Thursday, November 4, 2010

Comfort in companionship

Or Gwen surveys the countryside...

I've been thinking for a while that Gwen needs another horse to go along with her once or twice so that she can see that the fields above her pasture are safe but I hadn't quite figured out how to do it. I could pony while I ride Coriander, but I really don't want to be aboard if she were to freak out and cause a wreck. I also don't really want to lead them both together and become the gooey center of a quarter sandwich. The solution is to add another human but they aren't always in good supply.

Last night I got lucky, when I arrived at the pasture Rocky's human (Carly) was taking her out for a ride. She graciously agreed to a leisurely walk so that I could take Gwen along.

My girl started out being a role model for the sometimes crotchety Rocky, she walked out of the pasture with me on a loose lead while Rocky grew roots and didn't want to move (something she does a lot). We walked up the driveway together past the horse eating canoe (snort, blow) and then embarked into parts unknown for my girl. She looked around a little and then looked down and noticed all the ungrazed grass below her feet. She then spent the rest of the trip trying to gorge and walk at the same time. That ended up creating some interesting moments. I didn't fight with her about the grazing since I wanted the experience to be positive and relaxed for her but more than once she got left behind while she was eating. She then felt the need to trot and catch up with Rocky but she was listening and respectful of my space while on a loose lead the whole time. No flip outs!

She even ended up in the lead more than once. When Rocky would see something that bothered her and wouldn't move I'd take Gwen out in front for Rocky to follow. She did get a lot more alert when she was in front but she didn't get upset. We even came upon a person in a tree, Mark was hunting, and it didn't bother her a bit.

It was a great experience and proved to me that if she's feeling confident I can throw almost anything at her and she can take it in stride. The trick is how to get her confident, sometimes it requires a bit of creativity. This is definitely a part of horse training that no one ever talks about: taking your horse for walks. Hey, it works for us!


  1. Walking the horse is a great exercise, and it sounds like she's got good ground manners, too - a fun outing!

  2. I say take her out walking with a buddy as much as possible. She'll get used to it and being a sensible QH she'll realize it's fun to go exploring and get out of the pasture for a while. Glad to hear she had such a nice outing.

  3. She does have good ground manners, the past year's work has really made an impact on her! I've been working hard with her under the assumption that you ride the horse you lead. Bad manners on the ground equal bad manners under saddle (which Rocky proved).

    I will definitely take her out with a buddy as much as I can, especially now that I know she's going to be good so I don't have to worry about her scaring my friends. She is a sensible quarter horse :)

  4. Sounds like she's doing great!

    I think walking out with a horse is great for the horse, especially for young horses.