Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Drifter Begins to Settle In and Pie Ride

Drifter is being to settle in a bit.  Last night he ate almost all his hay and drank a lot of water, and there was enough manure in his stall.  This was a big improvement over the prior night when he didn't touch his hay. He wasn't as agitated as he's been at feeding time either - less calling and he ate his breakfast - he's getting vitamin/mineral balancer pellets, some plain table salt, some precautionary U-Gard and as of last night some cocosoya oil.  This morning when I took him out to his paddock he immediately started eating his hay instead of pacing around.  I think he's beginning to settle in - our barn is very quiet and calm - and he's now completely off the rich hay that his prior owner was feeding him and on to our grass hay.

The nice thing is that, since I have Pie to ride on the trail whenever I want, I don't have to be in a hurry at all with Drifter.  I can take things really slowly with him, which I think will be good for a horse who tends to worry.  And speaking of Pie, we had a wonderful solo trail ride yesterday.  We went a good ways, did a lot of trotting as well as walking and went on some trails that we've not been on since the late fall, and he was great.  As we were leaving the barn, Drifter was screaming in his paddock (I think because he saw Pie leaving the barn) and Pie was calling back.  Pie would have preferred to turn back but willingly went on when I asked him to and calmed right down.  Pie also wanted to stay out longer - when we came to a crossroads he often indicated that he wanted to take the path that led away from the barn - sometimes I said yes and sometimes I didn't and he was happy either way.

We got to see a number of new things - two boys on the roof of a wooden treehouse that's next to the trail - Pie and I stopped to talk to them - the hoop house at the organic farm that's now back in action - think giant plastic tube - this was new and Pie snorted a bit at it but walked right on by.  Pie also asked to go investigate some playground equipment - a rubber swing shaped like a horse, complete with mane and tail, and a teeter-tooter where the seat were plastic frogs - this little playground is right next to the trail and Pie walked up and nosed the equipment.  We also got to go through a number of very large puddles - one was more than 30 feet long and probably knee deep - and Pie just slogged on through without hesitation.  At one point he wanted to stop and paw and I asked him to move forwards - sometimes pawing leads to rolling (my old mare Snow would always lie down in water any time she got the chance) - and he moved right along.

At the end of our ride, we took a stroll down the road and just for fun I rode him next to a mailbox and opened it - he was startled.  Then we rode back by and I closed it - he was startled again.  Clearly he's never done this before.  I dismounted and let him stand there while I opened and closed the mailbox - he wasn't too sure about it but we'll work on that some more.  Sometime I'd like to take him in a trail class - I think he'd enjoy it.  We haven't got the obstacles to practice with but maybe we could make some . . .

Good Pie!  And Dawn's still in heat and the arena's still a swamp and likely to get swampier today . . .

16 comments:

  1. There's a blog out there written by a semi-retired policeman who rides his horse in those desensitizing police horse clinics.

    http://popscompost.blogspot.com/

    He doesn't post every day, but he has posts about the clinics and just posted about a bridge he built at home for training. All the stuff looks so cool to do with a horse--except for the gunshots. I think it would be a wonderful thing to train for.

    Around here, in NJ, there was a police rider who offered a "de-spooking" clinic a year or so ago, but I could not go. I'd really like to take Chance to something like that. He's a lot like Pie and it would be good for him to be "entertained" by all kinds of new things.

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  2. It does sound like Drifter is settling in nicely. I don't think it will take him long to get used to the routine. He seems very sensible too.

    Pie is an inquisitive horse on the trails, which in my opinion, is a great way to be. He learns about new things every time he's out. What a great experience for him to see all the new sights.

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  3. Sounds like a great ride. What a good horse Pie is - I'm sure Drifter will follow in his hoof-steps! :-)

    The pony mare I had as a kid liked to roll in water too. I thought it was a riot to gallop back and forth through puddles and then let her paw and splash for a break. It was fun until she rolled and I got soaked! lol.

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  4. Good stuff. Our Albuquerque Mounted Police Unit periodically offers their basic despooking clinic. I audited it last year and it was great. Betty and I use a lot of their ideas with our horses.

    Dan

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  5. I love trail competitions--or the thought of them. I think Pie would be wonderful. I hope you do that with him!

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  6. Moving right along. Glad to hear that Drifter is more willing to eat his hay. It takes awhile to adjust, but you are so on it! Of course Pie is still impressing the heck out of us. Enjoy!

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  7. It sounds like you and Pie went to your own sensory clinic on your ride. Great stuff!!

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  8. Oh, the excitement and nervousness of a new herd mate. I love reading aboutbthe drama. I am also so glad to read that Drifter ate hay and made poop. whew! Do you know my Lilly spooks at mailboxes too!! This past Sunday I put a few carrots in the mailbox so when I opened it, she got a treat. Good, treat-providing mailbox! Maybe your clicker training will help.

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  9. It's good to hear that Drifter is settling in and it sounds like Pie has already stepped up as his buddy.That's very cool

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  10. Great that Drifter is settling in, that is a relief always :)
    I'm sure Pie will fill him in and what a nice life he'll have there as a newbie. I love that Pie is happy either way, during your ride. What a gem personality!

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  11. Luvs to Pie! Glad to read that Drifter passed his xrays.

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  12. Kate, Sounds like you and Pie had a great ride! That is so cute about opening the mailbox! Glad Drifter is getting adjusted to things at his new home, and that he and Pie are hitting it off!

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  13. Sounds like all is going well, I think you may find that Pie wont need a lot of training with "obstacles" for trail.He is a smart horse ,anfd more an more as he follows your leadership he will just do it because YOU say it is OK. A lot of desensitising work has far less to do with the item used ands far more to do with the attitude of the handler , you are telling them this is an OK item and they begin to trust that. Hope that makes some sense

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  14. Obstacles are fun. We've never constructed anything strange, but the horses seem to enjoy ground poles and weaving in and out of barrels.

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  15. All in All a Great Day!!! Glad Drifter is calming down and Pie well he continues to be that stead eddy you can enjoy without always waiting for the teleport.

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  16. Happy Drifter finding his way in his new environment. He will be so glad he came to live with you.

    How about that Pie out on the trail? What a great horse! I know you are enjoying your rides in all weather and all water conditions! It is nice to have a horse that enjoys riding too.

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