Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Little Help From My Friends

Yesterday I went out and worked on Sassy's front hooves.  I wanted to cut some of the over grown bar out and just do a little maintenance.  Sassy being the big helper that she is, and who obviously must have heard me talk about wanting to get more exercise, felt that she could best assist me by leaning all of her weight on me as I attempted to hold up her foot.

Such a good girl!!!  (insert sarcasm here)

I found that my economy hoof stand does not go down low enough to use the cradle on her so I was back to doing it the old fashioned way.  Suffice to say that my legs and butt are still pretty sore.  Clearly I need to do that more often.

I ended up taking her heels down some, and trying to cut away bar, but I just could not get in there with my tools.  My tools are crap, plain and simple.  I had even flooded her pen to soften her feet a little bit, and it did help some, but I am just going to have to save up the money for some good nippers.

When it was all said and done, sweat was running in my eyes, she was fed up and I was not happy with my job.  It was obvious to me that her toes were too long and I was afraid I had taken off too much heel.  Unfortunately it was J-O-B time so I had to end there.  I decided it was time to call in reinforcements.

On my way to work I called my friend A, from down the road and around the corner.  I wanted to see if she saw what I saw.

So this morning she came, and yes...toes were too long, heels weren't bad but one side was a little high.  She brought in her good tools, and promptly went to work explaining as she went about what she was doing, and why and how.   As she worked Sassy, again being the best helper she could, kept trying to pull things out of A's jean pockets.   When she wasn't doing that, she was fluffing our hair for us, adjusting our shirt collars, just generally being a nosy nancy.  Sassy is such a goof ball.

When we she was all done, Sassy yawn, and licked and chewed and stuck her nose up and made it very clear to us that she was quite happy with her new pedicure.

After that we stood there talking a little about different things and about Princess Melly, and A says, "Do you have some time to work with her right now?"


So we took her to the round pen.  I removed the poles and we just kind of moved her around some.  It was as if she had never been in a round pen in her life.

My fault.  I made that happen last week.  I lost control of her, and she remembers it well. Plus our "yard guy" was out there with the Telehandler moving stuff around which totally distracts a flighty pallousy.   She had no intention of paying attention to either one of us.  I stepped out of the way and A went in and moved her around, gained some control, and then we put the lead rope back on her.  We then put the poles back up. A stood on the outside of the round pen with the lead rope in her hand.  I acted as the "energy" from the inside.  We did not once use the training stick/whip which is broken anyway.   From her position outside and mine inside we were able to encourage Melly to go over the poles, then we added a second pole and she did one right after the other.

If her feet touch the poles it freaks her out.  But back and forth we went until she would do it without bolting.  Sometimes she would get a little too wound up over it, and we had to slow her back down, but she finally did each time.  Then we added a third pole, and she went over all three.

Lots of praise and petting.

After that we did a little more plain round pen work and gained a little more control of those body parts.  Melly has a tendency to want to get into your space, which isn't so bad when she is being miss calm. When she is being  little miss Holy crap everything is scary, then it can be a little un-nerving.  So we worked on that as well.

I can't remember now when we found the perfect stopping point, but it was at a good place, and we both agreed that she had done well. Then I asked her to walk through the gate without bolting.  I really wanted her to stop and stand in the gate. She just isn't ready for that yet.  However, she is going to have to soon.  She did go through with out bolting though so I accepted that for now.

I have not ridden Melody off the property yet, and certainly not down the road.  She is a very broke horse, but moving vehicles really get a big reaction out of her, so I have decided that she can start going for walks with Sassy and I.  I want to her to be much more used to them before I try to ride her down pavement.  You can call me chicken if you want, I personally just don't bounce like I used to so like to take a few more precautions.

Another thing that A suggested which I will take her up on, is to bring her over to her property for some exposure.   She has a very cool little natural trail section made up with hills, ravines, water, trees, and other such things that a person would experience in the desert.  I was told that Melly was used as a trail horse for an elderly woman, but I have to wonder where these trails were and how they got too them with out ever seeing a car, or a stick on the ground, or any of the other things that Melly is afraid of.

Of course we will continue with our riding as well, but on days when I have less time, a walk down the road will do her wonders I think...Sassy too.

I just got a text too, A has an idea she wants to try tomorrow, so I am curious to see what it is. She is so good at thinking outside the box when it comes to training.   I am most fortunate to have someone so close, with so much experience, who has the time and the willingness to come and help when I get stuck.

I am hoping to try out the cutting saddle on Killian this fact I plan on getting everyone ridden this weekend, preferably more than once!

I hope everyone has a safe and relaxing weekend.


  1. Having someone to help, whether with feet or training or just riding is wonderful- I miss Shayla!

  2. sounds like A is a great help, nice to have good friends around to help out and support

  3. Helpful friends are the best!! :D