Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thwarted plans

I didn't go back to the barn on Friday to work more with Panama and the horse trailer, but I should have: When Michael and I went on Saturday, the snow in the back pasture (where the trailer is parked) had finally melted, making the ground into a muddy, mucky mess.

Since I wanted to work with Panama on something, and the mucky ground meant I wouldn't be able to ride either, we took Panama into the field across the street. There was a scary moment (for him) when a car passed while we were waiting to cross, but luckily he is well-mannered enough not to run off or knock me over when I'm holding the lead rope.

It was only the second time he'd been out in the field, but he did pretty well. At first he tried to lean on me (he still treats me like his mom or an older horse when he's uncertain or frightened). However I was able to get him to stop pretty quickly with a combination of lots of walking and stopping and turning (to make him focus on my commands rather than his fears), and letting him graze periodically on the winter grass.

When I felt we had done enough work in the field, I took Panama back into the pasture and tied him up. Because the back pasture was muddy I had to tie him up in the front pasture with the other horses around, and sure enough one horse tried to go between Panama and the post. There was a tense moment while Panama pulled back on his halter in panic, but then the other horse figured it out and went a different way.

It was our last good day before the cold weather kicked in again, so I was glad to have some time with Panama, even if we couldn't work on what I'd originally planned!

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