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Lacey, Fabio and Me: The Neverending Story

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        07-09-2012, 07:21 PM
      #31
    Super Moderator
    More happened yesterday:
    I had a lesson come and since it was so hot, I decided to not have the girl ride and to play games on the ground instead. Her absolute FAVORITE game we pla is one where I have a bag filled with slips of paper that each have a body part written on them, then we figure out where that body part is and duct tape the slip of paper to the horse in that spot. She REALLY wanted to use Lady for that game this time and I figured that it would be good exposure for Lady (the more strange stuff constantly happening, the more she's going to just accept weirdness as a matter of course), so we used Lady. Surprisingly, Lady had exactly zero problems with having slips of paper duct taped ALL over her body. Front legs, back legs, hooves, face, ears, nothing was an issue.
    I was pretty impressed and proud!

    Day 14!

    It's stinking hot again. Today, so far, has been cooler than yesterday but none of us are really used to the heat (this is the first heat wave of the summer) so the ponies are sweating profusely just standing around the field (and I'm sweating profusely standing there with them but you didn't want to know that). Therefore, they didn't really work at all today either.

    This morning I did practice some lunging with Lady and I'm not really 100% sure that she learned much. However, this seems to be how she learns; she makes me think she's learning nothing by behaving like a nutcase, then behaves like a trained champion at life the next time we practice. So I'm hopeful.
    I actually got her trotting on cue at one point which is an improvement! She also "whoa"-d really well when I asked. However, after a couple rounds of trotting, she started getting pretty excited and then bolted off on me. Thankfully she's small enough that her bolts are pretty easily contained so she didn't succeed but it was interesting. I have found that when she starts getting mentally overloaded and about to "check out" she curls her tail over her back - not flagging, just curls it around. So I'm kinda using that as a gauge and the second her tail starts moving weird, I slow down her pace a little.
    She also picked up a canter (un-cued) in this session. It was actually a "buck, buck, buck, canter stride, buck, buck, buck, canter stride, trot" so yknow... lol! Interestingly, that canter didn't get her excited but trotting really seems to.

    A theory I have is that right now she's so out of shape that the process of getting in shape is thrilling to her. From her general demeanor, I'm willing to hypothesize that once she's in shape, she'll be pretty sedate most of the time.

    My goal for tomorrow is to get up really early (7am-ish) and take them out around 8am when it's cooler. I'd really like to work on ponying again but I want to do it when we're all pretty comfortable and not cranky about anything.

    They both got new flymasks today (no pictures ) and they look really cute. Lacey's is Arabian sized and Lady's is yearling sized. Lacey's head is small but Lady's head makes Lacey's head look warmblood sized!
    I also got a new kind of flyspray because the stuff I had been using just wasn't cutting it. It's supposedly "sweat proof" so we'll see. At $25/bottle, it BETTER be sweat proof! :P And this spray has sunscreen in it which'll be good for Lady's pink nose. He nose keeps getting sunburned and I feel bad! I really need to get her some sunscreen lotion but the people store is such a frustrating place. Lol!
    Skyseternalangel likes this.
         
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        07-10-2012, 08:44 PM
      #32
    Super Moderator
    Day 15...

    Oh yeah, yesterday I forgot to mention that Lady's been here for two whole weeks!! Yay!

    Today I had been planning on getting up at 7am but....that didn't happen. Thankfully it stayed about 60*ish until noon and I got up to the horses at around 11am, so it was still nice out.

    Anyway, I started out just ponying Lady off Lacey around the pasture. It seems as though my little coercion halter thing has had some sort of effect or that our last little "fight" about ponying really taught Lady something because today, from the moment I got on Lacey, Lady had her head next to my knee and was giving Lacey and I about 2ft of "bubble".

    I also looped Lady's line through a ring on my saddle and through a carabiner on the other side of my saddle in such a way that if Lady did balk, I wasn't having my arm ripped out trying to get her to come (a problem before, it was either give Lady slack or be pulled out of the saddle - neither of which being ideal when Lady's being bratty) but I could still easily free her if needed.

    I'm using enough line for this that she has about 15ft of play before the carabiner thing adds tension. I hold it so she only has about 5ft of slack most of the time but I have the option of giving her a lot more if it's needed.

    This ride went SO well. I can't even describe to you how great it was. Lady was even very willing to trot along next to Lacey when I'd cue Lacey to trot. Lady DID NOT want to canter when I asked Lacey to canter so she just did the longest trot I have EVER seen. Lacey was like "Um, what are you doing?" and did this nice slow canter/lope so Lady could keep up. It was really funny. I figure that probably the next ride, Lady'll understand that cantering alongside is acceptable.
    It seems like she picked up, somewhere, that she's not supposed to run ever. I guess it makes sense considering that she was living in someone's backyard but it's still weird. She adores running when it's obviously acceptable but she's very careful to make sure it is acceptable before she engages in any fast activities.

    Overall though, it went really well. Lacey was totally focused on "heading up" this trail expedition and Lady was pretty into it by the end.

    We also came across quite a few people on the trail. It seems as though Lady, now that she's comfortable, is completely 100% a social butterfly. She adores everyone of my lesson kids, wants to basically be in the laps of their parents, she's the one that goes up to the gate when strangers are there (Lacey is captain of the Anti-Stranger-Danger campaign, she won't approach ANYONE unless I'm there), and on the trail today, she kept trying to follow the people we saw - "Being ponied? Psh, I'm going with this guy and his DOG!!! "
    Anyway, it's pretty adorable, especially considering that she's only about 13hh so right at super cute, non threatening, "adorable poneh" height. People adore her!


    They also each got a bath today after the ride (it had warmed up to about 75* and they were both sweaty after the ride)!
    It was Lady's first "real" bath and she did SO well. I only sudsed up her neck+belly since I wasn't sure how she was going to like the suds, but she did fantastic. She was nervous to start with but by the end she was "tolerating" it. It wasn't her favorite but she was standing still and letting me spray her so it can only get better with more experience!
    I even put conditioner in her mane - it's SOOOOO soft right now!

    Lacey was great for her bath too. She was really hot after the ride so the cold water felt super good to her. She was also getting itchy again so she really liked having all her itches soothed.

    Then we walked back to their pasture.

    I used spray detangler on Lady's mane and she thought nothing of the spray. She didn't even want to sniff the bottle! Such improvement!
    At flyspray time, she was perfect for that too! Apparently now that "we" have realized that sprays don't hurt, we could care less.

    I also stuck a saddle pad on her back today. She was like "ehhh, cool story bro." and couldn't have cared less. One of these days I'm going to stick my pony saddle on her. She seems like she's really not going to care so that could be cool.

    She's coming along so well! I just really like her.

    And now, I think I'm going to go read in their pasture because...why not!
         
        07-10-2012, 09:17 PM
      #33
    Showing
    Someone's falling in loooooooove
    arrowsaway likes this.
         
        07-11-2012, 02:21 PM
      #34
    Weanling
    I have been wanting to pick up a good book lately, but I'll just stick with this thread.
    I am hooked! Lol
    HollyLolly likes this.
         
        07-11-2012, 02:46 PM
      #35
    Super Moderator
    I think Lacey is really enjoying have a "purpose". I need to think about that for Mac and Zulu; some way to give them a "purpose" when we ride. H m m .....
    Skyseternalangel likes this.
         
        07-11-2012, 04:45 PM
      #36
    Super Moderator
    Hah, Maggie, I am NOT!!! *pouts* #denial

    Arrowsaway! Yes, read this thread! We have drama, we have intrigue, we have lessons learned, it's a tale of love and growth!

    Caroline, I totally, 100%, agree with you.
    I just love seeing her like this - she knows she has a "job" and she's super invested in getting the job done. People say I have an unbelievable work ethic, I say wait until you see my horse!
    She pretty much showed me that this sort of thing is her forte, I didn't believe it at first but she was consistent and now I can tell as soon as she locks in on something. Maybe Mac+Zulu are showing you something too and you've simply missed it up 'til now? :)


    Day 16 -

    So today we didn't do much.
    I had intended to free lunge them but pretty much as soon as I got them into the field I free lunge in, this old man came out of the fancy house that's there and started screaming at me about how my horses don't belong in "his" (not his, at all, btw) field, how the flies bother him when he swims in his pool, how the horse poop stinks (there are exactly zero piles in that field because the mares only poop by the gate), and how he hates how the horses "watch" him while he swims. He then told me that if I didn't get my horses out, he'd make them get out.
    It was all I could do to keep from becoming reallly really mad. That house has only been there for 5 or so years, the pasture has been there for at least the last 20. Hmmm, I wonder who chose where the pool goes. Oh yeah, he did, when he had the house built! Fancy that.
    Anyway, I closed the gate to that field for now and I'm going to talk to the little old people, who own all the fields, to see what they've done before. I'm thinking that he's just the nasty one there because all the other people who live in that house have all been very friendly and kind towards me and the horses.
    This guy would never wave at me when I'd wave at him (even when Lacey was in the other field), he never tries to give the horses extra space on the road when he drives past, and he's just -as a general rule- been rude whenever I've seen him.

    I can see where he's coming from but at the same time, it's not my fault that the horses like watching him, I'm doing everything possible to keep the flies low (and the flies really are VERY low), it's not his field, and seeing as how the poop pile is a couple acres away and downwind (I think...? whichever one means the wind is blowing any smell away from his house) from him - he's not smelling real poop.
    I want to be understanding but the other side of me thinks that if he actually wanted to solve anything, he could have been a whole lot politer about any real issues he's having instead of just blowing up at me.
    If he approached me reasonably, I would have been totally happy to talk to him about whatever issues he's having and what we could do to find a solution. As it is, he didn't want a solution, he just wanted to yell at me.

    Anyway, gah!


    I did lunge Lacey a bit, which she enjoyed, and I groomed them both. I worked on picking up Lady's back legs with a rope and she's doing pretty well with that!
    Lady, once again, acted like the flyspray and flymask were no big deal so yay for that too!

    I also put Lacey's grazing muzzle on her because she's getting obese-r than usual. She was highly displeased but yknow, gotta do what ya gotta do. I'm going to take it off this evening when I go up to take their flymasks off. I'm sure she'll be thrilled!
         
        07-12-2012, 01:15 AM
      #37
    Super Moderator
    So this evening the little old lady property owner calls, chuckling, to tell me that the horses have gotten out and that they're in said property owner's orchard...

    I'm automatically thinking that AOM (Angry Old Man) decided to just set them free so I also spent some time secretly hoping they went in his front yard to poop (they didn't, lol).

    Anyway, I got some rope and carrot pieces and immediately ran up there.
    And what do ya know, as soon as the horses see me, Lady takes off to do some last minute reconnaissance and Lacey comes cantering up to me with this look on her face that seemed to say "I went along with that youngster because I needed to keep her out of trouble, not because I wanted to be out!". Lady was thrilled about being out, she was checking out everybody's yards, their cars, their dogs, she was having a grand time. Lacey, not so much.

    Anyway, I decided that instead of trying to catch Lady, I'd just take Lacey back to the pasture because I knew Lady would follow Lacey.
    Lacey was THRILLED to be going back "home" and Lady came along slowly, checking out everything.

    I got them both in the gate and they each got a few carrot pieces for being easily captured.

    I decided to tie the gate shut because, even though, I'm pretty sure this escape happened because the little old man property owner was fixing the wooden fence by the gate today and he probably didn't latch the gate well enough (I've seen him do that before), if Lady has figured out how to get a gate chain unhooked, I don't want to get affirmation of this skill at sometime when I'm not around. Lacey's lips aren't that dexterous due to her lip melanomas so I know there's no way she could be at fault.
    And, if this was the fault of someone and not an accident, having the gate tied shut should deter any further "fun and games".


    What a drama filled day!! It's after 9pm here, hopefully nothing more occurs.
         
        07-12-2012, 01:22 AM
      #38
    Green Broke
    Haha I wish they had gone and took a dump in AOM yard too! But at least they didnt destroy anything!

    On a side note.....picture updates are greatly expected. Haha
         
        07-12-2012, 01:34 AM
      #39
    Super Moderator
    Oh, you!
    I had been trying to save them for a picture thread but you're really twisting my arm here... I guuuueeeesssssss I'll have to give you a sneak preview...it appears as though I have no other option.

    Lacey is thrilled to see me. As usual. :P



    Lady girl!



    She has the most awkward croup connection... I do not even know. Not a lot of patootie power in this one.
    #1. I think she has the pearl "gene", guyz. She so shineh!
    #2. LOOK AT HOW MUCH WEIGHT SHE'S PUT ON!!! Her belly is still huge though, that thing...hopefully with more muscle it'll tuck back up...

         
        07-12-2012, 01:37 AM
      #40
    Showing
    LOL omg... what funny horses! Glad the AOM didn't come out and give you an earful!
    Wallaby likes this.
         

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