I'm very bad at keeping up on this. Ugh.
I had a friend come out to the barn with me. First, I took Gracie out to lunge her and that went well. My friend's dog, a little pom/terrier/whatever mix, Bear, was there, and he was doing pretty good at staying away from the horses, but when I was lunging Gracie, he kept coming into my circle to see me and then back out to my friend, then back to me. And let me tell you. Gracie was getting PISSED. She started throwing a huge tantrum; snorting and stomping at him. I had my friend put him in a stall. She took a few pictures of us lunging, although hasn't uploaded them yet, but I'll post as soon as she does.
Oh, we also worked a bit on the tap-for-foot concept, and she did great. Even when she's eating. She won't pick her foot up all the way, but she will pick it up and stomp it back down, lol.
Then I hosed Gracie off because she was pretty sweaty [it was hot!] and let her out. Her and Ricci took off like crack ponies, and little Bear decides to run after them. We were trying to call him back, but really didn't think he'd get close enough to them for the horses to really do anything. We were wrong. =| I think Bear came up on Gracie faster than he thought, and she turned around, gave him her stinky face, and nailed him in the face with her back foot. O_O Bear screams and drops on his front end, spinning around on his shoulder like he was break-dancing. We rush to him and get him into the barn and I start poking and prodding every part of his body, and luckily, the only thing wrong was a cut bottom lip and a sore jaw. I got a syringe and flushed out the inside of his lip to clean it as best we could, and cuddled with him for awhile. It didn't take him long to perk back up, and my friend also got him some infant's Tylenol drops for the pain. He's still a little tender today, but fine. Thank god.
After the Bear drama, [who was now safely tied in the barn] we pulled Ricci out, I taught my friend how to groom. Then I hopped on her bareback for a few minutes to warm her up, [friend had never ridden before] and she was doing okay. A little fiesty when we got to the trot, but I can't say a blame her. We settled for a steady trot that wasn't super fast before I got off. Then we donned her western gear and I got my friend up on her. =] She had a blast. They just walked around, did a few "whoa's" and circles. Then we rode double for a brief trail ride, and it was great fun. My friend is really looking forward to coming out again [on Saturday] and she doesn't seem the least upset about what happened to her poor dog.
Speaking of which, here he is with his fat lip.
Another friend read my FB post about Bear, and asked if she could bring her dog to the barn to play with the ponies and hopefully learn to give them some space. Her horses are all shod and much bigger than Gracie. Also, they don't seem to want to kick out at her dog. So I said, "Sure, why not?" because how else do they learn? Dogs are kinda dumb that way. o_O
So we go out and I put Ricci away and free-lunged Gracie a bit to get her going. Nikki [the dog, an Aussie puppy] got awful excited, nipping a bit at Gracie's heels, and she kicked out a few times but Nikki was way too fast. We are pretty sure Gracie actually made contact three times, but never enough to actually do anything to Nikki. Gracie got her in the mouth, along the back, and in the legs. At one point, Gracie went to stomp down on her and missed her completely, but got a foot on either side of her. Gracie also tried to mow Nikki down a few times but never got close enough. Nikki did learn to give her a bit of space though, instead of getting right up on her heels, she would give her a few feet.
Gracie was pretty tired after all that. We had been doing this for about an hour and a half. I didn't make her go the whole time, we took quite a few breaks so Gracie could get her breath back, but still. It was a lot of work. =]
TODAY, WEDNESDAY, 051910.
I had the MOST FANTASTIC RIDE EVER! I got to the barn and pulled Ricci out first. I was having a hard time emotionally [stupid boy issues] and Ricci was very concerned. She kept turning around to watch me and was being extra cuddly. When I started getting ready to tack her up, the skies were getting dark and the wind was starting to blow, but I didn't think the expected storm was going to show up for a few more hours. So, of course, Ricci gets very antsy. I tied her up [she had been ground-tied] and went to herd Gracie into the other pasture. Gracie was especially resistant to leave Ricci, and Ricci was equally upset that Gracie was leaving. I gathered my stuff, climbed aboard Ricci, and set out to the pasture. As soon as we get out into the pasture, she takes off into this crazy excited trot! I reined her in, got her walking well, and worked on our halts, back-ups, and our lateral moves. She did GREAT. She had lots of energy from the upcoming storm, and we were really able to channel that into something productive. Then it starts POURING down rain and the wind starts howling and dropping small branches and pine cones all over the pasture and us. Do I stop? Of course not! So we picked up the trot and it was the same thing, lots of energy and I did a pretty decent job of getting it channeled properly. She was awful speedy, but pretty steady, and not at all on the forehand [although not entirely on the haunches either] which was great. We settled for some easy trot steps before I called it quits and brought her back into the barn.
I'm just so grateful for my girls! I didn't get a chance to work with Gracie, what with the storm and all, but I just love them! They are so sweet creatures, everything always seems better when I leave the barn. ::sigh:: What a great day. =D