Monday, July 1, 2013

Where to start?

It's been so long since I've blogged, I don't even know where to start catching up.  Rondo is being ridden more, V. (the 11-year-old I nanny for) is riding Panama twice a week (more as we can manage it until the end of summer), we took him to a show, and I finally went for a trail ride on Panama again -- he'd been struggling with his weight, so I wasn't riding him much until I felt reasonably sure we'd fixed the problem.  Also, Rondo finally moved up into the front corral, where Panama has lived for the past three and a half years -- I've wanted him up there since the beginning, but they finally decided to put a fourth horse in there, and Rondo got to be the one!  It's so nice having them together, and right up front, where they are both close to the tack room and where I like to park.

I'll blog about all this stuff in more detail when I have a chance -- at least, that's the plan.  For right now, I wanted to share a picture and a quick story.




That's me in the turquoise shirt, leading Rondo -- yep, that's my big boy's big butt!

With my worry about Panama's weight and all the time I was spending feeding him "bonus meals" and giving him medication (more on that later), I wasn't riding Rondo very much, so he went most of the spring with only once a week rides.  Despite that, he is doing pretty well.  He is laid back to the point of being lazy, and although he is losing his baby fat and turning into quite a pretty horse, he could stand to be in a bit better shape, particularly with regard to his endurance.  It's quite a different thing to ride a lazy horse, I am finding -- with Panama I had to really work on his ability to slow or stop, but with Rondo, if I even think that I might want to slow down, he slams on the brakes.  His go, on the other hand, is rather more elusive, whereas Panama never needed to be told twice (unless, as I've found, it's a kid riding him -- then he needs to be told about ten times).

Anyway, I am hoping to get Rondo out on the trail this summer, partly because V. wants to start trail riding Panama -- and there is no way I am letting her go out there without me, no matter how much I love the boarders who would be going with her.  I've told her that first she needs to be more confident on him, and know that she can handle him if he acts up (though I rather doubt he will -- but if she gets nervous, he might).  The other problem is, though, that Rondo and I aren't yet ready to hit the trail.  He hadn't been off the property until this evening, when a couple of friends and I took our horses for a trail walk (instead of a trail ride) in the park.  I wanted to expose him to it first without me being on his back.  He was mostly pretty good -- all keyed up when we first headed out, especially when we passed the riding stables in the park and all the horses ran over to the pasture fence to see us, but by the time we were on our way back (the above picture), he was back to being fairly lazy, having figured out that the trail was another form of work -- just with the occasional side of grass.

I think I'll want to hand-walk him out there a few more times before I try it on his back, and even then I plan on doing short rides, with each one a little longer until we are doing the entire loop.  I'll be taking him out with other boarders and their horses every time, of course -- he might be the kind of horse I can take out on the trail alone eventually, but I wouldn't do that to a baby (let alone to myself on a baby).

And yes, I still think of Rondo as a baby.  He just turned 4 in April, and he is sure a lot less reactive than Panama was at this age, but he is still immature in a lot of ways.  His work ethic sucks -- he is just too damn lazy, and not as interested in pleasing me as I'd like.  He also still has a lot of his baby klutziness, which will probably improve with more time under saddle this summer.  Mostly, though, we just have yet to fine-tune our relationship in the ways that have taken Panama and I years: to the point where I practically just think what I want Panama to do, and he does it... and to the point where he trusts me to keep us safe, and I trust him to trust me, if you know what I mean.

I have so much more to blog about, some of it stuff that was extremely difficult to deal with at the time (such as Panama's weight struggles), much less write about.  Summers are very busy for me, with my increased hours at my nanny job -- not to mention this month is Camp NaNoWriMo, so I expect to be very busy indeed -- but I will try to blog again soon!

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