She really really does have a giant belly! She was never preg checked, that I know of, so I'm a little bit suspicious... BUT I guess the people who had her only had mares??....
Who knows! I guess we'll see. If it gets any bigger I'll email my friend with the rescue and see what she says. I doubt it's a prego belly because it seems pretty solid but stranger things HAVE happened...
Right, Maggie!? I'm so excited about this. She's already looking a bazillion times better, I can't wait until she's all muscled up too!
Yesterday Lacey, Lady, and I all went on a trail ride.
Lady's starting to figure out that she's a young Arab and therefore LOVES her running so that was "fun" on our ride. She kept trying to leap ahead of Lacey. Thankfully, Lacey would just stop and wait for me to untangle her whenever Lady would involve her in this fiasco.\
By the end she had pretty much stopped. I think part of the problem is that I still had her in the "halter" I was using when she didn't want to come. That thing basically makes the most comfortable spot be right at my leg or in front of it - kinda rewarding Miss Lady for this behavior. It's also not the most effective tool for me to get her back behind my leg. So I think, since she's totally happy to come along now, I'll be putting her in a normal rope halter for these rides from now on.
I also ordered her her own rope halter and her own 10ft lead rope so they should be here next week-ish. The halter+lead rope the rescue sent with her was just a nylon halter and a dinky 6-7ft lead rope, neither of which are great for any sort of training, imo.
Right now she's using some of Lacey's halters which work ok but Lacey's head is so much bigger than Lady's, I really need to tighten up some knots to fit her which I don't want to do to Lacey's nice rope halters (and all her crappy ones are too used to be able to do any tightening, lol!).
Anyway, that was frustrating but we worked through it.
I've figured out that while Lacey is extremely concerned about pleasing me, Lady is more concerned about having a good time and understand what's going on. Lacey will make connections between things because her #1 goal is making me "not mad" but Lady needs everything spelled out because she's not motivated to make connections on her own like Lacey is. Neither one is bad, I'm just used to a horse that'll go above and beyond for no apparent reason. It's just a matter of knowing what I'm working with and adjusting so she can learn the best.
I had previously been functioning on the assumption that she was dumb and/or trying to be overly dominant but I took a step back and realized that she was just confused and that I was trying to treat my second "child" like she's the "firstborn" reborn. So behavior correction, implemented.
They also both got hosed off again after the ride. Lady did SO well with that! I even left her tied up, she was that not worried. She did try kicking when I sprayed her butt/"undercarriage" but I was standing up by her head and I was fine. They weren't aggressive kicks either, they were like "Gross! Yuck! Get this off of me!!" kicks.
Then, today. I had a lesson kid come today so the morning was basically "Lady gets to stand tied while Lacey works" time. I think it's really good patience training for Lady to stand tied that long. She really doesn't like it too much after about the 45 minute mark (paws, neighs, throws her head all over, etc) but she calms down as we continue to ignore her and is fine.
She got sprayed with flyspray and took it like an old pro. Good horse! She also took her flymask like a pro.
Then, this evening, I decided to try some lunging practice with her again, a la Julie Goodnight:
It actually worked SO well with her! She's not necessarily a bolter, like that horse in the video was, but she does think about it sometimes and she certainly gets too close to me (yay flag!) at times.
I tied a grocery sack to my lunge whip as my flag and basically did exactly what Julie did in the video. Lady basically had a meltdown at one point (trotting as fast as she could, not paying attention to anything but OMG!!!-ing) but I just let her trot as long and as hard as she wanted and she brought herself back. She basically forced herself to "join-up" with me.
She's really "great" at lunging to the left but terrible going to the right. Great, as in she makes a large circle and stays out there until I tell her to stop and come in to me, not great as in good transitions or anything. All she really knows on the lunge at this point is "TROT!!!" with her head up in the air like a literal giraffe.
I'm hoping that as she becomes more comfortable, her head will come down and she'll become more flexible in the gaits she's comfortable with. She's still super out of shape so trotting like that is probably the easiest for her at this point.
After she basically tired herself out going to the left, I asked her to walk to the right. I stayed by her hip and walked into it to keep her going. For some reason. On this side, she's MUCH more aware of where I am and how I'm driving her or not. The littlest mess up on my part sends the entire thing basically spiraling out of control.
Anyway, we got a few great walking circles to the right, which I consider to be a great success. I liberally praised her each time I had her stop on that side and by the time we were done, her head was low, one ear was glued on me, and she was licking and chewing.
For the record, I had tried having her go to the right after one good circle to the left but she was really argumentative about that and she wanted to walk over the top of me if I didn't stop. Therefore, since I like living, I made it my idea to work REALLY hard to the left, then we worked on going to the right after the wind was out of her sails.
There was SUCH a change in her attitude after that sesh'!! I couldn't hardly believe it. Usually she has this attitude that stinks of "Look at me, I'm so cool! Aw, yeah, I can handle this!" but after that she was really submissive and very "Ok, what would you like me to do now?". It was really good.
I brushed her down, gave her a treat, and let her go. I figured that after that, there was no point in going further since she had already really come around and since it was such a break through.
I'm not really sure what I want to work on tomorrow. Maybe more lunging...we shall see.
Also, in cool story news, I found a Golden Eagle feather in the girls's pasture! Apparently, according to Native American folklore, whoever finds a GE feather is super blessed so I guess Lacey and I are doing pretty well for ourselves.
I mean, she already has a "bloody shoulder" marking that supposedly means she's "favored by God" according to Arabic folklore...SHE WILL NEVER DIE!!!
I suppose Lady's pretty lucky to be out of her previous situation too! Gah, what will we do? Too darn blessed for our own good.