Sunday, 26 October 2008

Water Sports

Yesterday was a late start for us. We got to the paddock around 11.30 am after buying some TopTails to help brush out the dredlocks in her mane. She did so well, we are really proud of her.


She's been out in a yard for a few days now, and it really agrees with her! She's looking so good.

Once her mane was brushed out, we took them both down to the dam. We were hoping Becks would teach her how to splash in the water. She hesitated at first, not wanting to get in. Then she surprised us by launching herself head first into the water! Not knowing what to do, she took her cue from Becks and started pawing the water. Then she took it one step further, rolling four or five times in the muddy water.

So then we decided to introduce her to the hose. Living in the yard next to the wash bay helped prepare her for this I think. She did really well again, letting us hose her all over. She even took the hose between her teeth.

Then we had a run around the arena after having a roll in the sand. Naw.

And that was our Saturday.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Happy Birthday Becks!

Becks turned 18 today!
He was so full of himself today too, really enjoyed being a horse for once.

I let them have a run around the arena together.

Why can't I get him to trot like that under saddle?

Again with the feeling good.

Look what Gracie can do now! She now leads quite well, except through gates. That takes a little extra encouragement. We took her down to the dam today. She was an angel. Very very proud. :D

She is really coming along now. We are able to pet her all down her neck, to her withers, down to the top of her fore legs. I can now stand beside her and she will stand there and generally be ok with that. She is getting easier to catch now too, might be able to start taking the halter off her in a few weeks.

Very happy.


Monday, 13 October 2008

Fun Sunday

Sunday Nat and I went to the paddock. IT was hot, so I worked with Gracie for a while (Natalie was wearing thongs) and then we took Becks down to the dam for a swim.

We are now able to lead Gracie around her yard. So we decided to lead her to the round yard (with a little help from Beckham and carrots) and then do a little work in there with her for a change. She was pretty good. She responded well to light halter pressure, except going through gates seems to be a little bit of an issue for her. Going into the round yard was scary too, because the gate has a connecting pole along the top she had to go under. Once in there, I led her around, teaching her how to change direction and trying to get her to be by my side. Then, I got a lunge whip, and tried first off to just have it in her space, and not have her react to it, then I touched her shoulder with it, until she did not react anymore. Every time she took a step back (her way of getting out of things), I asked her to come forward the same amount of steps. When I first touched her with the whip, she nearly jumped out of her skin! She really does hate being touched. I was able to eventually pat her shoulder with the whip without her moving her feet. This took about 10 minutes. I then took the lead off and let her trot around me, til I saw her start to dip her head in want to come in to me. I didn't push this too hard as it was hot. We then let her graze in there with a bucket of water while Becks, Nat and I went to the dam.

We led Grace back to her yard without Beckham to go first. It took quite a while to convince her that the gate would not bite her, but she got there in the end. We then let her graze just outside the arena, and while we were doing things (washing buckets, bringing chaff bag over, wheeling the wheelbarrow past) we stopped near her and petted her. You can now officially touch her almost anywhere on her head and ears, over her eyes, play with her forelock, open her lips to look at her teeth (She still has all her baby teeth from what I can see, so that puts her at under 2), all without her protesting much. As soon as you try to go further though, she turns tail and gets out of there! But last week she did this when we tried patting her on her forehead, so there is major improvement. Next step - patting the neck!

You want pictures?
(Captions below)

Leading around her yard. It's a dust bowl. She will move to another yard (with grass!!) soon.

Teaching her to come to the pressure

A nice one, with her relaxed and not moving or leaning her body away from me.

The whip in her space. She was quite interested in it.

Trying to 'escape'. Taking steps back, head up, body leaned away from me.

Just hanging out, letting her get used to the idea.

Looking back at these photos, I'm really quite proud of her!


Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Some pics

Not much riding going on.
Infact, no riding going on. :(

Despite daylight savings having started last Sunday, a sore back, tummy bugs, and various other reasons have kept me off Becks. I did lounge him once though. He wasn't too pleased about that. I'm hoping to get on him this week.

In other news, things with Gracie are traveling at a steady, albeit slow, pace. She has backed off the bratty attitude a little, but has started trying to shit me by doing the 'I can touch you, but you are NOT allowed to touch me!' thing. It's frustrating. She has a better bond with Natalie I'm afraid. She just doesn't want to try for me.
I did manage to get a lead on her and lead her around a little, but she already follows easily. I was teaching her about giving to the pressure of the halter. Asking her to come to me, and giving her slack in the rope when she made an effort to move closer. I eventually was able to stand in her space and touch her nose. She didn't like it one bit, but she also didn't loose her head and try to escape. Progress, I guess.

Onto photos.
(Captions below)

Nom nom nom

Becks and Gracie sniffing with Venus, a cute quarter horse mare.

Andrew 'just chilling' with Becks. (In Andrew's words... lol)

Most of the mares on the property are coming into season now. Becks was walking around the property yesterday, sniffing all the manure piles and wet patches, getting all excited. He forgets he is a gelding sometimes.

She is quite a
nice mover already. She has an 'effortless' trot, with that little moment of suspension quite obvious. Plus she doesn't move with her head stuck straight up in the air so far.

The trouble makers, just having a graze.


Wednesday, 1 October 2008


So Gracie has been here for over a week now. Almost 2 infact. Natalie got a halter on her, so that was a little progress. Then Casey came out last Saturday to see how she is going (and to give Beckham kisses) and she gave us a few really good tips for Gracie's training.

Gracie has a bratty attitude problem. Food is a big motivator for her. We have been making her work for her food, she has to sniff our hand or let us touch her, or stand still and relax while we are in her space, (or something, a little goal for the day) then we let her have a mouthful. This pisses her off a bit. I think she has never had to do something she hasn't wanted to do. Bit of a rude shock, I guess. She has decided that nipping is good way to get the point across that she is shitty. She got me a beauty tonight on the leg, and she got Natalie on the side the other day. I swung my arms up at her immediately when she bit me, made her go away, then my goal for the session was to teach her that nipping is not ok, using little growls and not letting her eat till she let me pet her nose without her trying to nip. She understood after about 5 minutes, and complied, but she didn't seem too happy about it. I haven't really bonded with her, unfortunetly.

We have also been spending time in there with her without food, asking her to stay put while we come in her space, asking her to sniff a hand or follow us for a few steps, then taking the pressure off when she does what we want. She is getting quite confident. She was alot better today for me without the food motivator.

She is looking alot better weight and health wise too. I want to trim her feet so badly! And her mane is a tangled mess. And she needs a curry comb too. Or a roll.