreement the other day. I went to take her in the round pen, and had already unhaltered her. The wind was blowing and it was a funny day, and someone else had left poop in the round pen. So I scooped it, and opened the door to dump it. She was being good, and stayed when I said ho. Then, I got to a position where I couldn't stop her if she ran. She literally looked at me, looked at the door, and took off at a full speed gallop. Two people were loading up a trailer right in front of Pony's paddock, and when she stood in front of her paddock screaming and prancing, they let her in. I had to turn around and grab her halter before I followed her, so I showed up a few seconds later, and she was already in with her friends. I walked into the pen, and she looked at me, considered coming towards me, and then turned around and ran off. So then, I spent about 15 minutes driving her around her pen until she stopped and looked at me and let me approach her.
I usually try to do a lot of 'joining up' stuff with her (I expect her to stand while I groom/saddle/ go into the tack room etc without being tied....I usually throw her lead rope over her neck while we walk around and expect her to follow me etc) and usually she's great. I had noticed that lately she has been getting a little bit 'far away' so I thought I needed to check her up. Obviously, since she took off, I was correct. So, after driving her around her pen until she wanted to be caught, we walked the long way around the barn, and went back into the round pen. The second I dropped the halter, she was gone again. So, I drove her around the round pen until she stopped, looked at me and walked towards me. Then we walked around a bunch and she followed me everywhere. So, since then, I've really been focusing on her doing stuff with the littlest amount of reinforcement possible. For example, I've been walking her to and from her stall without a halter on. No rope around the neck, nothing.
Luckily, my barn has a fence surrounding it completely, if she did decide to run off at any point, I have no concern of her getting out to the busy road leading up to the barn.
This was a picture of me walking her back today. I just love her facial expression! On the other hand, please ignore mine!