Monday, August 10, 2009

Posting and herding

Yesterday was the first time in a while that Michael has accompanied me to the barn. Last week was simply crazy, and the two weeks before that, he was working his butt off to finish two summer classes. I've been wanting him to take some video of me riding for a while now, so with a little sweet-talking I convinced him it was high time he came out to the barn with me again.

Unfortunately, I was a bit dizzy when we got out there, so I didn't practice much — but we did get a little footage of me posting.

I'd only made a few laps around the back pasture when the alpha gelding and Panama's girlfriend demonstrated that they'd learned how to open the gate if you didn't latch it firmly enough. Next thing I knew, Panama and I were dodging a little butt-biting, compliments of the mare. Luckily my horse knows his job well enough that he didn't try to kick out at her or even run away.

At first I was going to try to ride with them in the pasture, but the butt-biting attempt changed my mind. Michael started trying (rather ineffectively) to get the mare moving back toward the gate, and I decided to put Panama to work helping. We followed along behind the mare and I clucked to her to keep her moving. At first Panama was a bit confused as to whether I was clucking to her or him, but I was proud of him — he got it figured out pretty quickly.

Once we got the mare through the gate, Panama and I went back for the alpha. He was easier, because he doesn't like being alone so his instinct was to follow the mare anyway. Michael shut the gate behind them and Panama and I went back to posting practice.

I have to admit I don't know the first thing about herding from horseback, but I thought Panama did very nicely. I wonder what he thought about bossing them around for once!



At August 10, 2009 at 6:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your little horse has a lovely trot! It's nice to see the two of you together!

But, um . . . where's your helmet (helmet police speaking)?

At August 10, 2009 at 6:47 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Thanks, Kate! I love how his trot looks from the ground, but it's a quick little trot, which makes it bouncy too. I can't sit it for long without getting side cramps. :o)

As for the helmet thing... Yeah, still working on that. I decided a while back that I've got to wear one when I go out on the trail — but at the barn, when there are people there and we're doing something we've done a gazillion times, it's really difficult to bring myself to wear one.

I just blogged about taking Panama out on the trail today, and of course your comment reminded me that I forgot to grab a helmet when I changed my plans for our ride. In light of what happened, I definitely need to remember next time!


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