Saturday, June 12, 2010

Lots Of Updates

This summer has been great so far. We've got two new babies on the farm. The first one is three months old today, and her name is Shelby. Tina is her mom. She was born a grullo but she started looking like a scruffy little bay; today we body clipped her because she wouldn't shed out and she was always too hot and sweaty. She still looked grullo underneath :) I really wish she'd stay that color because I want unique horses!
I was at the barn when Sissy gave birth to the second one. His name is Cody and he's a red roan. He's soft and absolutely beautiful, but he was born with a crooked front leg. Larry is renting a brace to straighten his leg before he gets older, both for aesthetics and to prevent future problems and pain later on down the road.
Both of the little babies are absolutely triflin'. Shelby didn't want me to take her inside one night, so she hauled around and kicked me in the shin. I grabbed her halter and whacked her on the neck, which made her very upset. It was very slippery in the yard that night, so I fought to keep on my feet and hang onto her as she sidestepped frantically across the yard. I won :) A week or so later, she decided that she didn't want to be caught again, so she kicked me in the stomach (lightly, thankfully) and galloped off. I came back over her and she tried to kick me again, so I nailed HER in the hindquarters with my foot. I did that each time she tried to kick me and then caught her. She hasn't kicked anyone since, hahaha. Cody mostly just bites, but he can be difficult when we have to put his brace on. He really doesn't like it.
Stella has been pretty good. I've had some really amazing rides on her so far, but I've also had some really horrible ones. I've been working with her on lead changes. We're at the point where she can do a simple change with only a stride or two of trotting, so I think she's ready to learn a flying change. I'm excited about that.
We've been to one show so far this summer. She was horrible when I took her out to lunge her. A panicky barrel horse came into the ring and she immediately started rearing and tearing around the circle, almost falling a couple times. She ended up pulling back and tearing my hand open, which has almost convinced me to start wearing gloves when I lunge. It's still healing and it was quite a while ago. She worked herself into a heavy sweat before I thought she was ready to go back to the trailer, and then I sponged her off with lots of cold water to cool her off. We did pretty well in the two classes I took her in. In showmanship, I got second. I was really proud of Stella considering I thought our pattern was atrocious. We got third in a go-as-you-please hunter under saddle class. Stella didn't spook or have any mare flares in the class, but I spent the whole ride trying to keep her from leaning on my hands and trying to hold her back. She never actually threatened to break into a canter, but she started to jig a little when we started on the second direction. I decided that my time would be better spent schooling more rather than going into the other classes, so I scratched. I went to the schooling ring and worked for a while. Some little kid came in with her mini and ran across the wooden bridge that was still in the arena from the trail classes. That set Stella off. She did her usual mini-rear, spin, and throwing herself around while I put my faith in my seat and try to refocus her. After that, I rode just long enough to keep Stella from associating her behavior with me dismounting and then put her in a halter to give her a bridges-are-not-scary lesson. She walked over the bridge eventually and I was very proud of her.
Stella has also been remarkably lazy lately, mostly regarding the canter cue. I carried a whip the other day, because I'm honestly just tired of it. She needs to learn to respect the canter cue the first time I ask, as soon as I ask. I just use it as a reinforcement of my leg and she's been responding to light cues while I hold the whip and don't apply it, but I think she needs more time with the whip before I can abandon it completely.
I've jumped Stella some already this summer. She's been very good about it. I'm only allowing her to trot fences because she's still really excitable when we jump. We've also done more than just crossrails! She jumped a gate that was about two feet one night, and we've jumped vertical rails that are probably a little over that. She's refused a couple of times, mostly at the gate because she'd never seen one before (even as we rode on the flat past it, she snorted at it to ask what it was), but she's been pretty good about stuff. She's tried so hard :)
I've also jumped Abby some, and I took her to the beach. We went swimming and ran on the beach together. She also decided to jump off of the dock, but I think she got saltwater in her eyes and didn't want to swim much after that. She kept wanting to swim really far out, so I had to go get her and bring her closer to shore. I didn't want her to get tired and need me to rescue her somewhere that I wouldn't be too willing to swim myself :D I picked her up out of the water a few times and she was still paddling with her feet! It was too cute. She also liked playing with clumps of dried seaweed that had washed up on the beach. When we both got tired of running and swimming, Abby sat down where the waves hit the shore and I laid down beside her. It was amazing to feel the waves washing over my legs and back with Abby at my side.
Elizabeth, my sister, and I went out to the pond about a week ago and we all went on the boat. I sat in the middle and rowed while Natalie and Elizabeth sat on either end. We went out to the side of the pond where there's a lot of seaweedy stuff growing in the water. Natalie and Elizabeth started dragging it out of the water and throwing it at each other. Aaaaaaand, of course, since I was sitting in the middle, I was covered in seaweed at the end of their game. It was lots of fun though :)
I want to write more, but what I want to write doesn't really belong in this post. I'll probably make at least one more. It's good to be back.

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