Chronicles of the Brown Horse: Week 5

Day 29:

I let the horses out in the Am. Nala comes to see if I have any carrots before I go.

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Then I returned in the afternoon for our work session. We did some ground work yielding the HQ and lunging on a short line (10′). We are learning whoa, walk, trot, back, over as voice commands.  She is catching on fast!

Working on the short line does get her to focus more, rather than the long-line where she seems to gather up energy and want to canter like mad on the long-line. I learned in yielding the HQ to raise my rope hand up for the whoa and now she stops when I raise my had w/o contact on the rope! She is a bit sticky yielding the right shoulder, still needs work on that.

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Then we rode, w/o any canter work on the lunge.  We rode in the fields and we did mostly trot and transitions until she went in frame and softly. Leg yielding at the trot and figure 8’s assisted her to round and slow. Then we cantered on a straight line. She took the right lead straight off and no bucking at all. We only did 4 rounds of canter to end on a positive note. But she did very well today. The neighbor horse also rode by and she did not call to it or to the barn horses (who did call for her). But when I put her back out she ran to the other horses in the field, so there is some separation anxiety even if she can be distracted from it for a while.

In these shots you can see the saddle pad marks to be sure the saddle fits well and a body score check. She is shedding out to a lighter brown.

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Day 30:

Today is the last day on our 30 day trial.

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We are keeping Nala/Nola/FEMA since she is a thinker and I expect her riding will improve with time.

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We did a bit of ground work on the short line. She has a rub on her right rear knee. Looks like she slipped and hit the ground or a hillside, playing in the field. It’s a bit sore so no riding today but she was not really off  in a straight line just at the turns.

Body score shots from day one 3/1/15 left: yesterday and today 3/30/15 right!

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Day 31:

Just a bit of ground work and grooming today.

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There was a herd of elk and a fire.

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We also sacked out with the safeway bag on a stick!

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And took in the gorgeous views!

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Day 32: 4/1/15 April fool on me!

Nala did good in her ground work. We did more with the yoga ball. Tried again with the bag on a stick and she was snorty. I decided to hop on after only a short time moving her  feet on the 10″ line. She seemed fine but kept spooking at birds. As I was trying to bridge my reins she jumped sideways and I came off her for the first time. I was leaning forward on her neck practicing the rein bridge so I landed upright on my feet and just hopped back on. Lucky me.  I sat deeper after that…LOL.

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She did well walk trot and we worked on bending and slowing the trot with transitions walk/halt/trot. I let her canter to the left and she bucked. So we then cantered right to balance out and she did a circle ok. Then we stopped, I did not want to press my luck today. I ended our ride and put her on the lunge and she cantered straight off  left. I changed direction and she trotted a bit to the right and then cantered again. I decided she was wound up today and turned her back out to run. We’ll try again another day… maybe it’s all the good feed, or just spring! Shy the palomino was calling to her in the end so that might be an issue as well. Darn Mares!

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Day 33:  update. We did ground work again today. Worked with a plastic bag on the end of the crop until lit was not scary. We did a bit more with the yoga ball. She was much calmer today then yesterday. I got there late so the other horses went in to eat and I took her out of her stall to work in the field and then outside the field. Also there was very little wind.

Tomorrow we are set to haul in to the covered arena for the first time!

Day 34 …4/3/15

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We hauled into Youngs River Ranch and let Nala and Shy move at liberty in the arena. Then we did a bit of lunging. We introduced a few ground poles and barrels. She did not want to jump the barrels, maybe because they were solid? She went over the poles in an x in between the barrels both leading her and on the lunge line.

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She did great! We then rode walk/trot/canter. She moved in a frame well. I set up two ground poles and although she would try to jump the second ground pole or break into the canter she was fairly controlled and did not buck. Moving to the right she seem weak in the hind end but seems fine on the left lead.

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Over all I was very impressed for her first trip to the arena! I think with more arena time she would work out of the bucking issue, unfortunately it is a half day adventure to get to the arena.

Look how much her body condition has improved!

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Day 35: 4/4/15 End of Week 5…

The horses had the day off, we are all prepping for easter and enjoying the sun…

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