Friday, March 18, 2011

Beautiful's First Time Ponying Behind

This is the very beginning of my time working with Beautiful today. She'd never ponied behind another horse, so we took it one step at a time--literally. She'd give me a step and I'd give her some slack. My camera girl quit pretty quickly, and so the end of the session wasn't recorded. After a few minutes, that you don't get to see, we were able to walk circles around the arena on a loose lead, but I never got her comfortable where I want her--her head/shoulders at my leg. I'd stop Cowboy every now and then and bring her up to that point and pet her until she relaxed, then we called it good.



I didn't really expect anymore today since it was Cowboy's first time being rode since winter started. Actually, I had no expectations at all. I was willing to take as little or as much as they were willing to give. I have some video of me riding him today, too. I can't see him favoring his bad foot at all, though the video quality is poor. We were using the pocket camera rather than the video recorder. I didn't feel him being off, and I didn't see it in the movie. That makes me hopeful.



It sure felt good to be on horseback again, even though we didn't make it to the trails. Since I got one of my goals accomplished with Beautiful, I think it worked out well to stay around here. Maybe tomorrow, and if Beautiful starts to do really good at ponying, I'll be able to take her on some of my trail rides soon.

13 comments:

  1. I think Beautiful said, "you're right it's one step at a time." It's good you are taking the time to teach her how to pony. I think she did really well and was catching on. Cowboy is just a perfect guy, so calm and handsome. He looks good.

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  2. Thank you for complimenting Cowboy. He is the love of my horse life and I am so, so, so thankful for every year he's been sound since the fracture. Today was heaven to me to be with my Beautiful and him at the same time. I could watch that clip over and over and over--my two heart horses.

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  3. Good work all around! How good Cowboy must be to just let you get on and go to work. And Beautiful is really trying for you - ponying is a good idea. I might just try ponying Drifter off Pie - it would be a good way to introduce him to the trails.

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  4. Looks like Beautiful is getting the hang of it. Cowboy seems perfectly comfortable in that role which is very cool.

    My Dandy is grumpy about ponying horses off of him and does a lot of ear pinning.

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  5. How do you think Beautiful will react to a trail ride? It'll be interesting to see how she does ...

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  6. It looks to me like Beautiful wants to pony, but Cowboy is sending her messages to stay back with the pinned ears and swishing tail. Although, he could just be reacting to the sensation of you pulling on the rope too. It'll be a lesson for both of them. I can pony horses from Bombay easier than I can from Lostine, because Bombay has no personal space and loves having other horses around him. Lostine thinks she's the boss, so I have to remind her that when I'm on her back, she has to tolerate having another horse on her fender.

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  7. You're all very perceptive and all your comments are correct. Cowboy has ponied horses much of his life--but he was switching his tail and pinning his ears with Beautiful yesterday. I used to use Red to start them out, then move to Cowboy, but now I've got to start them on Cowboy--which gives me several issues to work on at once. Beautiful is very sensitive to horse signals (even though, yes, she is the BOSS of Cowboy in the herd and runs him around mercilessly.) Cowboy has never kicked at any of the colts--even when they bite him on the butt. I think he's telling them--You might be the boss in the herd, but I'm the boss on the trail. Beautiful is still learning these things. For example, the first time I went to halter and lead her out of the herd, she thought she was going to get attacked by the others. When she saw that there are different rules when the humans are in the herd, too, she eased up a bit--but she's still learning.

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  8. Joanne--Life is never dull when you're training young ones. The good thing is, in my experience, they're pretty desperate to stay with the herd--so if you drop the rope for any reason, they'll run wild circles around you bucking, but almost always stand still real close so you can ride over and pick the rope back up. She won't be going anywhere until she's ready though.

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  9. Kate--that sounds like a wonderful way to spend time with both your guys. I bet Pie will be a doll to pony from--like my Red. At this point in life, Red is the one being ponied for exercise. Cowboy likes the job--he loves Red--and it gets Red out with us on the trails again.

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  10. GADZOOKS!

    I was reading your blog and came to the realization- in 12 years I don't ever remember ponying my mustang Ranger. He has a couple hundred miles towing other horses, but what a HOLE in his training! He has never liked seeing me on another horse. Man, is he going to hate this summer...

    Thanks for the reminder!

    Bill

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  11. Beautiful IS beautiful! What a wonderful horse - can't wait to see how she comes along. Keep up the good work!

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  12. Beautiful sure is beautiful. Now that I have Gussie back, I plan on ponying off her. It's always good to have a horse that you can lead a pack horse from.

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  13. Bill--have fun with that! Sounds like it will be a little beneath him since he's already your steady-eddie on ponying others. I'll look forward to reading how it goes.

    Cari--Thank you. She's a sweetie.

    Shirley--Thanks--It is a good skill for all horses, I think.

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Please feel welcome to join our discussion--tell us about your own thoughts and experiences.