Monday, April 25, 2011
Attack of the killer robins
Somehow, last week I managed to dodge the rain and ride. I rode Gwen on Wednesday, both Quarters on Thursday, Coriander on Friday, and both the Quarters again on Saturday.
I've been doing things a bit differently with Gwen. Traditional horse trainers would seriously wag a finger at me for what I'm doing, but I don't care. It's my horse and my neck so I'm going to do things my way. I'm letting her graze, a lot, then I take short breaks to ask her to walk forward and do a little bit of steering, followed by more grazing. So far this is working out pretty well. I rode her in the pine tree field across the driveway from the pasture on Wednesday where's there's plenty of grass and the herd is in view. We made our way slowly down the field, she'd graze a while and then I'd pick another patch of grass and ask her to walk to it- she really enjoyed it.
At one point we were standing next to a pine tree when a robin EXPLODED OUT OF THE TREE AND CAME AFTER US, BLOOD COVERED CLAWS AIMING STRAIGHT FOR OUR EYES!!! Okay, not really, but it did burst out quite unexpectedly. Gwen lurched to the left... and stopped. I was so pleased I almost hugged her but decided to settle for a click and treat instead. I was so proud of her I almost burst.
Thursday I let her graze down the driveway right next to the pasture. (I took a little gamble and sat on her with only the bareback pad, she seemed quite happy with it.) When we got to the end of the fence line, I asked her to turn around and walk back up to the barn without stopping to graze. She did it! She was a little confused at first because she wanted to stop and eat but I gently put my legs on her and asked her to keep moving. Eventually she just strode right on up to the barn!
Saturday was more of the same. She's really starting to understand what my legs mean and she's started listening to lighter touches on the reins. She's also really good about following my body- I love this about green horses, they're very honest in their reactions to a rider.
I'm so glad I was able to sneak in a few rides last week despite the nasty weather, and I'm so happy with my baby girl. I have a feeling she's going to develop into a fabulous working partner!