Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The New Norm?

I checked Bear's temp first thing and it was below 100.  Very nice, considering he was just dozing in the sun on another warm afternoon.

And then I proceeded to catch Zoey.  She is not a fan of me, or possibly not a big fan of men.  It can be hard to tell as Robin is a little softer and smoother with most things horse related.  So she got pretty agitated early on in the catching process and took off out of the middle pasture with some of her new boyfriends.

Up in the dry lot we played the game for a little while.  It mostly consisted of Zoey running around the wind block and periodically failing to get other horses to run interference  for her.  At the same time, I was pretty much running around the wind block the whole time wishing I had some more appropriate footwear on.

Finally she started stopping and looking at me.  I'd immediately drop the pressure, and she'd line up to look at me.  Normally if she didn't start to come, I'd up the pressure again.  But since we don't want to aggravate her injury at all, we'd like to keep the running to a minimum.  Of course, it was always up to her.

So I'd sidle up to her slowly and see if she was ready to hang out with me.  The first few times the answer was decidedly no.

And then I'd move her off when she turned away and we'd go back to running around the wind block.  Finally we hit a spot where we were both tired and happy to hang out near one another.  Laredo walked up and I was a little worried he would mess things up, but in the end I think he helped.  He's so happy and comfortable around us.  That meant I was able to go back and forth between petting both horses and Zoey didn't end up minding the halter at all. In the end it took 9 minutes to catch her.  Same as Robin yesterday, but my 9 minutes involved a whole lot more running on my part.  And it felt like 20 minutes; I thought for sure we were backsliding.

She was still pretty unsure of me while we were grooming, but as we worked together she warmed up.  We saddle up in the arena again as she tends to shy away from the pad and saddle.  I did some work with the flag first, and I think that helped a lot.  She was inclined to shift away from it whenever it touched her, but we kept at it and she started to accept it.  So when we moved to the pad and saddle I think she took it better than she did on Sunday.

Under saddle she is soooo different than our other guys.  Little, compact, and her movements are oddly big.  She's got a ton of leg action.  We didn't ride for very long, as we don't want to cause any problems to her stitches.  But we worked through some flexing, bending, teardrop turns, serpentines, and circles at the walk and trot.  She does like to reach for that bit, and during some of the trots it felt like my feet were going to skim the sand because her front end was so low.  But we kept things together, and just like with our grooming she continued to relax throughout the ride.

Then it was back out to the pasture to grab Laredo for a second ride.  Like usual, he was happy to see me and hangout.  I did quick tack up and we headed out to the strip.  My goal today was to stay as soft as possible.  This is often my goal, but after yesterday's harsh moments, I thought it was particularly important to move things back towards softness.  I still knew I might have to back up the soft ask with a serious ask, but I kept that in the back of my mind.

From the beginning he was lively and really listening.  He was soft and quick moving back and over and jumping into the trot.

We spent some time moving out at some big trots on the strip. Never once did he feel forward or like he wanted to run away with me or even change the pace.  He was just moving with me.  It felt great.

We really didn't ride too long.  Sometimes when things are going well, it is just easy to enjoy them and not push it.  I really don't think it would have been a problem if we did more.  He was just happy to work today.  I'm so curious to see how our more exact riding technique affects Laredo.  It is funny how different he is from our other guys.  But that's why we wanted yet another horse, so we could ride twice a day with a lot more regularity.


  1. I like Zoey a lot. Such a pretty mare.

    If its any consolation, my horses are very easy for me to catch but they like to give my husband a run for the money. He is a much better rider than I am so I like that I am at least better at something than he is! Catching them!

  2. Thanks, Tammy. We like Zoey, too. It's funny how well we know her after just a few days. Can't wait to see what else we learn about her this summer.

    And I'm a little jealous you have a horsemanship skill that beats your husband. I'm not sure I have anything I do better than Robin. Oh wait, I can tie up the hackamores faster than she can. So I've got my one!