Thursday, May 31, 2012

Rosemary Driving Training Part 4 and Birthday

I was way too tired to post about Rosemary yesterday, so today you get a double feature :)

We were not sure how Rosemary would be while working since she was "IN SEASON." And yes I mean that in cap's. Our little Lolita schmoozes up to anything male, even Comrade who she normally hates.
She was a bit opinionated while the trainer ground drove her and she decided to just hook her up and see what she would do. Once hooked they walked her around the arena for a few laps before the trainer got in the cart. Rosemary was wiggly, but surprisingly cooperative. She is wiggly under saddle so, kind of expected between the shafts. Then the trainer took the plunge and asked her to trot. At first Rosemary knew she was asking for something, but was not sure what. She did eventually trot, tentatively. Unfortunately the arena is a bit small for a green horse to make the turns at a trot. The trainer felt that Rosemary was very happy doing the work and not worried at all. Some horses are just meant to drive. Of course Rosemary is happy doing work, period.
She did so well the trainer ended the session early. Next week we will travel to the trainers home and use her big arena. We had to laugh when the trainer asked if Rosemary worked well away from home. I told her that Peggy's home was away for Rosemary. I can't wait to see how she moves in a larger space.
After we put the driving equipment away, Mom said I should tack her up and take her on trail since she did not work that hard. So we adjusted Comrades tack to her and headed out. With weather, work and driving training she has not been ridden in about a month.
I got on and she walked off. Her walk was amazing. For a 14h girl, she covers ground. Then we moved up to trot. Her trot is still a bit flat, but it is open. When she learns to push, it will have more loft. At one point it felt like she would canter, which is still a work in progress, and I asked for the transition. I got about a stride of canter and then she rounded and went straight up in  the air. It felt exactly how it looks when I see her do it in the field. I think it was an expression of joy rather than disobedience. Anyway we did a bit more trotting and moved onto the trail.
What a difference from Comrade, Rosemary was like "what trot on this uneven ground?" She got better the more we did. Then I had her go over a log at a walk. She easily walked over it. We tried another little pile of logs. She did not feel they were worth much effort. I asked her to trot over them and she trotted then walked over. By the end she did trot over a couple of the jumps in stride. Considering it was her first time going over anything raised I was happy.
We took a tired, but satisfied pony home that night.
Now the second part of this feature, Rosemary turned 5 today. The birthday girl enjoyed her breakfast and a snooze in the barn. She has matured so much since we got her as a 3yr old. Motherhood and a job have a way of doing that :) When we made the long drive from Virginia to Indiana, I had no idea what we would find. I was a little heartbroken when she would not even let us approach her, but over the next few hours she started to grow on me. Once she was home she fit right in with our herd like she was meant to be there. Now nearly two years later, she has a huge personality and lights up our barn.
I am so glad that we took that leap of faith and purchased that young, green, barely broke, pregnant mare.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Little Down

All weekend I just focused on getting barn and field work done. So today going back to work, I saw the date. Just like that I got a bit teary. Even after 3 years this day hits me hard. I lost Barry early May 29,2009 to lightning. If you read my Intro to my Headliner Part 2, you already know how much he meant to me. I think part of why it is so hard is that I was not there when he passed. After 13 yrs of very close bonding in competition and every day care, it was like losing my best friend.
On the bright side, I at least have 13yrs of memories. Plus I have to say reading some of the other blogs makes me feel better. Reading about Jen and Connor, from conquering cross country jumps and building a lasting relationship, makes me glad that I can say "I have been there, had that and it was worth all the work to get there."
I will always miss Barry, but I still have great horses in my barn. I joke with Mom that Rosemary bears Barry's sign of approval. She is all black except for her star, two socks and a snip on a coronet. She also has a spattering of grey hair along her left flank, which I think is Barry's touch of grey.
We all enter the world of horses knowing they will not always be there, but if you make the most of the time you have, the memories and lessons learned will last a lifetime. Give your ponies a hug and enjoy the summer day.
Barry June 19,1982- May 29, 2009

Good things come in small packages

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Comrade Update

If you read my post telling about the Spring Fling last weekend then you will remember that Comrade was off at the show. After he gave me all he had in the class, he was visibly lame.
Except for a few pony rides, for kids and elderly city ladies, he had the week off. On Saturday, I came with just the thought of putting him through his paces to see where he was at. We tacked up and walked to the arena. As we walked down the small hill, I noticed he was short on the left hind. I put that information in my head to keep in mind as I rode. Walking, he felt good. But into trot was a different situation. Going to the left, I could hear him dragging the left hind. Sure enough in the sand, I could see where he stepped and then dragged. Only one set of drag marks though. Going to the right, he moved much better. He softened in his neck and moved on. This pony is so great.
Now for the really big test: Canter. At the show I could not get a Left lead that did not immediately turn into bucking and stopping. Right lead was not much better. So I set him up going to the left, and asked. He gave me left lead canter, no bucking. It was flat and probably close to 4 beating, but so much more than he gave me at the show. After a long side, I brought him back to trot and changed direction. Again I set him up and asked. Right lead is normally his bad lead, but this direction he gave me a true canter with some lift. Since it was warm, I finished there. His walk while cooling out was a bit looser and he did stretch down. Something good coming out of this lameness.
Now the question is this a lameness that needs rest or light work. Since we believe the lameness stems from being kicked in the butt muscles, I went with the thought of working the muscles to keep them from getting too tense. So today, I tacked up and hopped on. I did a lot of walk warm up. Focusing on moving the shoulders and haunches to loosen up his individual parts. He did some really good corners. Then I moved onto the trot. He wanted to putz around, but I would not let him. I could still hear the drag, but when I saw the marks they were about half the length from yesterday. No cantering today. I just wanted him moving. He had improved, but he was still sore. I asked Peggy to give him some Bute. Maybe if we manage the pain and keep him in light work he will feel better soon.
At least I did not sign up for the Dressage show I was going to take him to, since that was today.
I will have to see how the day goes tomorrow, whether or not I will work him. Keep your fingers crossed that he gets better.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Size Bias

Okay, we have all seen the ads out there that specify the person  needs a horse 16h or taller. What kills me is that there are a lot of shorter horses that can carry a taller/larger person. I think people forget that like humans, horses come in different widths too.
At 5'2" I personally do not have an issue, but I have run into people through the years. Just the other day as we were unloading the trailer from the show, my mom's phone rang. A college girl who lives near our barn and knows the old farm manager was interested in riding some of our horses. I listened to mom's side with half an ear as she listed the horses we have. When she told her about DaVinci, the girl immediately dismissed him as a ride because he is 14.1h and she is nearly 6ft. Well, with that thought the only horse of ours she can ride is Dottie.
I just shook my head. DaVinci's previous owner was not a short girl and she competed him into 2nd level. He has a vast pool of knowledge that this girl's size bias is going to make her miss out on.
DaVinci and his previous owner

Boy is he white, he has not been this clean since he came to us :)

Sometimes it seems as if your feet are below the belly, your too tall for the horse. It is so limiting.

Now back to what I said about width. Barry, 13.3h and Sherman 15.2 were both short height wise, but they both were broad. Barry wore the widest saddle in the barn as he was broad across the withers. Barry was able to carry my Dad who is 5'8" on 10 and 20mi trail rides with no problems. He also went into a jump class with a girl who was probably 5'9".
Sherman was the same way, he could carry a taller person. Mom laughed one day when her student told her that someone saw a picture of the student riding Sherman and said that was the size horse she needed, not the horse she was looking at. What was funny? The horse she was looking at was taller than Sherman, but Sherman's width filled her leg better than the other horse giving a better appearance.
It works the other way too. I used to ride a 17h Thoroughbred and had no problems, but he was narrow and my leg length went further.
Size bias is everywhere and I know it won't be fixed. The way judges place and even how USEF sets up classes supports the bias. Showing Barry and Sherman, our instructor told us that with their short legs they would have to work harder in the dressage ring to show the lateral and lengthening. A horse with longer legs does not have to work as hard to get the visual impression across.
I was really disappointed when I reviewed that class list for the Welsh show. If I want to jump Comrade who is nearly 14.2, I would have to jump 2'6" or go into the Low Hunter classes which are not always offered. What the heck does the size of a horse have to do with how high they jump? So in that way if a person is ready to jump 2'6" and they ride a pony not the right size, time to go taller.
I think some of the size bias thinking is why I went into eventing. Ponies compete against horses, amateurs against professionals. Sure dressage is subjective, but the rest is a level field. Talent, ability and fitness figure in more than size it seems. I loved when Karen O'Connor evented Theodore O'Connor and that she was open minded enough to ride a "pony" at that level of competition. Plus if William Fox-Pitt waited for a horse that "fit" him, I do not think he would ever ride.

Now do not think that I want everyone riding ponies or small horses. I just wish they did not exclude them because of height. No one would look sideways if someone my size rode a 12h pony, so why then should someone look sideways when a taller person rides a 14-15h horse. Take into account bone density and width in addition to height. Okay stepping off my soap box now.

PS The college girl did come and ride Dottie the other day. It was a little weird to see someone ride her that matched her size, but they seem to get along. Maybe this will be the summer Dottie gets into shape :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Spring Fling Professional Pic's

Okay the Professionals pictures finally posted. They are scattered since there was two photographers.
Breed Classes Sat 19th

In this album, the horses are on pages 1-7, 13 (last pic), 14-18, 21-23, 29 (1st pic), 82-85, 89-91, 93, 100-101
Addie is the chestnut cob wearing a bridle w/me wearing the blue/green shirt. There are some really good shots of Rosemary.

Ridden Classes Sat 19th

In this album, Comrade and I are on pages 1-5. This was the Ridden Welsh class. And yes we are not wearing a saddle pad, so to be traditional.


PS looks like Rosemary's driving training will be rained out tomorrow. So disappointing.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Spring Fling Show Recap

Well where to start.
Let's start on Friday and getting the ponies ready. Roscoe and Comrade's breeder arrived from Indiana early Friday morning. So Mom and I got our trailer loaded, then headed to Peggy's to work on those guys first. We get there and find her barn being worked on.
I was able to wiggle Comrade out of the barn and get a ride done. He was really up and aware of the workers, but I figured it was good show prep. We practiced our pattern while his breeder and Mom watched. Talk about pressure. Comrade will sometimes pop a buck when I ask for the right lead canter. Friday he would canter, then do an in stride buck, then cross canter. This was not usual. There was nothing obviously lame about him, but I knew he was sore somewhere. We did find some kick marks on his butt and Addie had a cut across a hock, so they probably got into it at some point. Lovely.
Onward to the grooming, clipping and bathing while the workmen are using an air powered nail gun and an air compressor. The guys were good about letting us know when they were going to nail and both the Cobs handled the noise fine. Once they were done we headed to our barn to tackle the other two.
Since the breeder would be the main person handling the horses in the show, she decided to work with Roscoe to establish herself with him. OH BOY did the feathers fly. What ever her body language said to Roscoe, he answered with every test possible. Mom and I left her to it and went to wash Rosemary.
Roscoe was still going when we finished, so the breeder decided to "round pen" him in our little field.

After a determined session, we had a very tired baby that still needed a bath. Sometimes it is hard growing up. At least he is still small and it did not take long to bathe him. We turned out the horses and headed home planning to be back by 430am.
Show day dawned much too soon. Mom and I gathered our two in the dark and loaded them up. We got to our meeting place before Peggy, so we got breakfast for everyone. When they came, we made the last leg of the journey.
View of the breed show ring
Roscoe's class was first, immediately followed by Addie and Rosemary. Roscoe behaved the best ever. Now I will say that this was the only class I was not handling a horse, so these are a few of the pictures I was able to take.

Look Roscoe is STANDING

After this it got crazy, changing the breeders numbers as she changed horses. Mom and I putting on numbers and taking horses. We managed it but it was tough having four horses and only four people. Rosemary was amazing. The breeder said that when they entered the arena, she felt Rosemary pick herself up. She was now a "Show Diva." Addie was wonderful. She trotted out great. Her "Addi-tude" came out out when we had to stand for a long time. So here are the results of the Cob classes:
Starting from the left
Rosemary was Grand Champion C/D Cob under Judge Bullard, Champion Cob senior mare under the same judge, First place in 5 and over Yeld (not being bred) Mare under Judge Bullard and 3rd place under Judge Fox. (These are in reverse order earned)
Addie was Reserve Grand Champion C/D Cob under Judge Fox, Reserve Champion Cob senior mare under Judge Fox, 2nd place in 5 and over Yeld mare under Judge Fox and 3rd place under Judge Bullard.
Roscoe was the only C/D Colt so he was automatically Champion and 1st under both Judges.
Comrade was Champion C/D Cob gelding under Judge Bullard, 1st place C/D 5 and over Cob gelding under Judge Bullard and 3rd under Judge Fox.

We had a long wait until the last couple classes. We tied the girls to our trailer and Comrade to Peggy's. Roscoe got to roam inside Peggy's stock trailer. They were all great about standing for so long.
None of our ponies placed at the highest level, but they were great. Roscoe decided at one point that he did not want to stay with Mom at a place where Rosemary could see him while in the ring and broke away. Luckily he just ran over to Peggy and Comrade. Mom was not happy though.
Next up C/D Ridden Cob for me and Comrade.
I am always very nervous at shows. All day I used the Rescue Remedy and was really feeling pretty settled by time I hopped on.
Comrade decided he was not going to listen to me and call to the horses. I decided to keep him moving and wear him down. I tried to canter, but I got buck buck, stop. Circles, shoulder ins, transitions, I tried it all. The breeder really wanted me to fix him, but I knew I could not. I really hated to disappoint her. That combined with frustration and tiredness put me in tears.
There was no way I was pulling out. Even if we did not canter and gallop he could still trot. Once the class was ready, I took and breathe and decided I would ride what he gave me. Before the pattern they asked for some gaits on the rail as a group. Surprisingly Comrade did pick up the Right lead for about a quarter of the ring before bucking and stopping. Left lead was not happening though. At that point I knew he was off. Left lead is his good lead, Right his bad. I have ridden him for almost 3yrs now and I know he does not handle pain well. Something was wrong.
The show must go on, so off we went for our pattern. Walk to the end, trot the short end, extended trot across the diagonal. He gave me the best extended trot ever, especially for him. He prefers collection to lengthening. Then Right lead canter... or canter buck buck stop. Then extended trot across the diagonal... not quite since he was visibly lame now. Then left lead canter... nope. then gallop down the long side... okay we tried more extended trot. Trot, walk halt at the end of the long end, this we could do. Whew, that was over.
Now we had to take off the saddle for the conformation part. The breeder and Mom came to help me. Mom told me he was off. I decided that if he trotted for me we would trot, but I would not force him. The judge commented that Comrade was not impressed with canter. I told him that he was off today. Then we walked straight and trotted. I have to say he trotted lame, but great. NO DRAGGING needed. So many of the geldings looked liked they were being dragged and I told Comrade he would not be that way. Finally the class was done. Here are a few shots mom was able to take.

She could not really see the screen due to the sun

Is he cute or what?
Mom put the class in perspective for me as we walked back to the trailer. She said Comrade normally gives up when things get hard and he did not this time. He gave me that extended trot and he did TRY to canter. Plus as we were halted waiting for our turn he stretched down. He gave me everything he could. She can be a pain at times, but I needed that break down of the ride.

Overall all our ponies were super stars. It was really great to see them strutting their stuff. Now I have to wait for the professional pictures.

When we got home Roscoe sacked out in the stall. The poor boy was exhausted. Me too actually. That night I slept like the dead for 10hrs.
Gotta love Show days.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rosemary Driving Training Part 3

As promised I was armed with the camera. Rosemary was in a very good mood and went straight to work. The trainer thinks she may have been in season last week.
Just to be on the safe side, we put Barry's fly bonnet on her. Peggy's barn has horrible gnats.
Training started with the PVC driving system to check her attitude. After going both directions the trainer decreed it time to connect her to the cart. Mom and Peggy went to get the cart and the additional harness pieces. I stayed to dog wrangle. I also watched in amazement as the trainer drove Rosemary around the arena with one hand as she talked on the phone.
When the cart arrived, Peggy pulled it around Rosemary and bumped into her to get her used to it. We have done this with her before last year while she was pregnant, so she really did not react. Finally she was connected.

Mom walked by her head, while the trainer ground drove her. She took a few moments to get used to the increased weight. ONE LAP and then next thing we knew the trainer was bouncing and jarring the cart. Rosemary could care less. The trainer then stepped into the cart joining her dog. Mom continued at her head, but Rosemary was figuring it out. At one point the trainer did come back to the ground to help Rosemary work through handling the turns going to the right, then she got back in going to the left.

The trainer then drove her solo. Rosemary behaved and listened. She did work hard because the cart wheels sank into the sand by and inch or so. She figured out that she needed to step under and bend for the turns. She ended after completing a figure eight.
So now Rosemary has to get used to the feel of the breeching, harness piece around her butt, and how it works to stop the cart when is going down hill or backing. This is when practice gets tricky for us, since the cart is kept at Peggy's and Rosemary is at our barn. Something to work out.
Mom just laughed when the trainer said Rosemary seems to like to work. Wanting to work is not a problem in our barn.
This pony is wonderful and I am so glad my Mom finally gets to learn to drive. She has always wanted too.
Next week the trainer wants to go to the next level: Trotting ;)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rainy Day Surprise

Today as we drove to the barn, we did not expect to do much of anything. Rain and thunderstorms were in the forecast. As we got closer to the barn the sun was shining, sort of, through the clouds and Mom decided to work Rosemary in harness a little bit so she would get some practice before tomorrow.
Of course the horses were dirty, muddy messes from the previous rain storms. Mom set to work grooming, Ha ha, Rosemary. I started to bring out the training PVC system and her harness. During all this DaVinci was walking the aisle and eating hay out of the wheelbarrow. I told him he would need to go to his stall. He looked at the harness and decided that he would go to his stall.
As I followed to put up his stall guard, I got an idea.
I put Rosemary's harness on DaVinci, muddy and wet. Then I decided what the heck the lunge line was out, I would just long line him until mom was ready.
Mom saw what I had done and decided to put Rosemary's driving bridle on him too. That adds a whole other level since it has the blinkers. 23 yrs young and he was sporting a harness for the first time.
Is he not cute or what?
And we were off. I started by lunging him so he could get used to the blinkers. A couple times he tried to turn in so he could see me, but overall he was good.

Then I connected the "reins" to his halter, which was under the driving bridle, and had my sister act as the side walker holding the lead line. DaVinci has long lined a fair amount in the past, but the driving harness puts the lines at a higher setting, withers vs belly. This was a first for me too.
If you read my last post you will remember I mentioned the connection I have with DaVinci. Well this showed his trust in me. He listened and understood I was not going to let anything get him while he had on the blinkers.
We were not the straightest pair, but he did so good.

Swishy tail

Nice head shot  against the barn. Ears listening to me :)

 Then I gave the reins to Mom. She has been working Rosemary, so she put the reins to his bit. He had no problem and went to work stretching and chewing.

oops one more of my turn
He was a Super Star. And after he was a satisfied, happy pony snoozing in his stall while we worked Rosemary. Five years ago when he arrived at 2am from CA, I never would have thought he could wear blinkers and work as well as he did today.
Happy boy

Stay tuned for tomorrow. Rosemary may be hooked to the cart and I will be armed with the camera.

Monday, May 14, 2012


Hmm, how time flies. It was a crazy, if short weekend. On Saturday, I had to get some weed whacking done. We have about 8 acres and a lot of fence line. Mom and I are both vertically challenged and traditional gas powered weed whackers are difficult for us to use. So my wonderful Dad got us a push weed whacker. It is great and does not need an oil/gas mix.
So, I plugged in my Ipod and went to work as I listened to an audible book by Patricia Cornwell. I also enjoyed a lovely show of movement from Roscoe and Rosemary. They love any excuse to run around. I love seeing how both are maturing.
After almost four hours of weed whacking, I got most of the fence lines done. I figured I deserved a ride. Although I really wanted to ride Rosemary, but I had to stay on DaVinci's good side so I rode him. I figured I would do a quick stroll with him, then ride the pony girl. DaVinci had other ideas.
He gave me a great ride. I rode bareback, which is how I ride him most of the time, and we did some leg yields, change to half passes. He loves to do lateral work and riding bareback I can feel is he is cheating at all. On our last half pass to the right and the change of bend once we reached the edge, he picked up canter in the smoothest transition ever. Like letting out a breathe. That is the magic of partnership and connection.
Well DaVinci drew me in for a longer ride and I did not get to ride Rosemary. I settled my guys and headed out to ride Comrade.
This Saturday is the Spring Fling VA Welsh show. Rosemary, Roscoe, Comrade and Addie (Peggy's Cob mare) will all be showing in hand. Comrade and I will be doing my first Ridden Welsh class at this show. This is a pattern and conformation class that is suppose to show the true Welsh movement. Stallions really show what this class is all about, but it is open to horses five and older.
I decided to practice for the class during my ride. Well Comrade decided that in the early dusk, the dogs were ghosts coming to eat him. So I started doing shoulder ins and haunches in or out to get his attention on me. Those movements are great to set up for canter transitions and boy did he give me great transitions. I looked on the plus side. If I can ride through this tension, I should be able to ride at the show. We shall see. I was able to end the ride on a longer rein completing the pattern.
The count down begins. I worked on Sunday in order to take off Friday. Four horses to bathe should be interesting. For this show Roscoe's breeder will be there to help handle the horses. During a long talk on Sunday she realized that we will need three handlers, since there is a chance all three will make it to the Cob Grand Champion class. It will be a very long day, but we will be in good company.
And the weather looks like it will be clear. After the last show that in itself will make the day better. If you are in Northern VA, come to the 4-H center in Front Royal on Saturday and Sunday and see the wonderful Welsh ponies and cobs.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sweet Sixteen

Today is Winston's 16th Birthday.
Hard to believe he was nearly 10 when we bought him. Winston is one of the sweetest horses on earth. He enjoyed a banana and carrots with his meal today. Plus he got to go out and graze with a muzzle.
He has great soft eyes

Fancy boy with the trainer

Mom is his favorite.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Driving Training 2

All day it threatened to rain, but when the time came for mom to trailer Rosemary over to Peggy's there was still no rain.
I was running late because coming from work traffic was horrible. By time I got to Peggy's they were already working Rosemary in the arena and it was lightly raining. So no pictures or video this time.
The trainer had Rosemary hooked to the training device and going around doing figure 8's and circles. Mom was near by but basically no one needed to be at Rosemary's head. Rosemary really settled into her cruising walk. As the rain continued to fall, the Rotten Pony with an ATTITUDE made an appearance.
"What are you talking to me? I don't want too."
She really started throwing a fit and overreacting to the whoa command. At one point Peggy and I thought she would break one of the PVC poles along her side she had it bowed so much. This is when you can really appreciate having someone who knows what they are doing holding the reins. The trainer took it in stride and established what she wanted. Eventually Rosemary realized she was not winning that battle and started standing and waiting to be told to move on. Peggy and I were impressed watching the trainer started driving her with one hand. She made it look easy, but we know a lot was being said through that connection.
The lesson was not long due to the rain, but it was effective. The trainer wants to hook her to the cart next week, so that will be exciting. With Rosemary's attitude and intelligence we have to be meticulous with the steps  and watch her all along the way.
Homework the Rosemary: Work on patience while standing.
Mom and I worked her twice in the last week and Rosemary was really good. We were careful to keep the training within our comfort zone. We want to keep things going well and leave the challenging parts for the trainer.
I have to say watching Rosemary work in harness really makes me want to ride her. Now if the weather would cooperate, I could. Hopefully the weekend will be better.
Stay tuned for next weeks lesson :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

"Walk" through

Okay with any other horse what I got from my ride today would be really minor, but with Comrade is was a major break through.
Comrade has, since probably the day he was born, traveled with his head up. He has learned to soften and round, but to stretch is still a goal. I have gotten some stretch down at the trot and very few at the walk. All the tricks I have used with other horses don't work with him. Even Rosemary as green as she is stretches down.
So last night after a quick ride between rain showers, I figured out that Comrade really needed to get out of the arena. Today I started in the arena just walking. Then I asked him to collect his walk on the short ends and open on the long sides or diagonals. He responded exactly how I wanted and more. During the open walks he actually started to stretch down. He did this almost every time I asked him to open his walk. Plus his walk was really active during both parts.
At this point I rewarded him and took him out on trail. After all the rain we have had, we only did more walk work. Hills, turn on the forehands, turn on the haunches and collecting and opening the walk. All of this made him wait for my instructions. He has a tendency to think he knows what is happening and get ahead of me. If I am going to event him, he needs to work with me and listen to me so today was a valuable lesson.
And the icing on the cake... he rooted the reins.
My other horses would get a kick for rooting, but Comrade got a "Good boy." The offer to reach down, even done rudely, was welcome.
I bragged to his owner as I untacked. Then I laughed.
The only sweaty part on him was right by his ears. I guess listening to me really gave him an ear work out :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Driving Training Rosemary Part 1

About a year ago Rosemary started learning the basics of driving while in foal with Roscoe. As a 3yr old who had not had much under saddle training, she was a bit hot between the lines. We were impressed with how she took to the training though. Eventually we had to take a break because of advanced pregnancy. She has had a little bit of training in the months after, but nothing new.
At Christmas, Peggy surprised us with the gift of formal training for Mom and Rosemary by a trainer she knows. We only had to wait for fox hunting season to end. So now, every Wednesday is training day. Mom will trailer Rosemary over to Peggy's house, since that is where the cart is kept.
I missed out of this session since I was at work, but the next ones will be later so I can watch too.
The trainer was thrilled with the dogs, Shadow, Kayla, Griffyn and her little one, running around barking providing a great desensitizing exercise. Plus the wood chipper started up adding another noise.
Rosemary has matured so much and Mom said all the riding experience showed today. The first time she was hooked to the PVC training system last year, she freaked. This time she went right to work. She had her moments, but she is a Cob and a mare so that is to be expected. I am so excited to see how she progresses.
More next week, especially since I will be there to see first hand.

Our "deal" of cart and harness for $500 (picture taken last year)