It took a couple of weeks for the dust to settle back down on the herd dynamics. Nash still isn’t quite fully in the mix of things, but Gem has stopped being a total witch to him and is letting him graze near them now. I was shocked at her response to him. She has never once shown any proclivity towards being alpha, but then again she never had a dog sized equine to boss around either. For his part, Nash is in love with them and whinnies in his tiny voice when he is the last man standing in the pasture which is every night because pony needs to learn to not rush the gate.
Speaking of manners. Nashville has been getting some lessons on ground work. He isn’t bad by any means, but I have gotten spoiled with having the Dynamic Duo for eight years now. They know exactly what is expected of them and what lines they can’t cross. Nash needs to figure out what I’m willing to tolerate and what I’m not and I keep reminding myself that it will take time. Stopping while being led is one thing that drives me crazy. I’ll let you know when you may graze. Otherwise keep up! I’ve been doing a lot of simple things while leading him in and out of the barn such as halting randomly, backing him up, turning various body parts away from me. He picked it up quickly and is very easy to lead now.
He has been really great with Wyatt so far. He can lead him (though it hasn’t crossed over as well that he has to listen to him too), groom him, and dismount all on his own. Mounting isn’t happening yet and I’m cool with that for now.
I have failed at getting a complete tack set situated so it’s been lead line bareback rides so far which Wyatt has excelled at. It may not sound like a big deal, but Wyatt was always too scared to do it on Gem and now he hops on up and asks to go over ground poles and jumps and all over creation. He laughs when he starts to lose balance and in general is learning a lot about balance and self control. All great skills for a 5 year old to learn.
I’ve managed to grab a really nice 14″ jump saddle which is seriously one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. It fits Wyatt well with a bit of room for growth too. It was used, local and a great price. I then snagged a used pony bridle off the Tack Hunter app and we are almost all set. The bit and girth are making their way to my house as we speak and were the only new items I purchased. I love used tack!
I’m a bit nervous about how he will be under saddle and am hoping I didn’t make a big mistake and buy some psycho crazed pony that will scare the crap out of Wyatt. I plan to use my own saddle on him once the bit and girth arrive and put a few rides on him myself to assess his brain and bad habits. I was told he is lazy but honestly I haven’t seen that at all. We will see what happens hopefully this weekend if it comes in time!
In the meantime I’ve been working Nash after my Gem rides. One thing I’m a bit pissed off being lied to about is lunging (another reason I’m worried about how he will be under saddle since the seller lied about this although I have plenty of videos of him being ridden by small children so maybe it will be ok?). Wyatt takes lunge line lessons so my first question to every prospective seller was about lunging. I was told he was good.
Yeah that’s a big nope.
The first time I tried he seemed either very confused or just very good at playing the game to get out of work. He would turn and face me every time I asked him to move on and if I moved my own body he would just shift to face me again. Hmmm…
I grabbed my dressage whip and got to work getting him to understand that I mean walk when I say walk and that turning to face me was not the answer I wanted. He got a bit pissy about it, but after 20 minutes or so he was walking on going left. Rinse and repeat going right. By the end of 45 minutes he was walking on when asked and only stopping to face me when I said halt.
The walking on was in a straight line only. Boy doesn’t bend at all. Worse than Gemmie by a hundred fold.
That was Sunday. On Wednesday I pulled him back out after riding Gem and was curious to find out if he remembered what I taught him and where we would begin. Turns out he is a quick study as he walked on right away on the first ask. I still couldn’t get him to bend or move out on the circle but at least he was moving every time I asked and even offered up a few trot steps. I’m going to have to do a lot more reading on teaching how to lunge as my knowledge is pretty limited. Thankfully he seems to eat up praise and is learning fast.
So that is where we currently stand with him. Wyatt still asks to ride often and seems to be enjoying him a lot and I’m learning what it is like to have a new to me horse all over again. It’s been interesting so far and has shown me how much I rely on Gem knowing what I mean and how life works with us. It has made me really appreciate her a lot more!
Don’t forget that tomorrow is the last day to sign up for the 2018 Volunteer Challenge. Lots of prizes to be won!