Wow, I loved the play day!
We had a very productive day. I learned some new tricks, like sidepassing in hand smoothly. The lady who brought me, Mrs. Amy, is very good with ground work and gave me a lot of tips. I'm going to devote more time to groundwork from now on. It helps engage their brains and can translate to improved under saddle work.
Also, how do I learn to do off line work? Liberty seems fun. My horse doesn't have the desire to be with me like some of the horses I saw today. I really must look into this...
Baby Girl and I also had 50 first dates with a lot of scary stuff. There was a scary pond I forced her in to. The water was muddy and deep and prime location for water roaches, appearently. (Also, roaches is now the code word for scary things. The instructor said, "Imagine the scariest thing in the world..." "ROACHES.")
She was terrified of a blue tarp (we worked hard and are 90% not afraid now!) and a road marker (which we are now 99.9% not scared of.)
The biggest thing today was keeping her quiet
. I rode bareback so I wouldn't be tempted to do anything wild.
We walked and gaited slowly. We didn't buddy up; we drifted between horses. Sometimes, we went off right by ourselves. On a group trail ride, I made her stand while other horses moved on. When she wouldn't stand, the instuctor told me to move her feet left, right, and sideways. She had a nervous habit of playing with her bit. I can tell if she fired up if she does that. After "getting her thinking" with some lateral movements, she stood quietly and didn't chomp. I'm glad I've found a trick to make her relax.
I think I might ride Spanish Trail alone next week. I really want her to be more independent. I'm certainly not riding with a known buddy of hers (E.G Amber). She is going to be moving to Open and won't be seeing Amber again anyway. Time to grow up.
I'm going to ride her at Mingo tomorrow. Allison and Gizmo are coming along. Mrs Amy may come and bring her lovely horse Thunder. After that, no more riding until Spanish Trail. Breaks are good.