Riding with Magee

Sarah (Magee) rode Lottie, who Margaret kindly loaned her, while Margaret was setting up the poles for painting later in the evening. After a warmup, which went pretty well, we worked in the water, which went well, except for the time Magee followed a little closely and splashed Pippa who had scooched a bit, but that is part of life, too.

Then we rode around the upper field in walk and trot and let her stand on the west side so that she could take in the traffic, which had upset her a bit in the past. She got a little quieter about it as we waited. Then we finished trotting around the field. Next we turned around and trotted the path backwards, at which point Pippa commented that each of the jumps are new in the other direction! She did well.

Trotting in the water

88 degrees and sticky out. She was a little more relaxed than usual when I got on. I was carrying a fly whisk which she was a little worried about, but she figured it out in a minute or two. We did some walk work where I used the whisk to good effect to help her come forward in it. She was not all about that and actually kicked at it a few times, but I just kept after it until she accepted it and went forward. Trot work was really quite good today and we went over the trot poles on the ground, which went well.

Then on to canter work which was going well until she decided to throw a moderate buck or two with a little twist. I really wasn’t too much about that and just sent her forward into canter right away. She got over herself and did much better.

Then Margaret, Lottie and I went through the water complex together. We were following them across when Lottie’s splash surprised her and she gave a bit of an over-reaction to that, but true to her usual form, got over it quickly. Next we walked in and trotted out of the water, then trotted in and through. Very good.

Next a trip around the top area of the jumping field, largely in trot. She was a little light on her feet by the highway and got going in a bigger trot than I requested at times, but managed it pretty well, even leading at times.

At the end we rinsed her and she stood quite well. Then we sprayed fly spray on her. She is much better about that, thanks to Margaret’s patient work. Very good day.

Poles on the ground grid

After some in hand work and some flat work, we added in watching Lottie and Margaret trot through the poles-on-the-ground grid. We then went through it ourselves and there was some straightness issues and some touching the poles, but no tripping or recalcitrance, so I considered it a success. We did it a few times. It was notably harder to keep her straight going directly away from the barn, but that’s par for the course at this point. I made it clear that she had to go away from the barn when asked, but I wasn’t real strict about exactly straight. She gets a little leeway yet, allowing for balance issues.

Then out on the trail we went, and added some trotting for a bit of it and she was a little loose at times, but reasonable. Very good.

Serpentines

Margaret was kind enough to do most of the tacking today. I brought her out and worked her in hand a bit then I got in the tack and did some flatwork. Walk is a bit behind the leg, but trot is more naturally stable. We’ll work on the walk over time, but went on to serpentine in trot. We did three loop serpentines the width of the ring, which went pretty well. Canter work was exuberant but quite acceptable. Then Margaret and Lottie and Pippa and I went out for a hack around the field and some of the easier paths in the woods and called it a day. Very good.

Trailer and water

After a grooming and little better experience with the fly spray bottle, we went out in hand to do some trailer loading. We put Lottie on first and then asked her to load in the shiny new trailer that arrived yesterday. She pretty much walked right on, self loading, then stood there while I put the butt bar up. She waited in there patiently for a bit, then Margaret did a good job asking her to back out and Pippa did very well. Then we went on to in hand introduction to water. After a little cajoling, she was on board even to walk through the deepest part, enter without hesitation, and to walk up the bank. That was a lot of stuff for a young brain in one day. Good girl!

In the tack

Groomed her and learned that she vehemently objects to the fly sprayer. We’ll have to work on that.

Tacked up and walk, trotted and cantered in the outdoor, then went for a hack about the place with Margaret and Lottie. Pippa had a few moments of goofiness, but all in all was very brave and patient. We had an introduction to water, but I felt that she really was afraid of it and I wanted to work her in hand with it rather than risk hurting her mouth if she made a big leap and I made a mistake.

Trailer ride

Jon met me with his truck and trailer at the barn. We groomed Pippa and put on her shipping boots and blanket and loaded her with relative ease. She only sniffed and looked for about 30 seconds. I think the fact that Jon had put in the work to collapse the back tack and that Lottie (or Lotty, depending on who is spelling) was standing patiently in the front stall helped her relax.

I wasn’t really happy with the elastic bungee-like trailer tie, so I tied her up with her leadrope. (I don’t like the elastic because if a horse sits back against them and they fail in any way, the horse may get a flying snap in the face. I prefer a regular trailer tie with a quick release snap on the end away from the horse, so that if the quick release snap is needed, you don’t have to get as near to a possibly panicking horse to release it. If I was buying a trailer tie, I would look a little further than the exact tie above, for one that didn’t have a bull snap as I find that people have a hard time operating them. This velcro trailer tie is another related and pretty good option.) Shutting the divider was a bit of a difficulty, but she allowed me to move her hip and stood nicely. We got her on the road, and after a few miles, stopped to check her. I had tied her a little loosely, so she was able to get her head over the divider and was resting her muzzle on the tolerant Lot… who was fine with it. I got in the trailer with her and shortened the rope, but by the time we got home she had lengthened it again and was in the same position. Obviously in the long run, we need to get her to travel straight and in her own area, but I think this but of horse pal hand holding for her was just fine.

She offloaded a little hesitantly and even slipped a bit in the trailer when she was pushing off, but landed easily on the ground. She was completely unfazed once on the ground. Very good.

Prior log entries can be found here.