Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A big day...

Well, I had set myself a goal, but I was still not making it out often enough to get Red properly started.  So I decided to send him out to the same trainer Evil Poneh was going to.  But she could only take one, and since I want to do the mid May CT ride, I decided to send Red out first. 

And today was Moving Day.

This morning I made up ziplocs of his munchies mix, packed all his tack and ran out to do some shopping.  When we got back it was time to put Sqwid down for his nap, and time to load Red.

Remembering The Great Trailering Wars of 2011, I thought I'd start as soon as Sqwid went down for his nap. And with good luck and dogged perseverence Red would be loaded in time for me to run in, feed Sqwid a quick snack, and then leave by 4:30.

So I haltered Red, put his munchies and hay in the trailer and grabbed the longing whip in anticipation of having to make him work. We walked up to the trailer, he snorted (like he hasn't been tied to it for hours over the last two days). I walked up and tossed two cookies on the floor. His ears snapped forward (I felt the rush of wind) and he snuck up on the cookies and gobbled them before they could escape.

I asked him to step in. I got a "No way, Lady!" So I backed him quickly 10 feet, sent him in a tight circle, then approached the trailer and stepped in. He stepped right up. I stood there confused on what had just happened.

We turned around and stepped out. Then loaded right back in.

My nerve broke at this point and I decided to leave him in there with his food until it's time to leave. lol

So there he sat, all relaxed.

Evil Poneh wass a basket case; hollering and running back and forth. Oh, well, she needs to loose weight. 

She did not settle down the whole time, and was a bit sweaty by the time to leave!  I got Sqwid dressed in his snowsuit and put the poor Berner puppy in the crate.

Please don't make me go in the crate!
And we were off.  Unfortuantely, due to an accident, we had to take a long detour that add 20+ minutes.  But we got there before nightfall, barely.  Here is a picture of Red's nosy neighbours.
 And a quick one of Red exploring his new paddock.

The trainer has promised to keep me emailed with regular updates on his progress.  Yeah!

Friday, February 10, 2012

My New Resolution

I've been doing horrible this year for my training resolutions.  I have two untrained coming four year olds just sittign in my yard.  And while I am sure they are perfectly happy just trotting around, having fun and eating hay, I believe it is my responsibility as their owner to see them trained. Horses are not like dogs, where if something were to happen to you, can still find a home relatively easily.  There is not a very good market for untrained horses, and it greatly increases their chance of going to the knackers!  And the more training and exposure to things, the better home they can likely find.

So I set myself a few goals this year.  General ones, like ground work on Red.  Undersaddle work by March, 2-3 pleasure rides at the endurance rides this ride season. 

But at the rate I'm going, I'll be lucky to be undersaddle by September!  So I have set more exact goals.  With appointments on my e-calendar and reminders that pop up!  Every Wednesday is a ground driving lesson for Red.  Fridays are a short longeing lesson for Red and other stuff to fill in an hour.  Such as carrying a bit while I groom, or hobble training.  Sundays are another ground driving lesson, at least for another week or two, until I feel comfortable to ask someone over to lead us as I sit on his back.

I'll try to keep myself honest by blogging about the training days.  They'll likely be short, and not all will have photos.  So this may get boring for those reading this!  lol


Two weeks ago I ordered some stuff from a tack store closing.  75% off!!!!  And I have anxiously awaiting delivery.  I got my stuff yesterday, only to have 75% on backorder!  So who knows when it will arrive!

In that order, I got bits for both horses.  For Evil Poneh, who has a normal tongue and good arch, I got a simple 5" loose ring snaffle in German silver.  Since she is going to the trainer in 2 1/2 weeks I wanted to do some basic prep work.  I will be beginning hobble training and bitting her.  Just low stress, pop the bit in and brush her, which she loves!  Unfortunately her bit was one of the items on backorder.  So I ended up borrowing a happy-mouth eggbutt snaffle.  Meh.  I attached it to my stupid simple Snap-On bridle last night and resolved to go outside today and put it on!

So as Sqwid went down for his nap, I could delay no longer *shudder*  I bundled up and brought the bridle outside.  I haltered both horses, and tied Red a distance away so he wouldn't chase Narra away from me. 

Then I got a gander at Evil Poneh's bridle path.  I would categorize her as follically well-endowed.  I would have had to let out the cheekepieces a few notches to get over that fro.  Unfortuately the roaching shears I ordered were also on backorder.  So I re-trimmed her roach (it was starting to flop) using the twine scissors.  Hmmmm... not the same effect.

It came time to try the bit.  I put it on my hand, and she gobbled it up like candy.  She was not too impressed that it was not edible.

But other than constantly mouthing it, she didn't care. 

So I slipped it off, then back on quickly.  Gave her a few treats, and took it off and left her alone.

By this time my pinkies had gone numb, and my legs were freezing so I packed it all up and ran inside. 

It's a start.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Found a Trainer!

It has been difficult trying to find a tainer for Evil Poneh. She will be the Sqwid's pony, so I feel she has to have an excellent base on her. I have called, talked to and checked refernces on 6 trainers before finding the young woman I decided on.

And I never would have even heard of her if it wasn't for a friend of mine. She knew a pony the woman had trained, and liked what she saw of her riding. She also knew the young woman from Pony Club (where I HOPE Sqwid will want to go!) I think PC is a great place for kids to learn responsibility and horsmanship.

I was pretty undecided on type of trainer, as I just wanted a good base. The plan is to put 1-2 months on her, just enough to really get her reliable; solid on transitions, whoa and steering. Have her riden, but not too much cantering as she still has growing to do. Then bring her home and keep up on her exposure to new things and places. Then later, when a little more mature and able to better hold up to a more grueling workout, send her back to get the fine tuning and finishing.

I gave a list of all things I want her to be able to do. She said most of these are what she does for all horses, but a few are new to her! I said I would do the hobble training, as I am now an "expert". lol

*excellent whoa (either off voice or seat or legs) gonna be kid's pony
*ground ties (so stops when rope hits ground, gets loose or reins are dropped)
*walk/ trot in hand (so my son can do endurance with me!)
*more responsive, quicker to move off lighter pressure
*ground driving (would eventually like her in harness for winter fun!)
*MUST be forward, HATE plugs
*a good working trot with impulsion
*hobble trained

-willing enough to be ridden in sidepull or hack
-low jumps (to see if likes)
-head down at "eeeasy" command (so kid can halter/ bridle her)
-teach to stand, four square, without moving at "stand" command (got my gelding doing that in just 3 quick sessions) Very useful.
-stops if saddle slips
-clips (because she is a hairy yak late into spring, and for ease of roaching)

Boy, am I glad the search is over! It was hard to find the right trainer. Most of the ones I talked to were not overly fond of ponies, and had no one small to ride them. They would do a lot of ground work, but either could only do a little bit of undersaddle work because they felt they were too big, or would do lots of undersaddle work because they didn;t care if it was too much for Evil Poneh. Bah! And few were really wanting to spend the time to talk to me. They wanted me to drive out to meet them instead of simply talking on the phone (for me to even decide if the drive was worht it!)

This woman came out to meet EP, to decide if she likes her and would work with her and also to talk to me about her training ideas. I liked all that she said. She is smaller than me and so would not stress EP, and can ride more. And she likes ponies! Not many of those around!

So. Narra is off to the trainer's barn on March 1st. I'll be sure to keep you updated!