Monday, August 22, 2011

I had a relaxing weekend, and didn't get to the Stock Horse Show :(
On Friday, I decided to lunge Sugar, and she was mostly very good. Still bucking a good bit at the canter, but we need to continue building muscle. I know that Sugar knows how to canter/lope because the trainer she went to had her loping off from a walk when he was done with her. Rally carried on while she was gone, running, bucking, whinnying, etc.
On Saturday, Sugar & I were able to ride with Rally & my boyfriend. We were going to go trail riding because the road where we need to ride across was closed, but it reopened. So instead we rode all around in the little neighborhood and all over the farm. Rally spooked several times, but Sugar just kept on truckin', and he quickly got over it.
As many young horses do, Sugar will look around and end up heading off in that direction, instead of keeping a straight-ish line. I have no problem with her looking around, as long as she's not fixating or speeding up or whatever else horses throw at you, so for now I've decided to guide her back with leg yields and some neck reining (Sugar was taught the very basics of neck reining before I bought her).
I have really been paying attention to her trotting off, and I believe for now I've got the cure. Simple half-halts have done the trick as soon as she starts speeding up her walk. Because she's such an honest horse, it's not like she's walking one minute and off on a rampage the next. She gets excited about what's next and wants to get there!
I've also been very careful to not let her speed up when we look as if we are returning to the barn. I think that's a great foundation for a young horse, and if it's possible I would say she actually walks slower back to the barn than leaving. She was slightly riding sour when I purchased her, but I've worked with her on it, and I think she really enjoys getting out now.
Another thing Sugar sometimes tries is walking off when I unhalter her to put her bridle on. That's also been getting better, as she only took two steps this time :) She does not walk off after a ride when the bridle comes off to put the halter on. I can actually take her bridle off, and then scratch all her itchy spots on her head, and then put her halter on, and she stands there. So I have to re-examine the process I use to put her bridle on.
Rally actually sped up this weekend on the way back to the barn. I basically parked Sugar and had Bryan turn around, and go back out on the trail until Rally calmed down, at which point I told him to praise him well, and head back to the barn. He did this twice, and I had Bryan do that twice. I'll be keeping my eye on that.
One more thing, I'm on the search for a new bit, any recommendations?
Oh, by the way, has anyone checked out Mugwump?? She's the new author of the Fugly blog!

1 comment:

  1. I learned the hard way not to let a horse run home. When Socks and I were both younger, we didn't have anyone to tell us the basic do's and don't's. For a while I thought that running home was the most fun you could have...I regretted that for a long time.

    I'm glad Sugar is doing so well. She sounds really good for a young horse!

    What kind of bit do you use now?

    Yes, I felt bad for Mugwump on her latest post on downhill horses, she got some nasty comments.