Monday, April 30, 2018


A rather bleary-eyed Monday greeting to you all. I packed a lot of crap into my weekend and parts of last week, so let's get some updates on the books, because once again... warm weather has arrived and work has picked up so I have less time to blog than I would like. I value being able to log my life with horses, though, so here we go: 

Bailey has been out one or two times, but with tight time last week, I've been choosing to keep things consistent with Arya rather than work BB as hard. The ring is finally back in rideable shape, so I hope to jump her tonight after a few meh road sessions last week due to the ring being a quagmire. See quagmire (and hippo) below:

Can't look at Mom she's stressful

With my focus on her, Arya got caught and brought out to do groundwork more. She's still sticky in her shoulders, but we had some good sessions where she was very relaxed, and I sat on her and laid over her back 2 times during the week. We also did some bending of the head in the rope halter, but didn't move with me up. I ran to the tack store last week and sat in the new Bates Advanta (it's really cool) and bought her a fleece girth and some perfect prep. She also took the opportunity to wallow in the mud like a hippo, which, for the lack of media for all of the other exiting things we've been up to... enjoy:

Her last session of last week was a bit more of a cluster - she managed to step on her rope and scare herself a bit at the beginning, and then had to run around and be bolty, because #offended. She didn't really relax as much as she normally does, and I was not sure that I wanted J to come out with Arya in mind, because she clearly wasn't ready. She also kicked at me when I girthed her, though it seemed like an automatic reaction as she didn't react to any further girth messing with and seems to like the fleece girth more than my TSF girth.

And then J came out to visit on Saturday, and made me get on my gosh darn horse, already. 

She ground worked her while I put on my boots and chaps, and her groundwork insight was super helpful. When I showed up at the ring, Arya got tense. We're running with the theory that Arya gets overwhelmed with stimuli and that instead of giving in to my desire to love on her/fill her with cookies when she's good, I should really back her out to the distance of my choice and let her sit there and think about her life and her choices. She wanted to be with J more than she wants to be with me currently and kept trying to edge in to her, but I think it's a solid idea that I put into practice on Sunday again. So we did some ground work, and she was obedient, and I stuck her bridle over her halter and J lead and lunged us for a bit at the walk and trot while I barely held on to my reins and tried to stay relaxed. 

Our theory continued when I was up; too much stimuli, or too many questions she didn't know how to answer = tantrum. She swishes her tail at my leg, and doesn't like having her face touched, but she has to learn to deal with both. She gets flustered or mad because she trips (especially with her hind legs) and tries to launch into the canter or get silly, which hopefully will chill out over time. We kept it short and sweet, with walk and trot in both directions on the line, and a bit with me circling around J. I'd forgotten how big Arya walks; she moves like a lion with a big swing through her back and hind end. 

Everyone had naps yesterday except me, bah humbug

Sunday, I did the same thing over again. She had perfect prep on board (and I'm not sure if it was the PP or the warm day that was making her nap and caused her to be easy to walk up to and catch, for once) and we did some ground work, and then I bridled her and got on again. We didn't have a ground crew, so nothing was to be done besides ask the horse to walk off from the mounting block and off we went. We walked a lot; she likes to occasionally get tense and rush off because of  little silly things and she seems more comfortable with contact at the walk than anywhere else. At the trot we had a few issues- a few tantrums that resulted in me opening my rein to her hip and letting her spin a bit to put a lid on some leaping/accelerating ideas and some general fussiness. A few times she would go from pulling a bit on my inside rein, which was open and trying to encourage inside bend, to yanking on it like she's trying to head off into the rest of the ring, but I was able to bring her back to a safer pace and keep her on her circle without too much blood-pressure raising. I tried to keep the stressful trot to one small circle or so, and go back to walking where she can stretch and be more comfortable with her existence. 

So, yeah, I got back on her and haven't felt like I'm going to die, yet. I'd love it if she could be less offended by work in general, but I guess beggars can't be choosers. Arya gets tonight mostly off (except I want to use my new flexible curve on her to measure her weirdly shaped self) and I'll hopefully be back on her tomorrow or Wednesday, depending on schedule. I tried to even out several years worth of grown over gopher mounds in my current pasture and then seeded it to hopefully head off weeds, and now my back is a mess and I got my first sun burn of the year, so I figure... let's jump BB tonight and enjoy riding the forgiving creature in my herd vs the #mostoffended.


  1. Henry seems to prefer my $5 fleece girth to the tsf too (wtf horse). That mud pic made me LOL!

    1. It's like they don't care about their mom's anxieties and all the hard work we do to make them comfortable (eyeroll). Ungrateful ponies! And I laughed a whole lot... because not much I can do at that point except wait for her to stop rolling and remove the blanket. She is a hippo!

  2. Glad you were able to get on the horse and have some productive sessions!

    1. Me too! Fingers crossed she admits defeat and stops trying to randomly take off/buck/whathaveyou soon :D

  3. I love the description of walking like a lion - I can totally see it! And OMG that mud...

    1. I don't know if she truly has a weird butt or what but it's a really lovely feeling - until you realize that all of that power is not particularly well behaved at the moment...

      And yes, I died a little bit inside. Curse the idiots who built my barn on the water flow line between the two ponds on our property! She did a sheet and stable blanket liner the day before and I'm not sure they - or the sheet in the the picture - will recover.