(Riding pics from the last day my folks were here.)
|Thinking and listening|
Last year, when we took Amyra for training that left just Sunny and Thunder at the farm. I was doing a lot of trail riding at the time, and not being keen on leaving one frantic horse behind fences that are electric, but wouldn't stop anything really determined to get out, I started hauling Thunder with me to lessons, trail rides, etc. He'd never really been off the place before, but with big brother - did I mention, he's Sunny's half-brother? - beside him, he took to all the strangeness with only a snort or two.
Since that went so well, and I was ponying him beside Sunny on rides anyway, I figured he might as well go saddled. We tried that out at home first with no fireworks, and other than some crowhopping the first time he actually loped alongside, he's never show any desire to buck.
I'm no trainer, but Thunder's been handled lots, it lovely to work with on the ground, and his behavior out in public has been impressive given his previous lack of exposure. Since I've almost given up on the farm owner providing him with a real trainer, I decided to see how far I can get. So, we're taking baby steps.
|Itchy ears - Darn bugs!|
Tonight we practiced steering around trees along the driveway. It was shady and there was a nice breeze, and after some initial trepidation at passing the camper he was great. We wove in and out, back and forth through the knee deep grass, stepping over the occasional fallen limb.
I pushed him a couple of times and managed a few steps of jog. He's not quite sure what I want yet, but he was willing to listen and try. That's one of the things I really like about him: he's a thoughtful horse His ears aren't constantly pointed forward scanning, they're usually tilted back toward me waiting to see what I'm wanting him to do. He pays no attention to Sunny, who fusses and hollers whenever we move out of sight. He doesn't get sulky or obstinate. He's just a nice, nice boy.
Fingers crossed I can eventually convince the farm owner to part with him...
I rode Sunny, too - he was a bit stiff and bracy and it took him a long time to soften at the trot. I really, really need some arena time with him on good ground with an even surface. I hate to keep pushing when the ground is hard and the footing is uneven. I ended up working him along the driveway in the shade as well, and that went better. Maybe tomorrow we'll try going down the road, just for something different.