Alright, well today I went out with Judy, a woman, I met at my work whose daughter rides at an english barn. I've been wanting to learn english for quite a while so I met her at the place they're at called "Hunter Heaven."
I was introduced to their instructor named Bonnie Johnston but wasn't able to really meet her because she was on her way out so Judy and her daughter showed me around the place. From what I saw, it's a real nice place and yes, I got pictures. It's $160/6 lessons which isn't that bad for english. And it's more or less for both english and jumping and obviously I need to learn english before I can jump! Minor details. Ha. Hopefully once I get my schedule for next week, I can go out there again and actually watch Bonnie give a lesson.
So here's pictures from the ranch:
So let me know what you think! One thing that does bother me is that they don't have fish in the troughs but I'm not looking for a place for a horse so... yeah. I wouldn't mind giving them some of ours though if I had permission to put some fish in there!
Later on today, well, very later on when it got cooler, I took Whiskey out for a ride. I rode him a couple nights ago when I got off work at 10pm and it would have been a nice ride if he had listened to me but I made the mistake of not lunging him first. He's too hot of a horse to just hop on and ride! Well, today went great! When I put him in the arena, I thought I'd start it out nice a peacefully- I just stood next to him and rubbed his face and worked on his ears. He's still touchy about his right ear, but he let me grab his left ear, flopping it around, rubbing it and stroking it, let me stick my fingers inside it. What progress, huh?! It relaxed him so much; his eyes mellowed out, he drooped his head some, he was finally able to relax. It was amazing. Afterwards, I started out the lunging slow so he knew that he hadn't done anything wrong for me to send him away from me. After a while of peaceful lunging, I lunged the crud out of him and got tons of energy out of him.
He's still been touchy about me getting on him even after a year of working with him. I moved over toward the saddle and he threw his head up and backed up, so I went to his head and stroked his face and his left ear since that calmed him down earlier, and I just talked to him telling him that I'm the same person as I am on the ground and I kept repeating it softely as I slowly moved toward the saddle, still stroking him, reaching over to his face and keeping him calm- an animal never learns that something is ok when they're scared. I put my foot in the saddle and just stood there, still stroking him, keeping my qi quiet, watching my breathing, and I lifted myself onto him. He still wasn't too sure and started to walk away but I leaned forward, grabbed the reins in front of his neck to stop him so I could continue to stroke his ear and he calmed down a lot! My stirrups were too short to be comfortable so I took my feet out of the stirrups and found it to be a good way to sorta desensitize him to things flapping around at his sides. He's so touchy on his sides when under saddle so I think I'll continue riding like that and get him used to it and hopefully eventually he won't take off every time something nudges him forward.
Overall, it was an awesome day riding! I got a lot of response from him, he was able to calm down, he finally lets me touch at least one of his ears and flop it back and forth and it was just fantastic! I love how much he's changed over the last year! Tomorrow, Arlene and I are taking Ace and Whiskey out on the trails and we're making a note to canter on the straight and open part of Ridge. Hopefully everything goes well. It should since there's no blind corners and no joggers on that part of the trail! .... At least there better not be.
Anyways, here's some pictures of my visit with mah baby:
So that concludes that session of pictures. Hopefully I got more for y'all to look at tomorrow from the trail ride but I can't promise you anything! ^_^ Comments more than welcome!