Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lots of Running

The horses are taking full advantage of their larger pastures. When I turn Maisie and Dawn out mid-morning, the mare herd gallops off to the farthest pasture. The geldings also head far out as they're turned out.

I've been noticing that Noble is perfectly happy to graze in the far-away pasture even if none of the other geldings are anywhere nearby - he seems very happy on his own. I'll have to see this afternoon if I can whistle him up to the gate when I want to catch him.

When I went to catch Maisie early this afternoon, she played a trick on me - or perhaps on herself. She headed off to the open gate to the next pasture as soon as she saw me (do you think she might not have wanted to come in from her still-restricted grazing?), the other mares followed, and soon they were galloping off to the far pasture. I had gone partway out to get her when they all turned around and galloped past me back to their starting point! Maisie stood there and waited for me to walk back and catch her. Perhaps she was just proving a point, who knows? Or perhaps a leg-stretch was in order since she was going in? While the mares were running back and forth, Fritz was running in parallel, starting from Joe and Fred who were near the gate all the way out to Noble, and then back again. The horses seem to have been getting a lot more exercise with the new pasture arrangements.

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Maisie and I had another good trotting workout yesterday, using our gentle slope, and then we went on another trail for a short ride, ending with a trot up a fairly steep hill. She seems to have enjoyed her session. She got pretty sweaty, so got a nice rinse-off. Dawn and I went in the arena for a brief crazy walking session as well as some leading over poles - poles used to be an issue for Dawn - followed by a bit of ground driving and then some lungeing. She seemed bored with the ground driving and didn't have a lot of energy. At one point I asked her to ground drive over a pole, and she flat out refused. I think she needs me somewhere closer to the front end to be confident about the poles. So I listened to her and instead of forcing her to go over - not that I would have forced her: Dawn is a horse who needs and deserves more subtle handing that that - I led her over a few times and then lunged her at the walk over the pole. She was wiggly the first time or two but quickly went over the pole happily. Then we did a little work on our walk/halt/walk transitions on the lunge using voice asks.

I don't know if we'll get any work done today or not - the heat index is supposed to get above 90 and there are some storms coming.

4 comments:

  1. Sounds like they were all having a blast running around out there.

    Glad to hear you got in a good ride and worked Dawn too. Busy day. The weather here stinks too and is so humid, we're expecting storms tonight. Hope it cools things off for all of us.

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  2. Today it is barely out of the 60s and spitting rain here. I hope we don't get you weather tomorrow.

    You have to know that the horses are loving the new arrangement...

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  3. It sounds like they are quite happy in the big field. I know mine are. And yes, I think they like to tease- Annie will do that sometimes, take off running and get the others to run with her. It's been great exercise for them and I like that they can eat when they want. Now, when I ride or work with them, they aren't hungry.

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  4. This weather is horrible. One moment it seems fine so I go out the barn. By the time I get there it is hot as hades or raining cats and dogs.

    Glad to hear that you are still getting some work in.

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