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!