Friday, February 4, 2011

Poor Baby Toe

We have had pretty windy and cold weather over the last 2 days so the horses have reason to feel rather cooped up in their 24' X 24' corrals.

Yesterday Fable was standing on the pipe of her gate. Now it's not like she hasn't been fooled with- we go on walks even in bad weather because the only way she will get really great at leading and learning her ground work is to do it- regularly. She was a bored baby anyway after 2 days off so I took her out to work her and walk her.

What happened to me would have been comical if it wasn't so painful. While working on my leading exercises ( a mix of go forward, whoa, back, hip over from standing, soften face to pressure, move shoulders over while going forward) I started forward and took my eyes off her for a second to scan the ground around us for holes or possible danger and she popped her shoulder into me and walked forward stepping on my right pinky toe.

I wear fairly hard capped boots for this reason but I HATE steel toe boots so I don't usually wear them. I sucked in my breath at the sharp pain and that spooked her so she JUMPED off my foot and executed a perfect capriole.

Now I have no interest in ever teaching her to do that in hand, under saddle, or frankly anywhere around human beings so I gave her a pop on the nose (regular halter) along with a firm "no". That was enough to get her to try to get away from me. My correction was just to make sure I had both her eyes on me until she settled which probably took less than 3 seconds.

I continued to work her and walk her around, gradually expanding her comfort zone around the property and after another 15 or 20 minutes, I turned her and the 2 geldings out together.

After all that, my toe is black, and I'm not sure if it's broken but it's 4 times it's normal size. I guess I have to go buy steel toed boots until I get this girl bitted and can really teach her shoulder control and she has it ingrained in her mind.

This is the first time I've actually had the thought of "Oh do I really want to deal with babies at my advanced (almost 41) age?

My 9 and 6 year olds are sooo easy by comparison even if my 9 year old can be hard to handle at times because he has had his mind blown once upon a time.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Cha Cha Cha Cha Changes!

Well we've rented our own ranch here in So Cal! And while I'm excited, it really has been a huge pain in the butt. The pasture fences are are hard to keep up here in the desert especially when they are made of wood. The solar fencer is also hard to keep working.

The general picture I'm trying to paint is that I'm lucky to have time to work with my horses at all and there is now no extra money for lessons since I've basically lost my job in this economy.

My New Years resolution is to spend more time riding and either get back to school or try to get a job on base with MCCS. I'd very likely start at minimum wage but after working for them for a year I qualify to apply for GS jobs. We are not hurting for groceries around here but we also have no savings left and that just makes me too nervous.

Back to the horses though- I'm so fed up with the failing wood fence that I'm more determined than ever to have a pipe corral arena and round pen in the future. (HA reason enough to work for ANY wage at this point!)

Other changes would be that I sold Maximus. Not because he is too safe (smile) but because our characters are not compatible. He is perfect for my husband - but my husband really isn't interested in riding. So Moose is living a posh life with someone who rides him at least 3 days a week for lessons with her dressage instructor and then whatever her homework is.

Before I moved here I was riding 3 days a week. Mostly training compulsories in an arena but I really try to keep things fresh so I don't bore my horses too badly. My aim is to get Phantom going for trail riding soon. I will be losing a riding buddy in a few months and arrainging a ride out with other buddies will be something like pulling teeth-wisdom teeth. Meanwhile, I'm ground driving phantom all over.

Wondering about my fear? Well it's still there but that is really OK. I now know how to proceed with my fear and realize that I can always step off the horse and that I SHOULD step off when I feel fear. Being fearful atop my horse does my horse no favors and stopping in the middle of a lesson doesn't really hurt my horse so there is no reason not to stop and regroup and then come back to finish.

I've got a new project- an oops baby that my friend had. She is half mustang and half Missouri Fox Trotter (OOPS!) and 20 months old now. But she has a great mind, a lovely relaxed walk and is really just over all nicely conformed to be an all around horse. She could easily be mistaken for a lippet morgan. She won't be started under saddle until she is 3 years old. I'd love to push that back until 4 years old but I'm not getting any younger with time and she is a very busy minded girl living in the desert instead of being pastured where it's ideal for baby horses to grow up. I need to get some pictures up so here is a phone pic: