Home > Trip > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2013 > Daily Dispatch #34

February 3, 2012: Begin with a Plan

I try to have a plan in mind before I work with the horses, which is an idea of what I’m going to do, and hope to accomplish. Sometimes I figure this plan out as I’m heading down to the enclosure. Today was one of those days. I knew just one thing, and this was that I wanted to get all four riding horses out, and I wanted not to walk, but to ride them.

I don’t usually do much with Siggi – I consider him to be Pete’s responsibility because he considers himself to be Pete’s responsibility. But because Pete is back teaching, and has very little time, I decided to work with him more. Both Raudi and Signy are getting in very good trip shape – the same is going to have to hold true for Mr. Siggi.

So, I decided to ride him today, and pony Signy, so that he’d have some company. All was just fine until I got on him. Actually, there was a time when he wouldn’t even let me get on him, so this was a good start. Plain and simple, he just did not want to go for an outing. I was, this time, as patient and calm as I have ever been with him. I squeezed on him to go forward, and when he did, praised the heck out of him. He tried to turn back a number of times, but each time, I had him whoa, pointed him in the right direction, and then squeezed. The further away from the gate we got, the better he got. Finally, we were off. The whole time this was going on, Signy kept repositioning herself. She is a remarkable horse.

I was pleased with the outcome. I’m just going to make it a point to take Mr. Siggi out first, or do groundwork with him, so that he doesn’t get neglected.

I next took Signy out, and ponied Raudi. Signy maybe was bothered by the fact that I was using a bit. She swiveled quite a bit on the ride out. And there was some resistance on her part and on Raudi’s at the corner. But once we got going, we had a lovely ride – mostly trotting.

Lastly, I took Tinni out and ponied Raudi. It was to be a short ride, and it was. Three quarters of the way around the loop Tinni bolted. Today I realized that he always does this in the same place. He was going so fast I let go of Raudi’s line, which meant that after, I had to catch her again. It took a few minutes of our wandering around, but finally I had both horses in hand. Tinni was again high headed, so I got off and we walked the rest of the way home – with me doing ground work – doing turns, whoas, and stands. This was good for both horses.

So, all went according to plan with a few glitches here and there. The glitches I’m learning (finally) to deal with in a calm fashion – rather than getting bent out of shape, I’m instead thinking of how I can either change the situation for the better, or use the situation as one of those so-called teachable moments.

I am spending far too much time with these horses. I know that I won’t always be able to do this, which is why I am valuing every moment. And all the horses, especially Raudi, are benefitting from this.

Next: 35. 2/4/12: Stupor Bowl Sunday