Colorado Mustang Days begins exactly two weeks from today.
My neighbor owns a riding school and has kindly agreed to let me use her arena in preparation for CMD. Today has been absolutely beautiful, so it was a perfect time to get to work. Skeets hasn't been ridden in almost a month (again). Our last ride was 1/29/16, but she has been so good. I haven't had much time other than just loving on her - no actual work has occurred, so I wasn't sure how today would go.
She was such a pro today. I spent some time grooming her while purred like a cat. She didn't actually purr, but if she was a cat, she would have been purring. Despite how ugly her mane is, I've decided to just leave it. She's a mustang - her mane doesn't have to be perfect. We did some circling work and I picked up her feet. She tried to tell me she didn't remember how to pick them up, but I reminded her that she did know how to do it and she finally picked them up nicely.
I tacked her up and headed out to my neighbor's. We'd visited once before, but just for a few minutes. I anticipated that she'd be distracted, so we did more circling work in the neighbor's driveway until she remembered I was the boss.
Once in the arena, we did even more circling work and direction changes until her brain engaged. My neighbor teaches young jumpers (kids), so there were some low jumps set up in the arena that we used as obstacles. She did a great job walking over the ground poles and a couple of the poles that were maybe 6-8" off the ground, so we went to some that were a little higher, maybe 10-12" and she dragged her back hooves over them. She didn't knock them over, but she didn't fully pick up her back feet either.
I knew I was stretching her a bit, but I then had her walk over the taller poles. She got her front hooves over well, but knocked them over with her back. I set up the poles and we tried it again. She dragged her back hooves again and knocked it down, so I set it up again and just left it.
I had gone over with the intention of riding, but knowing that if Skeets was not behaving or I felt in any way that it would be a bad idea, I would just abort and do in-hand work instead.
She was being so good that I went ahead and mounted up. I only rode about ten minutes, but it was a good ten minutes.
What a beautiful day and beautiful arena! Now I'm going to set up some obstacles! I'm impressed with her memory after being off for a month. She's a smart girl. Love the view from the saddle.
Linda, I'm thrilled to be able to pick back up where we left off! That's exactly what I want in a horse. I was spoiled with Estes - we'd send her off to winter pasture, then pull her in the spring and hop on bareback. That's what I expect of Skeeter in the next couple of years and this seems like a good start.
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