Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dawn Lunges, Drifter Trots and Pie Thinks Pink, Running Children Are Scary

It was another three-horse day - the weather was in the upper 30sF with only a little wind.  Dawn and I had a nice session this morning - we did some leading work, again focussing on her relaxing her neck when moving to the right, and then we did some one-rein ground-driving/lungeing at the walk, ending up with a big cloverleaf pattern in both directions using most of the ring.  Good Dawn!  Tomorrow I'm hoping to do some trot work with her on the lunge - the ring's been dragged so the footing is much better.

Drifter was very perturbed and excited by the other horses going out to pasture for a while in the afternoon.   But he was able to concentrate enough to do some nice leading work in the arena, and then we did some lungeing at the walk and trot.  Good Drifter! We'll do more lungeing tomorrow, perhaps with a saddle on, and then move on to standing still at the mounting block after that.

Pie and I did a good work session in the arena at the trot, working on softening - he's up to 9 soft steps at the trot, but tired pretty quickly.  Then we stood around for a bit waiting for Charisma to get ready.  We were standing in the outdoor wash rack - this is four posts in a rectangle with a rubber mat on the grass in between.  We were just sitting there on a loose rein, when I saw a group of children, adults and stroller approaching down the path.  All of a sudden, one girl dressed in a pink jacket - I think she was about 8 or 9 - took off running, and instead of running down the path, she cut across and up and over the berm that's on the edge of the parking lot.  I could see her coming, but apparently Pie couldn't.  When she popped up over the berm, he spooked big time.  There was a 180 degree rollback - he managed not to run us into any of the parts of the wash rack - followed by a bolt and when I started to turn him back in the direction of the girl, much rapid sideways movement - think sidepass at the gallop and you've got the idea.  For some reason, I stayed right with him.  As soon as he figured out that the scary object was just a small child, he relaxed and came back and stood there for a long time on a loose rein while all the children petted on him.  One of his best characteristics is how he calms right down after a spook.

Then Charisma was ready and we went on a little trail ride with her, involving much trotting.  We even got some nice softening during our trot work - Pie never braces which is another plus.  Good Pie!  Tomorrow we'll do some more softening work and probably another trail ride.

13 comments:

  1. Whoa - sounds like some nice riding Kate! Well done sticking with Pie's shenanigans. :)

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  2. where you mounted? holy cow if you were! I like that he calms down immediately after the "danger' has passed.

    Drifter is coming a long nicely by the sounds of it.

    Dawn liking the attention?

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  3. Jeni - yup, I was mounted - stayed that way too, for which I was grateful.

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  4. That sounds like quite a spook! You must have a Velcro seat. Glad you stayed on. Nice that Pie calmed so quickly when he realized that little girl wasn't dangerous. You had a productive day.

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  5. I can't say I would have been calm if I saw a pink monster running either! What a good boy for calming down after a spook like that! :)

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  6. Nice work with all three! Good for you. Today we got up to 42 but the wind made it VERY cold. Should be in the 40s for the next week. That means you must be warming up.

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  7. This is what I need to work on, calming my own self down after the spook. That one would've had my blood pumping pretty good.

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  8. Sounds like you're really getting into it working three horses a day now. Good for you.

    They all did really well. Scary pink objects popping up out of nowhere can be a problem. One of my horses was petrified of strollers or anything with wheels. Pie is so good coming back quickly after a big spook like that.

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  9. Glad you stayed with him. Pie is the most sensible horse. You are lucky to have him! I like that he settles right away after a spook. It tells me his adrenaline level isn't actually up there when he is scared and once he figures out what is going on he can resume his normal routine.

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  10. Wonder if Pie spooked like that because she was up high on the berm...more of a "predator" that way. And, did the pink have an added effect? Horses are not well able to see reds, but perhaps the pink was bright enough to make a startling contrast to the surroundings.

    Glad you stayed on. I have about a 50% success rate with spins like that. *G* (I'd make it higher, but a tree saved me once.) Love a horse that spooks, stops, and settles like that. Good Pie.

    Nice work with Dawn and Drifter too. You had a good day!

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  11. Whoo, that must have been exhilarating. I wonder if he felt a little silly once he realized it was just a little kid.

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  12. Glad that you stuck with him, sounds like a bad place to take a fall. Nice that he settles so quickly

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  13. It sounds like you are really having a lot of fun having 3 horses to work -- and they are all doing different things, too, which means it stays interesting for you! Good work staying on Pie -- that sounds like a big spook and an amazing feat to stick with him.

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