Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Try Outs

After a long winter, and we all know this one was long and cold and wet, I like to try each of my horses out in the round pen to get a feel for where they are mentally and emotionally in making the transition from being pasture ornaments all winter to being put to work as saddle horses for the rest of the year.

Lostine was my first victim, because I noticed that she went on alert and immediately began avoiding eye contact as soon as I brought out the saddles to condition them. The message I got from her was, "Uh uh, you're not putting one of those on me, girl."

She ran from the halter, danced around while I tried to attach her splint boots, and took off like a bat out of hell as soon as I released her.

She cantered all over the place, working up quite a sweat, and I never once asked her to do anything. I just observed her behavior and took pictures.

She threw her head at me...

And turned her butt toward me...

And fell down many times...

Then out of the blue, she came to a screeching halt to help herself to a drink at the water trough...

It took a while, but she eventually settled down and let me lead her around to cool her off.

Gabbrielle was the only horse to volunteer for her try out. She was calm, cool, and collected -- just generally happy to be doing something other than standing around.

Unlike Lostine, Gabbrielle was able to gallop without falling down. In Lostine's defense, the ground still is quite slippery.

When Gabbrielle gallops, she curls her tail like a pig.

Gabbrielle did everything I asked, including coming to me when I cued for her to do so.

When I cued Lostine and Bombay to come to me, they both started walking toward me, but changed their minds at the last minute and turned away. They just aren't pocket ponies like Gabbrielle.

Bombay didn't seem to mind the try outs, but didn't exactly jump for joy over them either. He's as calm and well behaved as he was when we left off last fall. In fact, he plodded along so lazily that I had to push him up to a trot.

His trot was very controlled and even. He never broke into a gallop like the mares. He's my steady Eddie.

Guess who I want to ride first?

16 comments:

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Good think Lostine didn't get hurt. I always worry when they fall down. And I never again want to be on one if they do fall. That's my greatest riding fear since I've gone down twice already.

Let me think about which one you're going to ride first... ;)

Cheryl Ann said...

Awwww...he's such a sweetie pie!

Lulu said...

I wish I could use my round pen!!! Unfortunately it is a swamp after having Violet in there for a few days. I need some sun to help dry everything out!

lytha said...

like a pig?!?! *gasp* no, like an arabian horse, god's finest creation.

~lytha

The D-Meister said...

Wow. That picture of Lostine throwing her head is intense.

Best Horse Gifts said...

What a beauty!
My 3 y/o Arabian fell down this morning. He was just frisking b/c he was excited and fell on his butt. He jumped quickly looking emabarrassed but it always makes my stoch topsy turvy any time a horse goes down.

Callie said...

LOL, what a bunch of silly girls, My guess would be that boy of yours!

Katharine Swan said...

Panama flags his tail just like Gabbrielle -- curled and up, instead of just straight up! I love it!

Bombay looks so sweet in those pictures. I'd want to ride him first, too!

KD said...

I still like your little red wild child! :-)

Breathe said...

I love to see how all their personalities were on full display - although I was surprised Lostine was so silly.

Gabrielle reminded me of my daughter at her first piano recital - excited to be on stage, pretty confident and glowing.

Saddles ready, boots ready, horses warming up - woo hoo! time to ride!

(I take it all the neighbors were hiding out today)

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Breathe - Yes, I look forward to Sunday all week, because they leave for church and are sometimes gone all day. It's literally the only day that I can get five minutes outside without them interfering.

fernvalley01 said...

I vote Lostine! get that one over with and you will still enjoy Bombay. I always try to deal with the chalenges first while I am still fresh. They all look wonderful by the way

Stephanie said...

It is so nice to see sunshine and actually dirt in your pictures rather than sheets of ice and giant puddles!! I love the pictures :) what great personalities they each have.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Gabbrielle?? She's the one who still needs saddle time, right?
She might surprise you and do really well.

Of course, I can understand why you'd choose Bomaby to ride first. :)


~Lisa

Andrea said...

Oh Bombay, he is so sweet!! If I were you, he would be my first choice in riding!! Then Gabbrielle, then Lostine!! My gelding acts all crazy when I turn him out. He is nuts sometimes!! LOL!!

Gabbrielle likes you because you did everything with her. That is how my Ozzie is. He just likes me more than the other horses do. He wants to make me happy. Well, when he's not bucking me off!! LOL!! Gabbrielle is such a cutie! She looks like she's gotten thicker too!

gtyyup said...

Great to see that you've got good weather to start legging up your horses! Hmmmm...all those personalities...I'd probably go for Bombay. I know that I'm as out of shape as my horses are, so it's best to start slow and work up.