Georgie gets his own teenage girl!

Georgie already likes Gigi

Georgie already likes Gigi

Sherrin came out with her student Gigi to try Georgie. Gigi lost her thoroughbred a bit ago so it is time for a new start. Georgie is ready for a new start! I am so delighted with this match up. They seem to be of a like mind. Gigi rode him in the indoor as the sleet pelted the fabric roof.

Sherrin and Gigi said they will probably rename Georgie which is fine as long as they don’t call him late for dinner. <sorry for the old joke reference, I’m a little giddy about this!>

Georgie and Sherrin

Georgie and Sherrin

They wrapped him up like a Christmas present before loading him in the trailer, with the cute pony that they also adopted from the rescue league today. I love to see people look at the ARL or for horses off the track for their next project! What a lovely thing to do! I am really pleased.

Jumping

On a lifestyle note, we had a fecal egg count done and he was high enough to require Quest Plus. Some of my other horses did too. So I gave that tonight and we’ll have a fecal egg count done again in early December. He had his hooves trimmed last week.

Yes, I’ve missed a few posts in here, but a movie is worth a million words, even a fuzzy one because the camera battery is becoming weak:

 

Cantering in the big wide open

We warmed up in the arena and then Magee on Sammy and I on Georgie rode out of the arena to the pasture. We walked around it entirely, then worked for about 20 minutes independently in the pasture in all gaits. He did very well. He wasn’t herdbound to the Sammy, listened easily and was unmoved by the traffic on the road nearby. He stayed as connected as he had been in warmup in the arena. Wonderful!

Real connection

Today we went around in circles with me focusing on keeping my hands steady and quiet, and sending him forward from my leg. This is something I do every day, but today it is all I did. In walk on a 20 m circle until he came over his back. Then in trot on a 20 m circle until he relaxed into my hand and allowed me to put a leg on without over-reacting.

There was some actually pretty nice work to the right in trot and some moments of nice work to the left, which is his weaker side. Canter work is coming into focus.

Out of the arena

This picture of Georgie has nothing to do with today, I just like it.

This picture of Georgie has nothing to do with today, I just like it.

Short note today. Warmed up in the arena where everything went well. Then Magee on Eddie and I on Georgie rode out in the pasture. We just walked around, which was the intention. Georgie was relaxed, possibly more relaxed than he was in the arena, the entire time, even when Dug, our recently adopted dog, came barking out from under the fence.

When I shouted to her to go back in the yard, he didn’t raise a hair (and, amazingly, she did indeed go back under the fence and into the yard.)

So we continued our walk around the pasture and came in. Good man.

Big catch up

Well, I missed a few blog updates in here, so let me catch you up. Magee (soon to be 16 year old working student) has ridden him at the end of one of the sessions and they both did well.

Sidepass is well understood now and I am in the process of helping him understand and relax into contact. Tonight we did a fair bit of work in leg yield, which I like to use a tool to help them understand inside leg to outside rein connection. He comments that it is much easier to the right, but we managed to have good success to the left as well. It was a very good day and I am happy with his progress. He’s a treat to have around.

Bridle and bit

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Nathe loose ring snaffle. The most expensive piece of flexible plastic I have ever bought, and one of my best investments.

Now that we have forward fully installed, it was time to transfer him over to a bridle. My experience has been that less is more, so I like to use a nathe bit, which is entirely bendable soft rubber, tapered for the horse’s mouth.

A lot of horses like this bit, which makes sense because it is about as mild as you can get. A few horses object to the tongue pressure, which I respect. In that case I switch.

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George was in the “like” category with the nathe. I did some in-hand work on sidepassing before I got on and we had a discussion about how to stand politely for mounting, which is coming along. He did very well in all gaits. Very nice first day in the bit and bridle.

In with the herd

DSCN1895Prince George is adoptable from the ARL Rescue Ranch. He is at Field Day gaining skills to plump up his resume for a new life in his forever home with a new partner. Interested parties can contact me or Judy Hand

The first full day with the herd went well. He has no new scrapes on him and he is eating and drinking well. Ahhhhh, lovely.

Tacked up for a brief ride in the indoor tonight. I am requiring him to stand still for mounting now, which he does, but then he grows roots there. We have to get a happy medium of standing still for mounting and then moving off. It is a minor glitch and seems, more than anything, to be a misunderstanding.

Gettin' in touch with our loopy rein cowboy inner children

Gettin’ in touch with our loopy rein cowboy inner children

I warmed him up in walk, trot and canter and he did really quite well. I am not lunging him before riding any more, just get on and go, like a real educated horse. Very nice. Megan Clements was out, and kindly snapped a few pictures (thanks Megan!), including cantering in a relaxed manner on a loose rein, and his first “jump”. We have a lot of work to do and strength to gain before we are actually jumping objects with height, but it is always good to start the footwork early. A pole on the ground is a great start for footwork.

First jump with me, from a trot.  Woohoo.

First jump with me, from a trot. Woohoo.

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Busted looking in the mirror.

Putting on some weight.  The horse, not the girl...

Putting on some weight. The horse, not the girl, (well, not that much)…

 

Georgie’s two week anniversary

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George grazing in his paddock. He’s put on some muscle and a bit of weight in his two weeks here.

Prince George is adoptable from the ARL Rescue Ranch. He is at Field Day gaining skills to plump up his resume for a new life in his forever home with a new partner. Interested parties can contact me or Judy Hand

Prince George has been at Field Day exactly two weeks today. He started out the day in his paddock, where he approached me even before I came into it to catch him. (I took this picture of him from the arena, before he saw me.)

Prince George is powered by Purina Ultium

Prince George is powered by Purina Ultium

I’ve had him on two, 4-pound feedings of Purina Ultium for two weeks, actually a little less than that, because it took me a few days to switch him over, so let’s say a week and a half. Ultium costs about 50 cents a pound, so at 8 pounds a day, the relatively large amount he needs right now costs $4 per day. Over a week and a half that is about $40. For that amount, half of what most people pay a month for cable or cell phone, this horse is adding muscle and cover. In another two weeks, we’ll be able to tail back the amount of Ultium fed because we’ll only need to maintain. When the right feed is provided, with proper nutrients as well as the necessary calories, it doesn’t take long to get most horses really looking good and having a chance to perform well. A quality feed simply gets results more quickly because it provides not only calories, but all the other minerals and nutrients needed for proper muscles, bones, tendons, hooves, eyesight, metabolism and probably about 80 other things I haven’t thought of because I am not a horse nutritionist. Purina has tens of nutritionists who are constantly doing research and feeding trials, so I don’t have to overthink it. I just get the results of all their work. Priceless.

Meanwhile, the training continues. I warmed up today and just when I was getting done with that, Megan Clements came out for her lesson and horsie fun. I solicited her to video tape a few minutes of our ride and she was kind enough to agree. The short, raw video is an interesting example of a horse learning his balance. Just yesterday I introduced the concept of yielding to the rein by asking gently in small walk circles. Because it is a new concept and his muscles are not used to him moving over his topline, he has a tendency to come above, then get behind, the contact. He has moments of some pretty decent work, then his muscles get tired and he throws his head or falls slightly sideways in one way or another or breaks gait or gets a wrong lead or even puts in a buck – all minor difficulties to be expected of a horse clearly finding his balance traveling in a new way, and gaining strength. It makes as much sense to punish a horse for these things at this point as it would to punish a human baby for losing her balance when learning to walk. In both cases, it is appropriate to focus on the positive and encourage effort, rather than punish. It is difficult for a horizontal horse to balance a vertical human on his back and it flat out takes practice and muscle.

He is willing and sound. The rest tends to work itself out.

Here comes the video. The “Red/Green Show”-sounding lawnmower in the background is dear hubby Jay, working hard while I play with horses. Bless him. So, without further ado, Georgie’s 2 week anniversary ride: