Ah! Realized I haven't updated in a few days! Must do so! sorry guys!
Lady's been being a real poo-face lately. Sky/Maggie and I talked about it and we decided that she might be a little justified in her bad attitude, seeing as how she's coming off 10 years of no rules, no learning, and no expectations. So I'm trying my hardest to be patient with her. I realized that my expectations are still a little high for where she's at.
I mean, it's great to have high expectations but I need to have more accessible short term expectations, you know? I realized today that I have definite long term goals for Lady but my short term goals are less clear. Probably a better idea to have really clear short term goals and, if anything has to be murky, it's the long term goals.
Gotta slow myself down! haha
Anyway, so I'm working on just letting her be and forgetting what we "HAVE TO GET DONE!!" and just focusing on what comes along as it comes along.
Today I took the girls on a really nice long ride. "Really nice" is open to interpretation (both girls were being a bit sassy but they did have Sunday 100% off and yesterday I only worked with them very minimally so there was a lot of pent up "mind energy") but it was all manageable and we ended on a really great note.
Basically (this is hard to describe, so bear with me if you care about descriptions, haha), the girls and I live on top of a very very extinct volcano group. So, there's a whole lot of elevation changes depending on where you are. For instance, the top of their field is about 1500ft above sea level. My house, a 5 minute walk away, is at about 750ft. The trails we ride go from about 350ft above SL, to about 2000ft above SL. It's pretty much the best.
There are "4" trails (4 is in quotes because the one I come down on is only about .25miles long so it's REALLY 3 trails with any significant riding worth) that I can ride on. All connect neighborhoods together and they all connect in a way that's reminiscent on a 4-way stop:
You can kinda see the trail "straight" ahead that goes up to the top of the next extinct volcano in the chain (L+L's pasture is at the top of the other volcano, we come down into a kind of valley on the trails ^^pictured) you can go all the way up it and down the other side - 5+ miles total, then there's the trail to the right in the picture - that one's pretty flat and relatively short (only about a mile, round trip), and then there's a trail off the left which is Lacey's "favorite" - about 3 miles total (getting to the trails+going home adds another 2 miles to the total), very hilly with about a mile long flat stretch at the bottom. And then there's the one Lacey+I are on in that picture, the one to/from home.
ANYWAY, we went on the trail to the right today and the one that goes up+over the second volcano. The one up and over the volcano is super super steep. It's really hard for Lacey to walk up so I usually have her trot up and it's about a mile+ of nearly straight up. It's the one trail that if you walk up, you=dead.
I generally get off and hand walk her down because it's so steep, one misstep would be really hard for her to recover from if I got at all off balance.
Anyway, today we went up and came down. It's my favorite ride. That trail has a real "coniferous rainforest" feel to it. Loooove it!
Lacey was mad at first (she knows that trail=hard work) but she got over it surprisingly easily. Lady was like "WAT???! So much hills! So much drop offs to the side! Does not have understandings!!" but she did well.
I mainly had them walk today, I felt like we were doing tough enough stuff that both girls were gonna be super pooped walking or not so I went easy on them.
I was really impressed with Lacey's attitude about the whole thing. She generally takes some convincing before she agrees to anything - we're both like that, hahaha - and so usually we have to have a little battle before embarking on any kind of epic journey, but not today!! She had a small cow right as she realized where we were going but after that, she calmed right down.
She was so sweaty when we got back to my house so I hosed off Lady (she was a little sweaty, she was more mentally tired than anything) and gave Lacey a bath. She loved it! Usually she just tolerates baths but today she was trying to mutually groom me the whole time - super cute.
Lacey is in really great shape right now. I'm really loving it. Even though I hate having to put the grazing muzzle on her, wearing the grazing muzzle for most of the day and being ridden, by me, 3 days a week is really doing good things for her. She's also worked pretty hard in her Friday lesson=bonus!
She's officially 1064lbs, down from 1190lbs in June. Yaaaay her!
Also, on the "Lacey cutting up her legs constantly on SOMETHING" front, 2 of her bells boots came today (apparently I cleaned out horse.com's supply...lol!) so she wore them during our ride on her fronts (no new overreaching cuts from today!) and I put them on her backs, upside down, before turning her out after the ride. Hopefully they'll help a bit.
She was trotting so great in them, when they were on her back legs - so much hock action!
Annnnyway.....Oh yeah! I put a bridle on Lady today! That was apparently something she has never had contact with before. I left it on her for 30 minutes while I got Lacey all ready to go, pre-ride, and she was still madly chewing the bit when I took it off her. She was flopping her tongue over it, shoving her tongue under it again, the whole deal. She wasn't really panicked about it, just kinda "What the heck??"
I would have left it in her mouth during our ride but the only real snaffle I own is a Fulmer snaffle, which is basically like a full cheek had babies with a loose ring. I didn't want her to stab Lacey accidentally so ehhh. I do have a mullen mouth, that's a half cheek but with less stab-ibility, that I might use on her next time so she can wear it for longer. I used to have a loose ring but I think I left it at camp last summer...or something. Since Lacey can't do broken bits, I never thought I'd need it again! haha
I think that is all....
BUT!! I do have a picture. :)
Terrible quality=from my phone, but it's a picture.
Lady's giving me the stink eye! Silly girl, I FEED YOU.
I love that we're all looking so match-y in this picture. can you guess that my favorite colors are 100% turquoise and purple? Nahhhhhh.
ETA- Also, I figured out ideal ponying strategies today. If I dally Lady's rope through a carabiner on the side of my saddle opposite to her, like I've been doing, and dally it short enough that she has about 5 feet of freedom, she'll stay placed well BETTER if I don't hold the rope vs if I do hold the rope. So, basically, yay for not constantly having to rearrange her! Since she's on the opposite side from where she's dallied, I can easily reach down and grab the rope if I'm needed. Other bonus- the carabiner doesn't hold it tight, just tight enough that there's opposing pressure if she refuses to come along but it'll loosenloosenloosen if there was ever a serious need for that/she pulls hard enough and I don't step in.