Tuesday, April 10, 2012

9 - I knew that.

As a stay-at-home mother of 3 young boys, I have found it difficult to work in my horse time, over the last 6 years.  But, with a little determination, and, with my boys growing older, I am finally getting back into things.
Irie, my breeding stock Paint.
A little romp.

Ironically, the more time I spend with the horses, the more 'rookie' mistakes I've been making!  It is funny how, if you don't use it, you lose it.  Not just muscles, but, even my knowledge as to what to do, and what not to do, has gotten a little bit rusty since my horses have been on vacation for the last several years.  Feeding my horses, grooming, and holding them for the farrier and vet have done little to keep my skills sharp.

Dottie in front, Irie behind
If you look carefully at the sky, you'll see a rainbow!
For example, I made the mistake of turning out my dominant mare in the paddock before my low on the totem pole mare.  As I was trying to chase Dottie away, and bring in poor little Irie, Dottie nailed Irie.  Poor Irie.  Better her that me though.  So, I took that opportunity to educate my non-horsey husband, WHY you should always turn out the horse that is lowest on the totem pole first.  They will steer clear as you bring out the boss, but a horse on the end of a rope is in a very vulnerable position.  And, when bringing them in, do the opposite, so that you bring the dominant horse in first.  I knew that, I just wasn't thinking.  Of course, I could work with Dottie on backing off, too.  All in due time.

Another "oops" was during my first ride at the indoor, during colder weather,  Dottie had behaved so well, I decided to have a little 'fun', and lunge her over a small (1 foot) jump that was set up in the ring.   I already had a successful ride, and was cooling her off, why would I start something new?  Shame on me.  But seriously, it was so small, she could have walked over it.  I didn't expect her to balk.  She didn't at first, but, she lazily trotted over it the first two times, but on the second time, she wacked it pretty good.  When she did that, I knew that she would either clear it with plenty of room, or, avoid going over it the next time.  Unfortunately, it was the latter.  I would have certainly ended the session differently, had I set out to work with her on jumps.  She was getting worked up and avoiding the jump with all her might.  She had behaved so well, and the weather was so cold, I didn't want her getting so worked up over this.  I dropped one side of the 'jump', and she finally lunged over.  I left it at that.  If she puts up a fight next time I send her over a jump, it's my fault.  But, I'll start that lesson with plenty of time and energy to finish it right.

Another rainbow pic.  And don't worry, I've since fixed the fence.

It's these little mistakes that keep me humble, I suppose.  Everyone makes mistakes, and luckily, there was no permanent damage done with these little mishaps.  But, its a subtle reminder that we always need to be playing our A game, when it comes to horses, so that we, and they, stay safe (and well trained)!

Anyone else care to share their stupid mistakes?  Feel free to leave a comment (and it's OK to link to your blog, if you already wrote a story; I would love to read it!)

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