I finally had a lesson with my trainer and the horses. She didn't come for two weeks because her regular day was the last two Tuesdays: Christmas and New Year's. But, she had time on Friday. Now that I'm down to 4 horses (after the tragic loss of Cali...) everybody can get worked every week. She's going to come again next week, while I'm still off from school. Another problem has been the weather. It has rained and snowed and rained and snowed up in the mountains and the ground is VERY wet. Another snow storm is moving in Monday or late Sunday night, so we put the next lesson off until next Friday, giving the ground a few days to dry out. At 4,000 feet, the ranch where I board the herd often gets a dusting of snow, but they do get heavy poundings of rain. Yesterday was a beautiful, crisp, clear day with a slight breeze. That slight breeze will be important later.
She started first with Gigondas, since Gigo gets the least amount of training. She's a good girl, she tries to please, but she CAN be explosive. I remember one time when I had her tied at the rack, she pulled back. I yelled, "STOP IT!" and she did. She calmed down. Phew! I wish Sunni and Quad were as good as that! (they are NOT...) Since Maia, my trainer, has started to work with her, she has really calmed down. She now enjoys her grooming sessions and stands quietly. GOOD GIRL! She also now WALKS while being lunged, which is something she didn't EVER do for me! I'm proud of her and her progress!
Next was Scout. Scout was MAD because she wasn't taken out first yesterday and she was full of attitude! She let everybody know how displeased she was with this course of events! Hmmpffftttt! Maia looked at her and just turned her out in the round pen to "get the yaayaas" out. It took about 20 minutes. She was huffing and puffing, but finally settled down. I had to remember that it was a GOOD 3 weeks since any of them were turned out or trained (due to Cali's loss and the weather). And, it was windy. NOT breezy anymore...WINDY. Sycamore leaves were blowing all over. But, she behaved nicely when she was tied. Maia went to get the saddle and bridle (she's being bridle trained :-) ) and she stood QUIETLY at the post. No pulling back there...She also now WALKS while being lunged. It's been hard to get the horses to WALK...they've all wanted to immediately run! She walked and lunged her all the way up and down the arena.
Next was Quad. Quad was FILTHY. He and Scout both have heavy, course hair, while Sunni and Gigondas have long, fine hairs. He stood quietly while Maia groomed him, but pulled back and broke the clasp on the lead rope and took off running. And, I mean RUNNING! He RAN all over the 9 acre ranch! Up and down, back around the arena and nearly out the front gate! I ran down to close it and to head him off. Maia finally got some sweet feed and he relaxed when he was up by Gigondas and the old corral where Scout and Cali used to be. BAD BOY! We are going to have to work on that next Friday!!!! Apparently that is the second time he's pulled back and has broken a lead rope. He also cut his left front foot, so I'm going to have to check on him today. He did get lunged (at a walk) and he did get to roll, but she washed off his leg and gave him some Bute just in case. He wasn't limping, but he was a bit shaken up by his...er..."romp" around the ranch!
After that, we didn't even bother with Sunni. No sense in another horse getting loose. And, by then the wind was blowing, the leaves were rustling...that would have been a recipe for disaster.