It has been such a very long time since I have been so immersed into riding and making it the forefront of my life - literally 75% of my weekend was horse-related and I certainly will not complain!
Saturday, a riding friend who just returned back to the area wanted to go for a hack around the neighborhood so myself and another riding buddy joined her. The biggest thing with Annie right now is that any time I'm doing anything with her, I am training. With Suzie, a lot of it is going through the motions that she already knows, but with Annie, a lot of things are new to her.
|Awkward baby pony is awkward.|
Also, tying doubles as desensitization with all the
ice, hoses, and tarps. #cityhorsemeetscountryliving
I had a few goals in mind though:
- Ride out solo from the barn with no protest (on our first solo ride out into the neighborhood, she had refused to move and gave me a bit of attitude before she would move off quietly. She has not repeated it since, but it is something to be aware of regardless)
- Have Annie walk up quietly and calmly (whenever Suzie sees another horse off in the distance she will either squeal, spook, or chaaaarge down to them. And sometimes, just sometimes, she will walk quietly).
- Be the leader horse and be a follower - very important, esp when this transitions to trail riding where she may HAVE to lead or follow depending on the width of the trail.
- Ride home alone. All of us gals live in different parts of the subdivision, so when we say goodbye, we usually branch off and head our own way home. It is important for Annie to not be herd-bound in the least.
I was prepared to make things easy for her if we ran into any trouble and didn't put too much pressure on the goals - I just wanted to test them out to see where her brain was at and how she felt.
I needn't be worried.
|AJ thinks he's a ladies man. Annie thinks |
he's a creep.
Annie was a bit peppy in her step, as R's mare hasn't been out in the last two months so she was raring to go and spooking at a lot of things which made Annie a little insecure. It was a bit hilarious that Annie had to lead R and her mare past things and act as "lead horse" right away, especially since Nixie is almost three times Annie's age.
We met up with N and her gelding AJ from there and Annie seemed quite pleased to see a familiar face. The rest of the ride was pretty non-eventful aside from a moment where all the horses spooked at a dog behind a fence. We stayed at a walk for the entire ride, due to the ice that was still on the streets and when it came time to part ways, R asked if I wanted her to walk me the rest of the way home. I politely declined and stated I wanted to see Annie's reaction first and much to my delight, she just plugged on home and gave a few uncertain ear twitches to let me know she was a bit nervous.
So all in all, another successful outing that I am sure is already molding her into the respectable equine citizen I want her to be.
|We're the three best friends that anyone could have.|
We are continuing to work on in-hand things, and have seen great strides there already:
- She picks up her feet quietly and has not threatened to kick out since the day she had that CTJ meeting.
- She is less and less anxious being tied and won't dance around as much as she used to.
- She is starting to eat grain whilst tied (she was too anxious to do this before).
- She has started to cock a leg whilst being tied.
- She is accepting of verbal cues and pressure in the paddocks without a halter or bridle on.
- She is accepting of bridling at home - she hasn't fought me at all the last two times I bridled her and I can also bridle her without having the halter still clipped around her neck.
- Ripping up Spud's blanket. GRRRR!!11!
The herd as a whole is doing quite well - Spud hates Annie with a burning passion, although I am not certain if it is more amplified when I am present or not. They seem to eat together quietly when I get to the barn, but when I am out doing chores (and can be seen/heard) he will snake his little teefers out at her or make ugly faces when she walks by. She doesn't seem to feed into his drama-llama tendencies and will just continue on her path regardless of his facial expression (which actually just pisses him off more).
And Suzie doesn't mind Annie, which is super weird. She will let Annie nibble her mane and withers, which is actually super adorable. I think Spud mostly hates Annie because Suzie accepts her and Suzie is his biotch. I can't say I blame him though.