Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sunday - First Ride!

Well, first ride at home at least! Sunday after church we came home, ate some pizza per our usual routine and then headed out to play with our new horse! The night before the girls and I went to tractor supply and got all kinds of goodies for him. A new bit, grooming spray, Chloe bought her some special reins to ride him with, and a salt lick. Oh and wormer! I had called the vet earlier that day and asked what I needed to do to get weight back on him. He told me worm him now and then again in three weeks. Feed him some senior feed and add plain vegetable oil on top. Up to a cup a day if they can stand it, he said some horses don't like it. He doesn't seem to mind at all, lol.

So I did a little ground work to begin with. Building on what we had done the day before. I discovered he doesn't like his ears handled much, so we worked on that again. Also added some hindquarter yielding, which he did really well at as long as I was doing what I was supposed to.

His reaction to my touching his ear, lol
Then I parked him by the gate and gave him another good brushing, finally seeing some shine this time! I grabbed the grooming spray and started on his mane. He had had no problem at all with fly spray the day before, so I didn't expect an issue. Well apparently he didn't like it that close to his head and started jiggling around trying to get away from me. Well I just let him go wherever he wanted but he still got sprayed! Finally he stood still snorting and let me spray him, so then I stopped. By then he had quite a wet shoulder and neck, lol. Silly boy. I took him back over to the gate and we proceeded with no further protests from Mr. Harold.

I got him tacked up with no issue (besides the cinch being way too long for skinny boy) and hopped up! He of course tried to move off immediately (at least he doesnt move when I try to get on too!) so we worked on that until he was waiting on me for the cue. I need to get him yielding laterally so he knows he will be doing that right after I get on and not walking off. I will have to wait for a day without the husband and kids waiting on me though.

I put him through his paces again, he was pretty good! I think he was happy with his new bit. It's this one:

Its a D-ring snaffle with a copper mouth. Has a nice curve to the mouthpiece. So I had nice long reins to work with this time instead of those silly barrel/roping reins that was on the cruddy nylon headstall at his previous owners. Which were great for a spanker when he didn't want to trot, and especially awesome to keep at the ready while we were loping as a motivator, lol. 

I enjoy riding him, he nearly always keeps his head level, doesn't move too fast, and is pretty responsive to the bit if I remember to use my reins right. He also doesn't seem to resent being rode, which I got from Daisy a lot, lol. I just wish his gaits were better! I found out he is out of halter blood, which sort of explains it. They are so BOUNCY! 

Here is a short vid I put together! Chloe is on it at the end for her ride, you'll see her AHH freak out face to begin with, lol, she is so timid about everything. But she ended up loving it. ;) If you want the video bigger click the Vimeo icon. And watch in HD! The quality gets a little icky at one point, the husband turned my phone over sideways to video half way through so I had to flip it in an editor and it didn't like that.


Harolds First Ride from Britnieann on Vimeo.

You can see to him a downward transition is a WOAH, lol, which kept catching me off guard. He looks like he could be athletic if he wanted to. Check out his snappy little turns starting at 1:30. I see some jumps in his future! :D

Thirsty horse
I could have rode forever but the natives were getting restless over there on the rail. So I got to a good stopping point and then it was Chloe's turn! He was very careful with her and she was so proud to be able to ride him herself!

So I gave him his first grain and veggie oil on Monday night. I was afraid he might be a picky eater since he didn't eat the watermelon rind we offered him the other night. But he loves it, lol. A little too much the next morning. He tried to make an ugly face at me when I walked up to him while he was eating. But after I chased him around and made him do some turns he decided to be a good boy and haven't had a problem since. 

I have worked with him a few times over this week. Been mostly busy with dinner, cleaning house, doing laundry and babies! Tomorrow is my off day so I want to try to ride him then and give him a bath. 

I took some reference photos the other day so I can see his weight gain. 

Not a great conf pic, but good enough to check weight changes

Whats with the flash photography?? 
He followed the husband all over and just stood next to him while he picked up his manure, lol!
Last night I got to play with him a little. Worked on his hindquarter yield and backing again. Touching his ears. By then it was getting dark so I gave him his grain and went home to play some Uno with the fam, ;).

I'll update again about tomorrow!


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