Hi, I'm Ev. I'm training to become a horsewoman. These are my adventures and misadventures. I'm green as hell, but so far, so good. I'm now learning from Bo (and sometimes his wife DeDe) at D&D Ranch in Pope Valley. I am extremely lucky to have this opportunity, I feel quite blessed, and I feel that they, and horses, have really turned my life around.
Solomon is my baby- a big old flea bitten grey Appendix gelding who is very kind and way too smart! I love him so very much. He is a rescue and was meant to be co-owned rehabbed, and maybe rehomed to a good home. He turned out to be over 25 years old with injuries that ultimately do not make him riding sound, so he is retired.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Yesterday and today!

First yesterday:

So today I decided to go out and try some of the things I learned from watching and listening to ddranch. Hey, it really works! He really did soften and yield a lot- felt a lot more like my pre-stall rest boy. Well, and pre-girlfriend. Here he is from a handful of days ago with Venus, so is so totally his filly now... though it is not a paternal kind of relationship, I don't think. Heh.

Now the other day my ass fell down the steep slippery muddy hill. It was in a really not good to try to maneuver on section, and I went DOWN. The barn staff had to help me down and drive me back to the lot in their ATV. Scary times. I was hurting but thankfully fine the next day, when I got to go visit ddranch. SO. Not climbing the hill to try to get my horse again unless it's a major emergency. The staff made me promise to have them go get him instead, but I have this stubborn not asking for help unless I have to streak sometimes, and I thought I'd try to get him down with his grain scoop, which totally looks like a punch pitcher but that's uh, yeah that's a coincidence.
Warning- I am a total babytalking dork here. Might want to turn your sound down a bit, heh. But he came down that hill, so yay! He got a bit of the grain when he came to me, but the rest he had to wait for until we got to the grooming area. It was good actually, because we worked on manners and not being pushy on the walk back. He did get nice and submissive, so yay for that. Mostly positive reinforcement, with one bit of having to use the stud chain a moment when he realized that we were leaving his herd behind.

So! Since he runs around on 90 acres and climbs up and down hills a lot now, Solly has actually gotten some muscle! He's still lanky, that's just his build I think, but I am happy to see him get some actual conditioning. The vet said he looks 100% better than when I first got him. Yay!
So this is the wonderfully dignified photo I got on the first try:

Ahem. Let's try again. Bear in mind that he's standing a little downhill, which is why his rump looks kinda higher than normal.

Woowoo muscles! His chest is half again as wide as when I first met him.

You can see his QH blood in his butt:

We went out into a little turnout pen, and while he did need to explore and sniff poop because he had never been there before, he did keep coming back in to check on me. This is his cookie smile:

We walked around a bit, and when I stopped to try to get a picture of us both, he had to check me out and see what was going on:

Pulled a nasty giant tick off him too. They really torment him.
I let him roam at will and when I decided to take him back to his pasture, I jingled the halter from the other side of the pen, and he came right over and stuck his nose in. So I learned a lot from my visit, and it is already helping. I don't expect every day to go perfectly, but today went really well, and I'm proud of how healthy my boy is becoming!

Today everything went right. One of those days you live for as a horse owner. He came right up to the gate. He picks all of his feet up without hesitation and didn't try to take any of them back. He was not pushy. He didn't refuse to move at any time. He shoved his nose right into the halter. No shifting around or pawing in the cross ties.
We went out to the turnout pen and he walked and trotted with me, backed without me having to turn around or touch him- I just walked backwards and he was right there with me. Stopped with me too. All with no halter. ddranch says it's no big deal in a way, but hey, it's good to know he willingly does it with me again, eh?
All the way back to the pasture I just had the lead rope tucked in my waistband, really loose. A rider on a trotting horse passed us, and he was so good. No hesitation, no flinching, not snapping or kicking out, he was totally focused on me. In the pasture he lowered his head nicely for me to take his halter off, and then stuck with me instead of running off. We walked all the way to the hay piles, and then he even left them after a couple bites to nuzzle my hands gently. Respectfully even. He was submissive, gentle, and for the most part way more conscious of my space than he has been in a long time. There were still nuzzles and head rubs because I allow them (hah and I am not the only person who is okay with that, woohoo!) but he wasn't stepping on me or shoving me with his shoulder or head, he was backing up and standing at the gate until I said it was okay to go, and it was just... one of those wonderful days. Just perfect. :)

No comments: