FRIDAY NIGHT REPORT: Brian and his kids went up to his parents so I am flying solo this weekend. I didn't realize how tough it would be with my official photographer gone! :-) I did the best I could. No photos tonite tho....you will read that I was a little busy.
A little bit of lunging basics in the pen, worked with feet, etc. I decided I was going to let him out on the hillside again if he was good because I think his brain needs a break. After the pen work I walked him out and back in a few times - no problem. I then walked him the parameter of the hillside to remind him where the fences are. We were around the big dirt pile and he blew up and blasted the other direction. I don't know if it was a blessing the hill was muddy and slippery or a curse! All I know is his footing wasn't all that great, and neither was mine! I did all I could to stay upright because I knew if I went down, he was going to get away from me. I got him stopped and we had words as we went back to the top of the hill. He threw a couple more fits and actually reared tall - as in his hooves were over my head! I know he is being disrespectful in a major way, and I really think he needs something new to do and he needs to blow off some steam! But this isn't going to win him any brownie points! I stuck with him the best I could and when he would come back down I would swoop in to his side and start moving him over. A couple more rears on his part and a couple more swoops on my part did the trick. We worked back in the pen, mud and all, and we worked outside of the pen!
This is what confuses me - he is an angel when he is in the pen, and he even lunges on a loose line outside of the pen. It is when we start walking around on the green and heading back up the hill he gets an attitude.
It is because of this, plus him working so good after our 'chat' that I decided to let him on the hill anyways. He needs to blow the cobwebs out of his head, he needs to wander and munch grass and weeds like a real horse, and he just needs to relax and enjoy himself. I took his halter off, rubbed him down and sprayed him with fly spray, I walked around his pen and he followed me, then I went into the barn and he stood there for a second, then realized it was okay to munch grass.
This morning he was back in the pen so I shut him in and fed him. It was still quite muddy so I didn't do anything this morning except love on him a little bit.
Brian suggested that I start working him in the bigger pen (will be adding to it to make it even bigger) in the field behind the barn. That way he associates work with someplace other than his pen. Good idea! The other horses are out there and I really was not sure how he would be to lead out there.
I got him saddled, did some light lunging and bending in his pen, then we headed out there. The other horses were on the other hillside so I didn't have to worry about anybody getting up close and personal. Tripp led like a champ to the other pen! The gate makes this horrific noise because the hinge thingys are bent - and it did not phase him one bit.
I lunged him a couple turns each direction then got on. We wandered around a bit and it felt good to be somewhere else. My biggest challenge in there was going to be the grass. He knows it is there, and he likes it! He actually did pretty good. He did go for it, but not like the last time we took him out there.
This picture is of Tripp checking out the neighbors ducks that were under the tree on the other side of the mossy pond. If you look close, you can see them right between his ears.
We spent a little while in there then I decided we were going to have to try riding outside of safety sometime, and this was the time! We circled around the outside of the pen a few times. We wandered the top side of the moss pond a while, and he was fabulous! He did take off trotting a couple of times but I circled him around. He might be ready to trot out there, but I wasn't. Not when I was by myself. Walking and working on turns and stops are perfectly fine with me right now.
That was this afternoon.
This evening I did the same thing. Saddled him up in his pen, took him out to the other pen but this time the horses came over to him. Nobody made faces and no squealing....whew! We played in the bigger pen a few minutes and here is one of my creations that will put the Blair Witch to shame! WARNING: If you get motion sickness, I don't suggest you watch this. :-) It is a Tripp cam and I was taking it while riding him.
We then headed back out again and this time covered a little more territory. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!!!! There were things that I would not have thought would have phased him that did - like the shallow washed out areas on the hillside. It is a crappy pasture - I don't even know why I call it pasture. We are going to work it over this Fall. Anyways, we rode around the mossy pond, over to the cross fence and said hi to the other horses, rode back, rode across a muddy drainage area, rode around the outside of the pen a couple of times, then this time I rode him up to the gate to head back in his hillside area.
After our ride I thought he needed some trailer work. We still had the trailer hooked up to the truck but it was in the front yard. Tripp had never been in the yard before - dogs, parked tractor, walk by deck, cage full of young guineas, a shed with lots of tall weeds around it that probably harbor horse eating creatures, the illusion of more dogs because they ran from the back to the front, big gate, motorcycles, flowers, back end of trailer......he was soaking it all in. I opened the trailer door and he tried to trick me by letting me think he was getting a fly off his leg....he was going for the grass! Aaaahhh yes, my biggest challenge to get him in there was going to be the grass. I was now on alert!
A couple times of walking back and forth and he stepped up there. I backed him off and we did it again. He finally jumped in, which was funny because I still had him saddled and the side of the saddle was catching on the doorway of the trailer. It was like he was telling me he was really trying to get there, but something was slowing him down! We jumped in and out a couple of times, then I decided we were going for a ride. Before we left I gave him a couple of alfalfa treats. There is a 5 mile loop and we drove around it. I stopped about 1/2 way around and checked on him. He was nervous but doing well. I gave him another alfalfa treat and away we went.
When we got home I did not let him out right away. I got up there with him, rubbed on him and talked to him, and when he let out a big sigh, we unloaded. I took the saddle off in the front yard because it was closer to where it needed to be, and we went to his pen and played in the hose! Woo hoo!!!! After our hose work we did some hind quarter disengagements (halter free), then I walked out of the pen and he followed me. Same as the night before....we stopped at the other end of his pen on the outside, and I went into the barn, and he went to eat.
It was an absolutely wonderful afternoon and evening! I just think about it and I grin from ear to ear!
Next Saturday we are headed to a gathering. One of the EMM competitors is having a Mustang Preworks thing, and Brian talked me into going. He is right - it will be good experience for Tripp and I both. I am nervous because I don't know how Tripp will be.....we have not been anywhere until today. I want to try to ride as much as possible this week...Please please please Mother Nature keep the rain away. :-)