Monday, February 2, 2009

A horsey weekend: Sunday's visit with my horse

When I decided not to ride my horse on Saturday, I was thinking I'd have a chance Sunday. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way — it was even more windy yesterday, and we didn't get the snow we were supposed to get. I swear, my horse missed his calling as a barometer, because he was quite fiesty when Michael and I visited early in the afternoon.

I started out grooming Panama, as usual, and then I turned him out to run. He seemed to only want to run toward the fence that divides the pastures, so I'm pretty sure he thought the other horses would be getting their grain at any moment.

He was kind of a pill on the lunge line, too. Again, all he wanted to do was run toward the fence, and I had even more problems getting controlled gaits out of him than I did yesterday. So I decided — again — that we needed a day of groundwork, not riding. The work paid off and by the end of our lunging session, Panama was behaving himself reasonably well, though he still seemed anxious about whether he'd be done in time for his grain.

We also practiced one time at having Michael halter Panama, though Michael (having watched Panama's behavior on the lunge line) wasn't too keen on that. Neither was Panama, apparently — when I handed Michael the halter, the silly horse walked off! He did stop when I scolded him and told him to Whoa, and stood still while Michael haltered him, however. And actually, at this point I think Michael actually needs the practice more than Panama — he's extremely reluctant to stand close enough to Panama's shoulder to put the halter on.

It wasn't the most satisfying visit, but it was good to get out to the barn and feel that at least I was spending some time with Panama. It's like the saying goes: Any time you work a horse, you are training them. Some sessions just go better than others!



At February 3, 2009 at 8:01 AM, Blogger Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Windy days are such a nuisance when it comes to working with horses. My daughter had her very first riding lesson on a green horse in high winds. I almost cancelled the lesson, but the trainer was so calm and confident that everything turned out alright. I've got something for you over at my blog.

At February 3, 2009 at 2:40 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Thank you, NM, for the award! I'll write my own friendship award post soon. :o) You are a very trusting mama. While it does help to be calm, horses -- at least my horse -- can be SO unpredictable when it's windy!


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