You can read all about Danny's wild ride on his blog here which even has a couple of pictures, although not ones of him working. I was by myself so picture taking wasn't really an option.
I didn't have Jay there to yell at me, ok "instruct" me, on what I was doing wrong. But that may have been a good thing as it really forced me to pay attention to what I was doing with my seat and my hands.
Trax did wonderfully, although he was actually a little more wound up this time, than he was on Friday, which I thought was interesting. I truly expected a lot more fight out of him on Friday after not being touched in three months, than I did on the second ride. Instead I got more...not fight....but we will say...energy the second ride. He is an odd horse.
We did the serpentine drill two laps around, he was pretty soft right from the start. We did the stand still lateral bends which he gave to me with only a few spins. We did the leg yield exercise at the wall, and he only tried to back up on me a couple of times to the right, to the left he was perfect every time. Well except for the times that I caught myself giving the wrong signals, then he was confused and it was my fault. That was when I knew I needed to slow down and think about what I was doing.
I asked him to get soft with two reins and a stand still, which he took as asking him to back up. I am trying to teach him that backing up isn't until I ask with my legs. Eventually I was able to get him to stand still, drop his head and then I'd release. We did that several times until I felt that he had it figured out, then I showed him what the back up command was with my leg, which he did just fine. I am pleasantly surprised by how well I can move my horses body parts with my legs.
He really had a lot of energy so I went ahead and let him canter around the arena, I could feel him wanting to take off but did my best to keep him in check without pulling on his mouth. That is really hard for me to do. I knew that I could not do a two rein stop so when it came time to stop I asked with my seat and my voice, and low and behold he kind of tucked himself under and gave a little stop but then kept moving forward, which is when I hit him with that one rein, and he stopped pretty quickly. I was kind of impressed with that try. It showed me that he really is paying attention to me.
We ended with one more leg yield exercise which he did flawlessly so I stopped right there.
All in all it was a good ride, although when we were cantering I was trying to pay attention to his leads and get some lead changes out of him. I could feel that we were all over the place though, and since I was not sure how to correct it, I went back to just forward cantering in one direction.
What I learned about my horse is that he wants to get along, and he wants to give me what I ask, but gets confused by my signals which are often awkward, or even wrong all together. As usual the problem is not really the horse, but me. I am okay with that today because "me" is the one thing I have total control over!
We did get our pens completely done and just in time too! I drove home yesterday to see Killian pushing against the vinyl fence with the hot wire that isn't hot anymore. Apparently Sassy's deer friend (still trying to get pics of them) told the horses that there was no shock anymore. He was trying to get to the grass on the other side.
We do still have to put some small posts next to where they panels join at.
Some of them can move back and forth about 6 inches. Most of them are pretty tight.
I am also coming up with a plan to cover those loops at the bottom. I don't like them.
Last night all four horses spent the night in the barn. I think Sassy might have been a little stressed because her piles of poop were a little loose. Not runny, just not nicely formed like usual. I will keep a good eye on that though. It also could be the difference between the Hay cubes. They all just started the Utah Cubes last night. Before they were all eating the WY cubes.
Also Sassy is limping again. When I moved her and Killian over, I put the lead rope on him and she just followed like I knew she would. The minute I opened the gate to the bigger pasture she was off like a shot, racing around and bucking and just being the kid that she is. Trax went out with her, as he loves to run and play as well. I watched her run up to the pen and land on her front feet at a quick stop, and then she started limping. Damn it!!!!! I got her in the pen, cleaned her feet out, felt her joints, no heat. When she was eating and while I was cleaning her feet she had no issue with putting weight on her right front, which is the one with broken coffin bone. So I don't know what she did.
When I went out this morning, Killian was waiting at the gate to the food for me, and everyone seemed fine. I checked Sassy again, she is putting weight on both fronts, and there is still no heat or swelling. She will stay in for a few days. And we will keep a close eye on her. :(
Tom just called and told me that even though I opened the gate for two horses to go out, they chose to stay inside. It snowed about 3 inches last night. I think they like the barn.