Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Spud's Growing Up!

Spud has really been stepping up and I've been pushing a bit more with each drive or lunging session. Pushing him into new situations and scenarios - asking questions I haven't asked before and much to my surprise, he's flourished and really developed.

The biggest thing that separates green horses from well-rounded and broke horses is time and consistency. Spud has the mind and ability to be a fantastic, competitive driving mini - he just needs the time committed and devoted to make that happen.

Check out this serious tail - zomg!
Yesterday I put Suzie out onto the grass paddock in the back and haltered up Spud. I've been lunging and driving him, but haven't really had access to something "more". So, I had hauled him into town and took him driving down some of the 4-wheeler trails to incorporate and introduce him to varied terrain such as: mud, water, slopes, sand, rocks, tight turns, etc. I haven't done much in the sense of "cross country" driving, so I feel it's important to introduce him to these things and have him figure out his footing and such.

Throughout the ride, I wanted to incorporate all three gaits and Spud literally trotted along for about 3/4 of the ride. For a little pudgy boy, he sure can trot along like the best of them! He was out of breath and tired at the end of the ride, but was happy to rest for a brief second or so before the Boyfriend's mom wanted to go out for a little jaunt around the street. Spud was pleased to oblige and literally had a tiny amount of sweat on his chest and that was about it.


This ditch didn't leave much room - basically the
width of the cart.

The photos certainly don't look like anything "crazy", but I avoided using my camera for most of the ride since I was concentrating and/or busy watching the ever-changing footing. There were a few times I had to exit the cart and walk Spud through some really questionable water (one had a large log in the mud and I knew for sure the cart would get stuck with my weight in it). He took it all in stride and it was really exhilirating the few times that I asked him to take a certain path and he actually refused to and went his OWN way. Some may say that that is disobedience, but Spud actually chose a much safer AND easier route than I had chosen.


One of the more open, inviting spaces!
A lot of endurance riders find this particular trait to be beneficial when covering questionable ground and it literally made me giggle to see him throw his head up, give me a resounding "NO" and choose his own way. There were a few times I had to help him, especially since he often "forgot" he had a cart behind him and tried to move over too far. Regardless, I was pretty damn impressed that Spud was thinking for himself and making his own decisions! Well done, little pewny!

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Mare from yesterday, wearing her BOT boots.
Not much is new in the world of Suzie, other than I've been using some BOT therapy knee boots on her. I have only used them a few times, so nothing definitive has been noticed. Regardless, she seems quite happy to gobble up the grass and mushy alfalfa I offer.

We've initiated daily grooming into our ritual and I haven't climbed aboard for a ride yet... I'm a bit nervous and almost overly-cautious. I don't want to cause her any undue discomfort, although I know she'd love to wander around the block. I'll get over it, but it'll take time.


12 comments:

  1. So awesome to hear that Spud is taking on a higher degree of intensity and complexity so well! He is so stinkin cute haha

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  2. The area you get to ride in is beautiful! Go Spud!! He's so precious. I've never heard of the therapy boots you have on Suzie. I thought those were for flies at first glance!

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    1. Aw thank you. Our area really is beautiful.

      And yes - I highly recommend you check out the Back on Track line!

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  3. I am SO jealous of your gorgeous landscapes. Spud is awesome, and I bet he loved switching it up and going somewhere new.

    I know having my horse be a "free thinker" on technical terrain is an advantage. The other endurance riders I ride with also have the same mindset.

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    1. Come on up and ride with me :)

      And 100% - you have to have a partnership. I think that you have to put SOME reliance and trust in the horse because they are the one's putting their feet down and they can feel things we can't in the saddle/carriage.

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  4. Glad spud is being so good, hope the BoT helps Suzie

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    1. He's dulled the ache of missing riding my mare<3

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  5. Spud is so adorable. Love that tail. Susie looks good.

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  6. Love that tail, and exciting to see he is figuring it out.

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