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December 17, 2018: Agility

I really didn’t think that we’d get the December agility videos done. Barring the unforeseen, more snow or wind, it appears as though this is going to happen. Yesterday Pete plowed the Playground, the day before that he plowed the path leading up to the Playground. This all took him several hours. I was of course very grateful yesterday, and the day before. Today, my gratitude knew no bounds for I was able to build the course and take the mares through it.

The December course is very festive, what with all kinds of decorations and the like. But it also contains nine obstacles and one of your own choosing. I have figured out what to do with Raudi and Tyra, but have not yet figured out what to do with Hrimmi.

Anyhow, it took me a long time to set up the course – the hardest part was the ring the bell obstacle. I generally put a cross rail on the jump stands and then tie cow bells on the cross rail. But my jump stands are now a part of the tunnel, which right now is a Christmas grotto. This course is arranged in a star pattern, and the tunnel/grotto is at the top of the star. We did not want to dismantle the tunnel/grotto, which is very sturdy and well put together. So it is now the top of the star.

Pete clearing snow from the  arena
Pete clearing snow from the arena

The jump stands are both busted on the bottom and would not stay upright with the weight of the rail #@$%#&*+%$#, so I did a Pete (doing a Pete means figuring out something more practical and innovative). This involved cutting a lightweight pole and using it as the cross rail. It worked perfectly.

When done, I first took Tyra through the course. She did just fine. The first obstacle is the costume obstacle. The horses don’t like things on their heads. In past years I’ve put leg wraps on them and a matching Christmas tree stand wrap. This year I lucked out. I found a large cloth wreath at the thrift store. It even has bells on it. I can slip it over their heads quite easily. Even Tyra was okay with this. One of the obstacles in the Medium level course is a snow berm – Tyra’s supposed to walk over it with me behind her. She hesitated the first time, but quickly caught on.

Hrimmi was next. I’m doing the Advanced Two Star course with her. No problems at all. She was a little nibbly, but otherwise she was focused on the task at hand.

And Lastly, I did Raudi who I also will work at the Advanced Two Star Level. Lately she hasn’t been too keen on backing through things. This time, she has to walk through the tunnel/grotto and also back through the festive streamer curtain. I used the clicker and chunked the obstacles down when she refused to back through the curtain. By chunking down, I mean I took her the far way through it and then backed her, in increments. This worked.

I finished just in time for the farrier visit. This too went well. Each day that goes well means the next one will go even better. I’m getting more agile and so are they.

Next: 352. 12/18/18: Colic Attack

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