Sunday, August 10, 2008

Saturday August 9th - to the Arena!

I really wanted to head back to the trails today - they are so relaxing. BUT....I got a great offer from someone to use their arena - they were going to be gone all day Saturday. I was asking about another arena in a small town close by that the 4H kids use, and she offered hers. Brian's son Jordan took lessons there for over a year. Sharon gives lessons at The Horse Farm to beginner kids and adults both. Not only is she a great instructor to be able to deal with littles and bigs, her horses are the cream of the crop. Many of them are older and they love having a job! The kids love them too!

It was late morning when we headed to Sharon's and when Tripp hopped off the trailer he looked around, then tried to eat grass. Yeah...he was so worried! :-)
Once in the arena, I rode him on the rail each direction for a while and he did good. He would drift off the rail once in a while, and I would get that shoulder back in and we would mosey along. We did a lot of walking and trotting in circles and across the pen, and also down the middle of the length of the arena. All in all he did pretty good with going in a straight line.

Then came the canter.

I was not too worried about it - my goal was to get him to a canter and let him get used to moving around wherever he wanted to go. Well, remember the last time when he double barreled both hind legs in the air? We did it again....and again....and again. He would hop that butt in the air, then get into the canter. We kept at it until he did it right a couple times, then we went back to the walk/trot and moving body parts around.

We were trying to teach cousin Tucker to take neat pictures....he did alright for himself!

Brian's two kids and two of their cousins were there too, so most of them rode Tripp. Tucker and Tori, the cousins, were not one bit afraid of him. Brian's kids are more afraid to ride, but we finally made Madison get on. Once she gets on, she realizes it is okay. She didn't want to trot - no problem. If walking is where she is comfortable, walking is where we will stay.

Tripp was a doll! He put up with pulling, kicking, yelling "WALK!", etc. I was very proud of him! I tried to 'gently' let the kids know not to pull on him, etc. They did pretty good for the most part, and I think Tripp loved it.

Here is Madison on Tripp.

Madison is on Tripp, and Tori is walking along with Tripp following...

Tori is on Tripp. Tucker is running and she was trotting after him! We have moved up from herding chickens to herding the boy! :-)

Tripp and Tucker...

Tori and Tucker loving on Tripp....

We got home and I was watching a video on the computer about abrasive trimming. That is trimming hooves with power tools. I was so tired I started nodding off right at the computer! I don't normally take naps but I went to bed and layed down. The plan was to get up and head back to Sharon's by 6 or 6:30. I didn't nap good at all - lots of up and down and just not comfortable. The next thing I know it is 7:30! ACK! Brian thought we needed to head to Sharon's anyways because it would be good for the horses (we decided to take Flash, the large pony with us).

We headed that direction and stayed about 35 minutes. I didn't want to take the time to put on the saddle, so I rode Tripp bareback. We have not done that since the beginning of me getting on him. We did a lot of walk/trot and he did it helps me work on my balance. The kids rode Flash, and Flash loved it! He really enjoys having a job.

Sunset picture of Tripp and I...

It was getting dark and they took Flash out to unsaddle him. I took a couple more laps around the arena....they have one dusk to dawn light out there and I wanted Tripp to see our moving shadows. It didn't even phase him.

This was our first trip in the dark, so I didn't even try to make Tripp go in the trailer before me. He has been battling me on this....we fight a while, then he jumps in. Definitely something we need to work on! He isn't afraid to go in - he will follow me. I really don't know what it is....I am having problems reading what he is telling me. He could be giving me the finger for all I know! Ha ha! It could also be all the grass and flowers he has to walk by to get to the trailer.

It was a fun time in the arena, and we got to work on things that are harder to do here. THANK YOU SHARON!!!!

We got home and unloaded them without a hitch. We got them fed then started shutting up the chickens. We have lost a few hens - I go out and they are laying in the hen boxes dead without marks or anything on them. We could not figure out what was getting in there. Last night Brian goes in to check on all of them, and he tells me we lost another hen, and he was holding the culprit. I could not see him because I was in the barn, and I was thinking "HE IS HOLDING IT? CAN'T BE A POSSUM!"....he comes walking into the light where I could see him and he is holding a big honkin' black snake! It had been coiled around the hen! I have seen the black snake in the boxes before but never bothered them. I thought as long as they ate mice, bugs and an egg here or there, we could live in peace. I never dreamed that they would kill chickens! Brian let it go behind the barn.....then he heads back to the chicken house to make sure the young guineas found their way back in there. They aren't too bright......
He comes out with ANOTHER black snake! He then tells me that the hen that was wrapped up in the other snake made it...whew! She is our part bred Faverolle - they have cute little beards and 5 toes. The 2nd snake was in a box right next to a hen that was snoozing! Both snakes were well over 5 1/2 foot long. This one was really mad and was coiled around his arm - I had a hard time getting it unwrapped. The first one Brian held by the tail, and it kept trying to strike at him. Good thing I love snakes! :-) He let it go behind the barn too. That is my weird story of the night.

Until later....Karen and Tripp

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