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Wizard Ride 278: I Would Hurt a Fly

September 12, 2011


Saturday, 9/10/11

Before I rode, I attended the Helping Hearts Equine Rescue tack sale. Got some GREAT deals, and took pictures of some of their beautiful adoptables, including pretty Laila, who looked like THIS at Camelot Auction a few months ago…

Hip #151

And now looks like THIS…

Remember Laila?

Although it was a sunny day, the air was still and there were quite a few flies around at the barn. Wizard and I headed out on the trails with Lily, Zeke, and Sunny. Kris had a citronella fly repellent noseband for her bridle for Sunny- the jury is still out as to how effective it was, but it seems like a good idea.

We rode around the longer trail loop and took the whole route in reverse from our usual direction. The entire ride took about an hour, and we had a nice group trot when we reached a long, level path. There were several puddles along the old training track path by a farm, and we used the opportunity for schooling the horses. Sunny showed off her trail skills by handling the water like a pro, and Lily and Wizard were wonderful as always. Zeke was not thrilled about the water- it looks like he will need some schooling with water in the future.

After we returned from our ride, I rode Wizard in the arena for about 10-15 minutes. We mostly worked on a soft, cadenced canter. I did my best not to make a production out of our transition. He rolled right into a nice canter on the right lead, but we sort of ran into the canter to the left. We popped over a little half-cross rail as a continuation of our “no big deal” training over tiny obstacles that Carole asked us to do in our last lesson.

Wizard earned a BAP with the crop, aka Mr. Spanky, when he stopped dead in the middle of the trail one too many times, diving his head down to scratch a fly bite. Itching and walking is just fine, but a dead stop out of nowhere several times in a row is not part of the program. In an emergency, it’s fine, but every time we have an itch, we don’t need to stop in our tracks. When I hosed Wizard off after our ride, I put a chain over his nose in order to avoid repeating his bathtime meltdown from a few rides ago. I did not have to do anything with the chain, and he stood like a stone while I fussed and scrubbed and trickled a little water on his face. As much as I always use a resistance-free method when training and schooling, sometimes the presence of something stronger than both of us stands as a reminder to behave and be safe.

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