Okay, so yesterday, Dad and I went to go through the cattle. He asked if he could ride one of the colts (he misses it terribly) and I couldn't refuse him. So I got on the bay mare and he rode the gray. We spent most of the day loping through the pastures and counting cattle. That is the very best place for a young horse because there are windmills and trees and pretty rough country and creeks to cross. We spent quite a bit of time apart going through separate pastures to save time but Dad said the gray mare did really well. She is a little sluggish with her mouth but that is getting better every ride. Bay and I had our very first knock-down, drag-out fight over crossing the creek. She didn't want to go and unfortunately one of her tricks is to just run backward whenever she sees something that she is scared of or when she gets mad and doesn't want to go somewhere. That is a horrible byproduct of the 30 days "professional" training she had before she came to me. So anyway, the side of the creek that I was trying to cross was pretty rough. It had really deep cow trails and trees. I fought with her there for about 20 minutes but after the second time she tried to flip over on top of me because she would go to running backward and get tangled in a cow trail, I decided that there was a better place for that fight. I whopped her ass for about a half a mile down around the end of the creek and back up the other side to a place that was nice and wide and flat leading down to the water and there, we had about an hours worth of a 'meeting of the minds'. She got mad and we both got hot and very tired but she did eventually cross the water. It was the most amazing thing, I could see and feel the instant that she decided to quit fighting. She dropped her head and eased right up to the edge of the water with minimal urging from me. Even though she did half lunge across the creek, she did
cross and did
get her feet wet. I counted the cattle that I was trying to get to and then came back across. She half lunged across again but didn't offer to refuse so I'm making headway there.
Whew, today was kindof a hard day. It is really hot and unseasonably muggy so the horses got worked but not terribly hard. The bay mare's attitude after yesterday is so much better. She is more willing and doesn't get that mareish "I don't wanna" look when I ask for something. Loped some circles on her and she is picking up neck reining pretty quick. Got on the gray mare and worked circles on her today. I went easy at the start because after the long day yesterday, she was pretty sore. After she warmed up and loosened up, I just kicked her up into a lope and did some circles. Her lope is a lot better after yesterday, still not good, but at least bearable now that she has flattened out some. As I was cooling her out, I put her to one of my tests and she passed with flying colors. The cemetery test. There is a pretty good sized cemetery just down the road from the barn and that is an excellent place to desensitize green horses. There is big headstones, flags, flowers, horse-eating trees, reflective surfaces that sometimes make suns appear right beside us, etc. I walked her around on the road and she never batted an eyelash. The only thing that she even looked at funny was the half covered culvert under one of the drives but even then, she just kinda cocked an ear and kept going. She is a very sensible horse and doesn't see the boogeyman in ridiculous places like a young horse will. All in all, a pretty darn good day (tiring though. Loping old gray will put knots in your back LOL).
Now just a few pix from today.
Edited to add: See Stacie, I told you she would get over all that extra tack flopping around on her.