Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Can the saddle be the difference?

This people, is not the nervous Nellie horse I've been working with the past month or so...

Nor, is this the horse my trainer rode on trail just two weeks ago...

Grace has been at the trainers barn four days, other than turnout, she hasn't been messed with or worked. 
She's back to the horse I tried when I bought her!

Water crossing, no biggie...heavily wooded area, open field, between corn fields, la, la, la!  She didn't mind leading, or following behind a much slower horse. 
Trainer suggested we leave our normal route and do one I've yet to ride before just to test Grace. Come upon a water crossing with very steep incline, down she goes, up and out, good as gold. Trainer calls back to me, "yup, this is a trail horse!"  The horse I was riding was less than thrilled with the tougher terrain, Grace was just moving along, no rushing, avoiding, worrying...
We had a few glitches, one being a new post in the middle of the trail, she objected strongly to passing first. We switched places, Lou & I led, she was fine, along the road the first vehicle spooked her, after that none of the vehicles phased her.
She even
 Led the way thru the narrow entry way into & out off the arena. Once back in the arena she relaxed even more and was doing the neck reining she'd been taught in her youth. 
Ok, so barn full of horses is a pretty big change, but it appears that perhaps the biggest difference in today from the past may just be the saddle?  
The saddle I'd tried her in was a normal treed saddle, I've been riding since then in a Sensation Treeless saddle. I've noticed as trainer did that no matter how much the girth was tightened there was slippage. Our last trail ride when Grace was a basket case, the saddle was slipping constantly. We opted to use a treed gaited saddle today. Seriously!  Could that be the issue?
Trainer listed her on this morning, I'm glad she doesn't take good pictures as I'm seriously rethinking selling her. One of her boarders is going to let me borrow her treed gaited saddle to try on her this weekend in the arena. Back to banging my head against walls on what to do!
Input please

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Empty pasture blues...

Grace headed over to trainers yesterday, I feel naked not seeing her out in the pasture. Part of me wants her back right now. Logic sadly intercedes as it just wasn't working out. I so hope she finds the right people and has friends there.
When I took her over, we turned her out in her field, then let her new "frenemies" out. They all made a beeline for her ears back ready to put the new girl in her place. Grace whirled hooves a blazing, as a group the others all pealed off away from her and went about their business. Later I could see her from our barn strolling about with a smaller bay with her. Appears she's got a friend 😀

She hadn't seen me yet.

Hey Mom, if I walk real slow I can come see you...

This little mare appears to be her friend. 

She seems happy!  Though I know the hay isn't to her liking!

Trainer said she'd turned Grace out last this morning, she ran right to "her" herd. I'm cleaning Grace stall, so will get to see her everyday until she's sold. She must have recognized me from a distance as she began gaiting right to me from the pasture.  Another mare, I'm guessing the boss suggested with her ears that Grace stay put. She listened and stopped. Though a little later she managed to head my way, along with I'm guessing the little bay I'd seen her with yesterday. She came over for just a moment, got a drink then back to the gang. Including Grace there are 6 in her field. One gelding who minds his own business, the rest mares, ones a mini. 
I just feel empty. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Banging head...

I feel so back & forth on this Grace thing. She's totally catchable again, but feels very unrideable. During uncatchable week, that's what I concentrated on with minimal in hand work along the food aggression. 
I started tacking her up to longe the yesterday, it's pretty ugly. Ugly enough that I'm sure not getting on her. She suddenly feels she should call the shots on direction,  last night she tested it. Tonight she was demanding it and it didn't matter which direction either, when she wanted to change it, she felt I had to allow it. I'd get her going just fine. She'd suddenly be "no, I'm going this way now!"  I'd of course not allow it, after a few times of this, her demands were accompanied with head shaking advances in my direction, some kicking out, (though not at me) she adding threats to rear as well. We kept at it until she realized her threats weren't going to deter me. Once she began listening without protest, I decided to longe untacked. Two reasons, one being I didn't want to reward her by untacking and just leaving her be, the other to see if it was her tack. 
Started out with Beyoncé from the get go. It was getting dark, but once again I kept at it till she was cooperating. Then, I left her stand tied while I put her tack away, brushed her & let her stand a bit longer.  While Clinton Anderson is not my hero, I brought him into play a lot tonight. I never felt in danger, but she most definitely felt like she wanted to intimidate me. 
And here I was going to get her a pony of her own!  I'll be talking to trainer Wed. at our lesson about putting her up for sale. Yes, I'll waiver, I'm sad, & disappointed  but, I'm just to damn old for this shit! 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Mani pedi...

Wednesday Grace had her second mani pedi day. Grace came gaiting in from her field, standing like a lady, hanging out after to eavesdrop a bit. Her event lines are growing out nicely, new one appearing as expected from her move/diet change coming here. Feet are very nice, I'd already planned to add river Rock around the barn (again) and on must travel over paths. Trimmer brought it up so when we hopefully hit the trails she'll already have been traveling over gravel. 
I do believe last weeks conversation with Grace regarding her wanting to stay worked.  I'd have to say "yes, indeed it did."  Of course it could be the ulcer treatment doing its job, perhaps she was in or coming in season when playing the keep a away game? Most likely the meds doing their job.  Haven't had opportunity to ride, this Granny Nanny with the boys takes so much time and sucks so much energy. No help to Grace on that. I do have energy to spend time, grooming, in hand work, and sometimes just chilling with her daily thankfully. 

Sunset after a day of rain yesterday. 

I do believe Hubs realizes that with the Donkies gone & new neighbors weighing options as to what their livestock options are thru winter, Grace requires a friend. On that note, I've been looking online for a large Mini or small Pony. One that's rideable to lead Lincoln about. We'll be going to a Horse & Pony auction at fairgrounds next weekend. Living quarters for the moment will basically be, the area within the barn used for run in. I'm contemplating asking Hubs to enclose a portion of the barn patio with opening into the barn. We'll see what he thinks and when he'll have time. I've been told Grace stall is large enough for a room mate, but I hesitate to do that.
Sounds like Ms. Grace as widened her window of opportunity 👌🏻

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The food aggression...

I'd mentioned working with Grace food aggression in my last post. It's another thing that "seemed" to come out of nowhere. One that could possibly go with my suspicions of ulcers.
At first, like Camryn, I'd fly mask while she enjoyed breakfast and she "seemed" fine with it. Then she began pinning her ears making "mare face", I chose to respect it as I could understand not being messed with while eating.
Then she began pinning her ears and snaking her head at me as I fed!  While I get after having come to us very thin, food was very important to her. It's not something I find acceptable for any reason.  I began keeping her back and away from her feed with my stick. She now turns her head/shoulder away now until I give her th OK, if she doesn't, it's "outta the barn girl."  Of course I have my stick in hand still. This may or may not be part of the reason she's been leaving the barn as I enter?  Cure one problem, start another kind of thing right!
I informed her yesterday (tears involved) that she had a narrowing window of opportunity to decide what if she wanted to stay.