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Selena Ride 22; JR Session 55; Wizard Session 93: This Little Piggy

September 7, 2009

Wizard remembers his days as a racehorse...

Monday, 9/7/09

Wizard: I took Wizard for a walk in the woods with Mary the Morgan and her owner. We’ve been learning about the trail network around the barn and exploring the trails is becoming an addiction! I hiked with Wizard for a little over 5 miles, behind the barn, past a farm with a little pen of pigs, across the street, around a big loop, and back to the barn.

Pigs??? Yes! There were 4 pigs- 2 were friendly and 2 were shy. Wizard startled a bit when he saw them at first, but then he became bolder and actually touched noses with one of them. It was interesting to see his little wheels turning in his head as he changed from, “Nope! Nope! Nope!” to “Yep! Yep! Yep!”. I really like how curious and bold Wizard is.

The only problem I had with Wizard on the hike was on the last leg of the trail. Mary the Morgan had trotted ahead a little bit and was just out of our sight. Wizard became agitated and pranced and jigged until we were close to them again. It was especially interesting because he is not particularly buddy-sour or barn-sour, but the horse leaving his sight really triggered him.

After the walk, I turned him out in the arena and he cavorted and played for a few minutes. I put him in his stall and he snacked on Dengie while I worked with the other 2 horses.

Selena: Best ride yet! She had a few days off, but it seemed to work to our advantage this time. She was so relaxed, which I partly contribute to the conditions, since it was an hour after feeding time and the weather was very pleasant. We’ve also getting used to each other, which is wonderful. I put the cones out in the arena, this time in a straight line like how pole benders set up poles. I used the cones as huge loops for serpentines. From the very beginning of the ride, Selena was responsive. She heard every cue, and is really beginning to understand my half halts. She is already wonderfully responsive to leg so now she’s becoming a treat to ride :^)

Our transitions were lovely, she was actually a little quiet so I asked her for a canter so I could practice settling her down and relaxing her topline. She responded and her neck and back were tense, but she became more relaxed with transitions and bending. At one section of the arena, I could feel her round her back and accept contact with the bit. She did it a handful of times and it was a wonderful feeling. Now that I’ve felt it, I know that we have the potential to get some great things accomplished. Wonderful ride!

JR: After I was done with Wizard and Selena, I took JR for a hike in the woods. He has put on a little too much weight from inactivity so the exercise was definitely a good thing for him. We went a little under 4 miles, including past the pigs. JR was more fearful than his bold friend Wizard, but I was pleased with his reaction. When we approached the pigs, he telescoped his neck and reached toward them. He did not quite touch noses like Wizard, but he was curious enough to overcome his fears. I did have to handle a little hopping around when I put him between me and the pigs- he was far more comfortable when I was between him and the pigs. He even managed to step on my foot, which thankfully did not result in any injury. I’m 31 years old and I’ve been stepped on twice by horses in my life, both this year: once by Wizard and once by JR.

It was a great day for all the horses. I hope to keep taking advantage of this great weather by riding and exercising with the herd.

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