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.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Yesterday when I got to the ranch, nobody was there!

I pulled Solly out and groomed him, then gave him his feed pan. I like to sit in a chair in front of the pan, because Solomon seems to enjoy "visiting" as he eats. He'll take a few bites, then lift up his head and blow gently in my face as he chews, hehe.

After his feed pan, it was time to take Solomon for a little work in the round pen.
He walked and trotted fine, but was a little grumpy at the canter. Still, I think he's looking good!

Here, have a conformation shot, sort of. Don't mind his uh, relaxed state here.


So I decided that we should work on ground tying. It's useful outside of just wanting to tack up your horse on the trail. Say you are hand-walking your horse, and he stumbles suddenly, so you want to make sure he didn't just pick up a rock. You want him to stop and stand still for you. Or say you are going through a gate and you fall on your butt because he stepped on your foot and went forward. Ahem. More on that in a bit. :p

So what did I do to start teaching him to ground tie?

I used an existing cue that Solomon knows, that being "ho," and combined it with the cue of dropping and leaving the lead rope on the ground. Being new to this, he did move a number of times, but at the end he seemed to get it, at least in a controlled environment like the round pen.

It was a lot of repetition. I could tell the little wheels in his head were turning, heh. But it's going to take a number of lessons before he is consistent.

After we worked on that, I chatted with A____ for a while, as she had shown up. I showed her Solly's newfound ground tying skills, and he was a very good boy for us, standing still even though he wanted to go run off to the mares.

We gave him some cookies and worked on "smile," haha.

Then I had a wreck at the gate.
Looking back, this morning, I can see the steps leading up to it. A number of incidents where I was unable to keep other horses away from the gate, so Solomon had to move himself to keep himself safe. This time it was just the Little Bay Gelding, but he did not back off very far, and I was kind of messy with my gate entry.
Solomon came forward and stepped on my foot. He continued to come forward, so I fell down, given that my foot was nailed to the ground by an iron-shod hoof, heh. I had a brief thought of "I might get trampled. I could get shattered bones, or I could die," but Solomon did a lovely sidepass and stopped for a moment. LBG also did not move. As I picked myself up and dusted myself off, Solly went to the trough and had a drink. I admit, I was pretty mad right then, but it was an accident and the moment for reprimands had already passed. He wouldn't have understood.

So I latched the gate and walked away. Well, limped really. I lost a chunk of skin off the top of my toe. Not bad, actually, for almost getting trampled! I figure I was pretty lucky. And I also think that we're going to be doing a lot more gate work as well as more ground tying work.

I poured some pure betadine on my toe, which kinda stings by the way, and bandaged it up. Really not so bad.

Then I went back to retrieve my hat, which had come off during my fall. Solomon immediately came back to me from across the pasture, and did a lot of head-ducking and gentle nose blowing, almost as if he was apologizing. I might have to revisit that "they forget about it soon after" thing. He really did seem concerned, heh! Of course I forgave him. Really it was my fault!

About then, Bo got back. His finger had gotten stomped by a mare who had EPM, and occasionally still suffers from it's effects. Awful disease. :( So anyway, he'd been at the doctor's. Part of why farriers charge what they do is that it's hazard pay!

Just another day at the ranch, as he said.


ariemay said...

Oh, ouch! I've had my toe stepped on before and it's no fun. I'm glad you stayed calm, even as you fell! I'm sure the horses really wondered what the heck the silly girl was doing!

Take care - glad to know you are doing well. (and looking good too, by the way!)


Evergrey said...

Why, thank you so much! :D

I did realize going down that if I panicked and screamed there would be a much higher chance of the horse running over me, heh. It just felt kind of like at that point it was up to fate. He might trample me, he might not, but freaking out would not help my chances, hah!

My toe looks gross today, but I get to keep the toenail and everything, so yay!

BuckdOff said...

I'm glad you're o.k. No one is perfect...so don't be too hard on yourself. You both look great..thanks for continuing this saga, I enjoy reading it immensely..s

Evergrey said...

Thank you, I'm very glad you enjoy reading.

And my toe is doing fine now, already scabbed over and all that fun stuff. Yay for betadine scrub!