I am thankful for how quiet and content Paisano eats his dinner
Obstacle Course January 3, 2010
The ponies and I had a wonderful afternoon today. I set up an obstacle course out of left over fence posts and did some exercise with all three of them. I started out with Rosie, walking her back and forth next to the posts. She did her usual sniff and paw routine to check them out and then walked over them, no problem. The posts were laid flat on the snow so she didn’t have to pick up her feet very much to get over them. I then stacked some posts on top of the other ones so they were off the snow completely.
I led her through again and she got a little nervous when her hooves bumped the posts while she stepped over them. After a few times through, she was picking up her feet nicely and not bumping the posts. She was doing well so I decided try lunging her over the flat posts. We did a couple circles just to freshen her up and then moved onto the posts. She did really good with the flat posts but I couldn’t get her to move smoothly through the raised ones. I then tried to move over the flat posts, then change direction go back over them.
I really worked on my body position in relation to her when changing directions. We kind of struggle with the transition when she gets on a longer lead. I picked up on one of sources of confusion for us. When I’m on her off-side I tend to step in front of her shoulders more while trying to keep her moving. This is confusing because I’ve used stepping ahead of her shoulders to slow down or stop movement. I was always so focused on keeping her moving in a circle I lost track of where I was in relation to her. After I adjusted my body, she was able to make the change of direction more smoothly without us running around each other all confused
Miss did excellent as well when it was her turn to go through the obstacle course. We did the same exercises that I did with Rosie. Miss is better on a longer lead than Rosie is and we were able to go through the raised posts, change direction and go back through smoothly.
Paisano was next. I rode Paisano instead of leading him. I jumped on bareback and we took a few passes walking over and around the posts. I really like riding bareback and it’s a great way to strengthen my balance. We even did a little trotting and I hope to get up to a canter some time soon
Cody did some riding with Pai as well. They did well and I got a chance to finally get some pictures of them together. It was a beautiful day and we were able to put in some quality time with the ponies.
The rest of the photos can be found on my flickr page.
Catching Up December 21, 2009
I spent the first week of Dec. in Las Vegas attending Autodesk University 2009. I went with my supervisor and another co-worker to get learned up on the latest and greatest from Autodesk. I use AutoCAD Electrical at work and have become a power user/trainer for the rest of our design/drafters. I am really excited to get all of us on board and running with this software. It’s going to be a huge time saver and make our jobs much easier. I had the priviledge of having my picture drawn digitally by a character artist attending the convention. I think he did an excellent job.
I also had the priviledge to give my cousin her first pony ride! I was completely unaware at the time that it was her first time riding a horse. Sarah rode him bareback while I led him down the block. She had her hands tangled up in Paisano’s mane the whole time :) I was extra happy to know that she felt comfortable with him and trusted him. Her mother told me that she has had other opportunities to take horse rides but never had the courage to do it. I would have never guessed, Sarah just jumped up on him without hesitation and she didn’t get nervous or want to get down. I was very proud of both of them. My other cousin Ian also went for a ride and I got to tell him all about the Spanish Mustang and why they are so special. Hopefully he went home and told all his friends about how cool the Spanish Mustang is
So next are the holidays and my New Year’s resolutions….. better start writing them down!
Herd update November 11, 2009
The herd at the Earth Dancer Ranch has come into full swing. Paisano has been here less than a week and we already have a routine established. I wake up, get ready for work and go out to say good morning to everyone. Each one of them gets a good scratching and an alfalfa cube. Then I fed them a little and go to work. I get home and try to get one of them into the round pen for a short training session. With the girls we work on the basics, developing a strong ground foundation. If I’m with Paisano, I will lunge him a little and then get on and work on talking to each other. We communicate pretty good but we are still getting to know all the little and subtle things. He is so patient with everyone and we couldn’t have a better mentor in Paisano. He doesn’t even chase the dogs around :) As a matter of fact I don’t even think he cares too much about them. After our training session, I feed them all. I give Paisano his oat/flax mixture and he usually shares it with Rosie. Lil’ Miss is still being proud and won’t even give it the time of day. I give them all hay and some alfalfa cubes. They definitely know when it’s feeding time, ha ha ha. If I’m running late in the morning, I can count on Rosie to be standing at the gate staring at the house whinnying. The other two are there as well but she is the most vocal about it
We are working on getting my stadium lighting put up on the round pen and should be able train after hours soon!
Girlfriends November 9, 2009
Oh boy does Paisano love his girls ;)
I turned them all out together later in the afternoon yesterday. After a couple hours Paisano seemed to be pretty relaxed and the girls were getting bored in the round pen. Me and my dad figured they are going to have to get to know one each other eventually and like I said Pai was relaxed so I felt comfortable trying it out. When I turned the girls loose Paisano came rushing over to investigate. Simrat told me he was in between to old geldings at his barn so a couple fresh young fillies were very exciting to him. Miss of course tried to show him she was boss. She sniffed him and then turned around to strike at him but ran away instead with Rosie in tow. It was really funny to watch Miss. I think she knew that Paisano was going to be the man and she was just putting up a fuss to show him that he better be careful or else. Ha, ha, ha. I couldn’t even take her serious ;D
When Miss took off running Paisano didn’t miss a beat, he was after those girls so fast! They all made a few laps around the pasture running, snorting, bucking and sniffing. After about a minute they stopped, all took turns sniffing each other and then started grazing like nothing happened. I was amazed! Miss still tried to push him around a little but he put her in her place right away. Rosie would only pay attention to him if Miss did almost like she was doing it just so she wouldn’t be left out of the action ::) They were doing really well together so I went inside to eat something and get back to real life for a minute, kind of re-group my head and stuff.
Just about dusk I went out to put Paisano in the round pen for the night just to be safe. I put him in and got his dinner for him and started walking away when he started whinnying and running around. I turned around to see what the fuss was and he was looking at the girls and calling to them. They both came running over and stood next to him at the round pen. Then they all looked at me like “well, fix this lady”. So I decided that everything was fine and I fed them all together without any drama or fuss.
I felt comfortable enough to leave them over night together. I checked on them this morning and they were fine. None of them had a scratch on them. I can’t believe how smoothly the transition has been so far. It’s like he has always been here and part of the herd.