Sunday, February 17, 2013

Snap, ponied

For me, it was a very cold morning. 21 degrees (F) at 7 AM. 2 hours later it wasn't much warmer, but Rinnah (10) and I were bundled up and outside to play with the horses.

Since it was so cold, I didn't really want to take the horses on a training ride and get them breathing hard, so the plan for the day was to let Rinnah play around on Serts bareback. In the meantime, I would have Snap in hand and play with him. Tanna would have to watch from the paddock this time.

Rinnah brushed Serts and put the bareback pad on. I showed her how to tell which side of the English girth went against Serts' belly and she put the girth on and tightened it up. The next part took awhile, but after a few false starts and a couple of explanations, Rinnah had the breast collar on correctly. I had her remove it and then put it back on which she did quickly. Finally, the bridle and then Rinnah used the trailer wheel well to mount.

For the next hour, we played in the pasture and round pen. Rinnah riding Serts, and me working with Snap on the lead rope. Rinnah did circles in the round pen, while I did circles with Snap, just on the outside of the round pen. We changed up speed and direction, giving me opportunities to correct Snap when he wanted to bolt or kick. Then I moved into the round pen with Rinnah and we continued the same patterns, just with no fence between the horses. Again, I had opportunities to block Snap's bolting and attempted kicks. I made sure Rinnah and Serts were never close enough to actually get kicked if Snap got one off, but he never did. I always managed to read the signs and block him.

Next, Rinnah went outside the round pen and I worked Snap free in the round pen. Lots of good interaction and work as Rinnah continued to do circles on the other side of the fence.

All of this led up to the last 10 minutes. Rinnah asked if I wanted to ride Serts and pony Snap. I still wasn't completely confident, so declined, but came out of the round pen with Snap on the lead rope and put him right next to Serts in the pony position. Then I asked Rinnah to walk Serts around and I led Snap, keeping him in the pony position. Things went really well, so I decided, yes, I would pony Snap.

I tied Snap to the round pen, making sure the rope would be easy to get to and untie from Serts' back. Rinnah hopped off Serts and went into the round pen, just in case something happened. I got on Serts and approached Snap to untie the lead rope. Serts pinned his ears in a nasty look at Snap. I corrected him quickly. I got the rope for Snap and settled him into position with his head at my knee on my right side.

Then I nudged Serts and we walked off and Snap followed!!! I cannot convey the joy and elation when they both just walked off like that. I was super duper thrilled. I have not ponied Snap before this. He might have been ponied before, but if he was, it was over 2 years ago. I tried it with Tanna once, but that didn't end well due to Tanna flipping out and I hadn't tried since.

Rinnah ran and got Daniel to get the camera to take some nice pictures of my and my boys while I walked around and did a couple circles both ways (Serts into Snap and Serts away from Snap). No issues. So, so happy!! Rinnah did a fantastic job helping me today and I am looking forward to taking Snap out for some more pony sessions in the near future.