So I've decided to make a little journal on here of Kaja's training. If you are reading this and do not know about Kaja, here is the first thread I made about her: http://www.horseforum.com/horse-pict...-fjord-141827/
So I have now owned Kaja for 3 weeks. On Tuesday, the vet came up for her and Java (roommate's QH weanling) to get their mouths looked at. Both had gotten hay with foxtails in them and developed awful ulcers in their mouths. We (roommate and I ) didn't even notice until we saw blood all over their lips. But those are cleaned out and in the process of healing. I also learned from the vet appointment that my little filly I thought was about a yearling is actually 2.5 years old.
Kaja has already gained a noticeable amount of weight in such a short amount of time. I am pleased. Oh! And I measured her as best as I could today with my little measuring tape. She's 12.3hh according to it. I'm hoping she grows some more and fills out a lot more with proper hay.
In the last 3 weeks, we have also worked on leading enough that we can walk with little issue to the main barn. Java and Kaja are being kept in a smaller barn that was once used for sheep. Java is very testing of fences and the one paddock they could go in is currently being used by boarder horses and she can also wiggle her way out of it. If Java does not actually go back to my roommate's family's house over Thanksgiving, we'll have to figure something out..
Today, we worked on desensitizing. She's rather jumpy if she gets patted without seeing you first. I imagine this will pass soon enough when she gets used to being around more people and me in general. But first I rubbed her all over with my short-stringed lunge whip. She was very unsure about it at first, but after a few minutes, it wasn't so scary.
Then there was some big pieces of plastic from new cavaletti block things I unwrapped, so waved those all over until she calmed down and let me rub her with it. That didn't take long to not be scary either.
Then we lead around the area for a while and worked a little bit on yielding forequarters and hindquarters in small circles before going to get the really long stringed whip. I waved that all over and slapped it on the ground. All I received from that was a "..really?" look. I figured that was a good note to end on and gave her the uniprim for her mouth and she got to go back outside.
Sidenote: Abby, my 9 year old APHA mare, is also learning new things..like how to build back and butt muscles. :D Tonight was our first day of cavaletti. I did groundpoles a few times undersaddle with her, but she cruised right over those without any effort. I remembered a boarder just bought those cavaletti block things and decided to try it out. I was expecting protest, but she seemed to actually enjoy having something to think about while lunging rather than just going in circles.
I did set one pole up higher to make a like foot and a half jump just to see the fail because I know she's not a jumper. My horse was not meant to jump. Just no. She got maybe 2 good ones in otherwise it was just hilarious to watch. Maybe when she actually develops some muscle she might pull it off but not now. :lol:
Subbing! Looking forward to hearing about your progress.
Today went well. Kaja stood still and didn't try to avoid being caught. Then she walked through the gate of the their little pen without issue. Usually she refuses to walk through it due to being slightly herdbound to her little friend Java. She isn't bad about it, just hesitation when Java starts screaming as soon as she leaves.
We have also gotten much better about going through the full sized gates also. I'm guessing she just wasn't used to them and the sound of the chains banging around were loud. No problem now.
After some grooming, we went into the arena. I put down some ground poles that I would later use for cavaletti with Abby and we walked over those. Then I got the little bridge thing we have and attempted to get her over that. I'm assuming she also just didn't like the sound of that. She would just walk up to and not lift her legs to get on it, then smack her hoof on it. At one point, she just jumped over the corner. o.O
Today was also the last day of getting uniprim for her mouth. The ulcers appear to be healing nicely and she had gained a noticeable amount of weight in the time that I've had her. Woo!
The farrier is also coming on the 30th, to the dismay of my bank account. But she's bee really good about her feet the last few days, so I hope she's good for the farrier.
Today we hung out in the arena while other people were riding around. Just walked around and stood quietly. She only spooked at a couple of things and it was only a little fright, no jumping or bolting. She sniffed a couple of QHs that are much bigger than her 12.3 self. Haha.
THIS. THREAD. IS. USELESS. WITHOUT. PICTURES.
But seriously, yay for progress! Since she is so much older, are you gonna work your way through desensitizing and then move onto saddle work? Do you have an age you want to wait until, "I won't start her before X years," kinda thing?
Just curious. It's gotta be kinda excited that you don't *have* to wait years and years to start her under saddle. Just as long as it takes to get her foundation sturdy. =]
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Since she's so small, I'm going to let her fill out and hopefully grow some for a while and if I'm not busy next summer, I'll start her then when she turns 3ish. We'll spend the winter working on groundwork.
I would have been fine with her only being a yearling. I have (had?) plans for Abby, but I'm broke and those are still "well, I'd really like to.." kind of things.
Well, on the plus side, you are finding out more about her. You won't have as long to wait to ride her if that is your ultimate goal,& she is responding to your care & attention. All positives, right? Good luck w/her.
Miss Kaja was a little prick today. She got 4 days to do nothing with her life and me not bothering her. I assume that plus the snow outside made her a bit fresh. She wanted nothing to do with being tied up and groomed. Cleaning her feet was awful; she pulled a back foot away and snapped my elbow back. ouch. I went into the arena and made a pathetic attempt to see if she would sort of lunge to blow off steam. She'll lead past me, but gives zero cares about the whip so she just stood there and didn't know what was expected of her.
We stood there for a while, then went back to be tied. She calmed down after that and was better.
I also brushed through her nasty, smelly tail. It should be washed, but I don't feel like it, so I brushed through the near-dreads she had going on. It looks much nicer now.
ETA: Oh! Forgot! One boarder brought some family or friends to ride her gelding around. There were two kids, one was a little girl who was maybe 10. She leaves the arena and goes, "*GAAAAAASP!* Those are my favorite!!" I asked if she meant Fjords because I was surprised a little girl knew about them and said she could pet her. She was so excited. Her mom asked if Kaja was a Shetland because she didn't hear me and the girl says, "No! She's a Fjord!!" :lol:
Forgot to update fro Friday!
Miss Kaja got her feet trimmed for what may have been the first time. She was a little bit stubborn at first, but was nice about it. I also have a patient farrier who will stand and pet them until they calm down and breathe before he continues. But it didn't take long. She's touchier about her front feet being picked up than her back feet.
Today she got her mane chopped. I'll post a crappy cell phone picture (I'm a bit behind on cell phones and am still rocking a flip keyboard phone with a terrible camera) after this post, but will bring my camera tomorrow. Tuesday she is getting her teeth done so I hope to take the clippers after the rest of her mane to get a nice even cut to it. I have to try banding it to encourage it to stay straight up. People might think she's a Fjord then.. sigh.
After a mane chopping, we went back to what we've been working on for a few days: leading past me and continuing to walk around me in a circle. Very basic lunge work. Only problem? She does not have the slightest care in the world for the whip. It took a couple of days to get her to even move. She has realized that I'm more stubborn that her to the point of being annoying. I got her to walk away from me by continually tapping her butt until she moved. Today she did it right away without having to be touched just the whip behind her butt and driving her that way.
Our issue now is to get her to not stop by the door. Abby still does this at age 9 and broke, but she knows better and gets away from it quickly. She also only does it while free lunging and hasn't done it on a lunge line in ages. It took Kaja a while of jumping and pulling me before she realized she wasn't going to get away with it. She's VERY bright when it comes to "Okay..I suppose it's easier if I just do what the human wants."
She trotted most of a circle, but would try to stop or pull out towards the door. It took a bit, but we ended on a good note when she finally went both directions at a walk without pulling or stopping when her eye met the door.
I should clarify that we went to the far end of the arena to see if that would help her door problem. Not very much. I just got pulled forward a lot more. We're getting it though!
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