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June 18, 2018: The Horse Life: Homeschooling and Local Fame

Yes, I am horsey homeschooling, and I think, doing a better job than some parents. This sounds like a very egotistical statement, but I will stand by it on our better days. And I will admit that I have my teacherly limitations, one of which is that I am more of a spontaneous planner than I ought to be. I figure out what I am doing and who I am doing it with as the day progresses.

The day dawned sunny with temps in the high twenties. I knew, and was right – this was to be an outdoor day. This school day began with Pete walking Tinni and me riding Hrimmi around the loop. It was the first time I used the new bareback pad with Hrimmi. I trusted the clerk at the Bony Pony in WA – and she came through.

Betty interviewing Stormy

This bareback pad fits all my horses, is no slip, and has the right sized girth. When I ride Hrimmi, I no longer slip back onto her butt.

Hrimmi moved at a fast walk, happily – I worked at allowing her to make contact with the bit by making my hands heavy and imagining baby birds in my hands. And I used my following seat, letting her push my hips forward with hers. There were a lot of little things I also did, suffice to say, she let me know that I was on the right track by letting out gentle snorts.

Next, I did agility with Raudi. I first put the bareback pad and TTeam wraps on her. I am doing this now in order to let the horses know when they are in class. Raudi is now at the Advanced One Star Level, which has its challenges for us both. I thought we’d have problems with the S pole obstacle – I am to stay on the far side and she has to walk through the S maze independently. Once she figured out what I wanted, she went through it, no problem.

I was finishing up when Betty, who is the Alaska State Fair marketing director, showed up. She’s currently interviewing fairgoers about their experience. I stood with Stormy in the upper quadrant (with ribbon in hand) and told our story. Betty is not an animal person. Stormy very politely asked her for a pet, but Betty kept her focus on me. Ranger, behind the gate, kept his focus on us all. I wanted to let him out of the pen, but I knew he’d insist she pay attention to her by rearing up.

I got Hrimmi out again after Betty left and did some agility with her. She’s now at the advanced level, which for some odd reason has a lot of trot work in it. Just as well – she needs work in this area. She did pretty well in the Playground, noodled some, but not excessively. Then I decided to take her out with Hestar. She caught on right away and stayed out of my space on our loop ride. This is going to be an excellent way of building up her trotting muscles.

And lastly, there was Tyra. This is the horse with the sunny disposition and the desire to do fun things. I am going to do online agility with her, starting at the Starter Level. Pete had said she’d have no problem at this level and he was right. We did the course and then called it good. After, I did some Intrinzen work with her, and in preparation for the bicycle ride, I had her go around the poles while I stayed on the far side.

Another flash of brilliance on my part – I put four traffic cones out in the road and first walking, and then on the bicycle, I had her stay on the outside while I rode on the inside. She did just fine. The loop part of our ride did not go as well because I inadvertently used the longer lead rope. It got wrapped in the rear tire a few times, and it took time to extricate it. In order to keep Tyra focused on the task at hand, we have to be moving, and at a good clip. Otherwise, she starts to mug me for treats.

I made it up to Tyra by turning onto the trail and letting her run free while I rode Hestar. It was getting late, and getting dark, so we did not go far. And she stayed close. This could have been what she needed because I had her full, undivided attention as we headed on the road, in the direction of home.

Yes, it was a good homeschooling day. Tomorrow, more of the same with the focus being on Raudi and Tinni.

Next: 19. 1/19/18: Splitting Hairs

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