Saturday, February 24, 2018

Sir Richard and I had a nice day.
I got home about 11:30 and took him out to the big pen before he could start pacing the fence line in his home pen.
On our way out there I stopped at the round pen. First time asking him to do a little something in there. I didn't do a lot. I asked him to walk but he soon decided he needed to trot. I asked him to turn but he turned into the fence so I cut him off and tried it again in another circle. He cut the circle so I shooed him out to the fence several times. He did decide to stay on the fence after that.
I stopped him, turned to the side and let him come in. We did a few little things after that and I put him in the big pen with Pony.
The wind was ripping about 3pm so I went out and got Richard who did fine in the wind. Then Pony who did better than I thought he would.
I messed around with Richard in his pen. He drooled water all over my pants legs and boots. We got a selfie and I talked him into playing with the jolly ball a little.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

I brought Sir Richard home last Thursday. We arrived at 3:30 pm.
I finished the platform today. I got this platform built in only 3 days  A new record for our area. We have to drive pretty far to get lumber.
Today, we practiced getting on the platform. We stepped up and walked over it and got off. We stepped up and stopped. We backed off.
We did that from both directions.
He avoided the platform a couple of times. I told him he was cheating! I backed him up and we did it again.
Chilly and windy and might snow a little but I do want to work with him again later. The wind had him a little bit edgy but I asked him to stay focused along the way to and from the front area. We did great.
We can maybe work a little bit in his home pen on a few groundwork exercises if he looks worried about being in his pen. Worst comes to worst and he gets upset and starts pacing, I'll take him out to the big pen even if it is a blizzard 
I want him to feel good about backing off the trailer if we go tomorrow. It will be cold so we might not go to the trainer tomorrow. We will see.
Did I mention I love this horse? Yes, snuzzles and hugs and I smelled deeply of the horse scent on his neck.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Day 6 - Sir Richard
Ignore if you are tired of us. The first couple of weeks with a horse means a lot is happening. We are learning about one another.
I went out to get Sir Richard. I thought, why not tie him up to the blocker tie ring while I run in to get his eye ointment. He might have a bit of an eye infection in the corner of his eye. He stood like a gentleman the whole time.
I thought, "Hey, there's enough time to brush him." He likes the stiff brush. See, we are getting to know each other. He also likes to get brushed on the underside of his neck.
He moved when I went to get the hair brush so I backed him right back into place. I brushed his tail. Then I moved on to brushing out his mane. He looked so relaxed by the time I did his bangs. We did some soft kisses on his big hairy nose and the soft fuzz on the side of his muzzle.
I walked him out of the pen, asking him to back for me to open the gate. I made a left turn at the driveway and we went out to the front area. He sniffed the new platform I am building. We stood out there looking at all the new things and we both sighed and relaxed.
On the way to the back pen, I turned and we did the log step overs. Four fairly big logs that he stepped over without touching a single log!
Then, single line follow on the single track I built.
Stop, back between two greasewood shrubs. Step up. mule  Back, step up. Back, step up. I only had to get big once for him to pay attention on the back. Still a lot of hanging in there on the step up.
Did head down. Had to hang in there. We got it.
Lead with respect. Missed the stop, back up.
I could feel the peace of horse and owner. The bond that we are growing. The letting go of fear on my part [yes, I have fear]. It felt good and right and lovely.
All three horses are out back in the big pen today. We will have to bring them in after dark but I think we will be fine.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Day 5

Having a new horse is daunting in some ways.

Sir Richard had me worried due to his working himself up into a totally sweaty frenzy and making a deep rut where he was pacing in his home pen.

I put him out in the big back pen and put Pony out with him yesterday.

Today I decided to go ahead and put both Pony and Wiseguy the mini out with him today. They are in the little guys pen and his own big guy pen for the night.

Richard did so much better today. Not a sign of sweat. No pacing that I could see. Thank goodness since it is barely above freezing and last night was 8 degrees. The last thing I need is a sweaty horse.

I worked with Richard on the way to and from the back big pen. I mostly had him back, come forward, back, come forward. I did do a few hind and a few front. I bumped him lightly if he lost focus and started lookey looing.

When I stopped and he didn't stop right away, I backed him a few steps.

I made sure I didn't nag and went straight from a small ask on the back to "Hey, back up" since he does know what I am asking for at this point.

I rewarded the small tries at "forward" since he seems a bit like a mule on that coming back to me :) I think he is starting to understand that too.

Monday, February 19, 2018

I love my new horse, Sir Richard.

It's cold today so I threw him some hay at the butt crack of dawn. I asked him to back off to throw it in the feeder. He turned away.

I came in a few minutes later with a bucket of water to top off the big heated water bucket.

He hustled over to take a look. "oh, nothing to see's just water," he says.

I reached out and gave him some scratches. He leaned in close and we exchanged breaths.

He turned to go back to his feeder so I told him "Off you go then." with a small wave of my hand.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Day Three with Sir Richard.
It's all about getting to know one another today and I enjoyed it immensely...and so did Richard .
I got the new bridle put together. I think it fit him well although we are on the last notch.
What the heck, why not throw the saddle on while I am messing around?
I tried a different blanket under the saddle. I think he liked the first one better.
I adjusted the girth of the saddle and he stood like a rock for the whole process. Such a good boy.
I removed his gear. He liked the bit so much he didn't want to give it back to me. Made me laugh. I snapped a pic.
He put his head into the halter willingly.
I did Task One of backing with a shake of the lead. By the time we were done he had a pretty good idea of what was expected. I asked him to come to me and that was a bit harder for him. He got the idea. Back, forward, back, forward. We are learning to work together.
I finished up with a stiff brushing to clean up his sweaty dirty self. Then a soft brush for the legs and knees and butt. Cleaned his feet. Put some hoof conditioner on the hooves.
I left his halter on while I ran into the house for a soft wet cloth to wipe his dirty face and eyes with.
When I went back out, he thought he was done and didn't want to come to me right away so I sent him around the pen. Unfortunately, his stall door was open so he finally dashed in there. Had to chuckle but I snapped on the lead, walked him out and wiped off his face. "Feels good, doesn't it, buddy?"
A lovely day of getting to know each other. A few kisses, a lot of "good job buddy", a few instances of hanging in there. A good time for all.
The wind is ripping so no lesson but I get to go on Friday. I will have some practice at backing up the trailer by then and I need it!
Photo of him all decked out and photo of him holding onto the bit.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

What I know he knows

Day Two
What I know so far about my new horse, Sir Richard.
He knows what "Step" means.
He likes being brushed.
He will back off to get his food although I did have to pick up a stick for a longer reach towards him this morning. I am not making the mistake of allowing the horse to stand there being pushy when I want to throw hay.
He puts his nose right into the halter.
"Head down"
"Give me your head" from the saddle.
Surprisingly, not super comfortable with me on the mounting block working him from above. Not terrible but not sure of it.
By the way, I told my old horse trainer that I have been taking a few lessons with a different horse trainer because the new trainer has different horses to ride on. I thought it was time to change it up a bit. I thought I might get a few more lessons from the new gal. I softened up the change by making sure she knows how impressed the new trainer is with what I have learned. She has said "Who ever has trained you has done good."
I fixed up his pen. The gate used to go in front of that tree and now it goes behind it meaning a much straighter line to open the gate from the horse. I put a 16' gate in as a panel so his pen is bigger too.
He tried to colic today or maybe he actually did. I went out and he looked incredibly sweaty and he had dirt all over him. I watched for a bit and decided to give him a little alfalfa. He ate it fine. I ran out and bought some wheat bran and made a call to the vet. She said the poopy poop means the event is probably over. Looks like he is fine now.
I didn't get to work with him today due to his stomach issues but he did help me realign and add panels. So cute.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Unfortunately no photo of Sir Richard in his saddle!
Day One
He got groomed and boy did he need it. He had some dreadlocks 
Cleaned his feet.
Got a pad and a saddle on him.
Stood ground tied like a rock!
Had him walk, trot and lope with the saddle on.
Just had a halter and a lead rope.
Got on him from the mounting block but we will have to work on that. I moved it next to him. I petted him from above.
I got on him.
Asked him to give me his head several times on each side.
Asked him to walk.
We did a few circles in each direction.
You could tell he was trying but we don't communicate as a team yet and I don't expect us to.
He stood like a rock for the dismount.
I think he loved the brushing and the attention.
We will keep getting to know each other over the next few days.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

This is Sir Richard. We had an uneventful trip home.
He loaded up easily. The old owner was very sad to see him leave.
Unloading did not go super smooth though not too bad. He started to turn around so I told him to get off me. He backed and got one foot off and then came back into the trailer where I told him to get off me. "Back" "Back" "Back" He awkwardly got both feet off the back of the trailer then his front feet and we backed a couple more steps. "What a good boy."
We stood for a couple of minutes letting him take it all in.
A calm walk to the back area although he was sniffing the whole time. I said hi to the dogs that were behind the fence. No spooking just a lot of snuffling the air.
I got him into his new pen and admired him for a couple of minutes while he looked at the water and the goats and his new horse friends.
I threw some hay and he was content to eat while I took a few photos. He was really good about me coming around behind him.
He is now busy sniffing his entire pen to see what his new world is all about and back to eating 
We will get to know each other better over the next few days and I can see I need to build a platform so he can get comfortable backing of a ledge.
I'll take him out and let him see more of the yard. We will start on task one tomorrow.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Looking at horses.

I just bought a leg bag for my gear for a horse I haven't met yet because we are going to go on so many solo rides 
I am going to meet the horse today. Not sure if I will ride. I had an experienced rider who sent me videos of the horse being ridden bareback and in a saddle. I am not sure I will know if my saddle fits and I want the horse to have a good time when I first get on him.
I'm thinking walk him around, pick up his feet, brush him.
I have an appointment for a vet to do a coggins and a PPE. We will discuss whether xrays are necessary at that time. I am fortunate that a horse vet is available to come out.
It will take until next week to get the coggins test results.
I am going to ask for a trial period. I want my instructor to meet him and see how he does.
Wish me luck. I've talked to the owner, the gal that had her friend ride and took videos. I have asked a ton of questions. Now, it is time to go meet the horse in person.
It's like a first date. Will it be like, love or will we look at each other and say "What was I thinking?" I met my husband through a newspaper ad. We talked for two hours the first time we met in person at a coffee shop. Maybe there is a chance that this horse and I will have a long conversation today.