Buddy, the drill pony?

This teenaged bay Arabian gelding is in rehabilitation. Watch his progress as he goes through eye surgery, gains weight and returns to his original beauty!

Buddy, the drill pony?

Postby Juliane on Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:19 am

Well, maybe not yet, but he has potential! I took Buddy along to drill practice last night. My hopes were to be able to use him in practice, though I figured it would be a good experience for him if that proved to be too much.

While Buddy handled himself very well, he was also very, very worked up when Jenny took Dandy to pony her along so that I could work with Buddy. Buddy is very herd bound to Dandy and getting him to pay attention to me can be practically impossible. I ended up taking him to the outside arena and made him do circles around me for about 10 minutes until he was willing to pay attention to me.

By the time I was able to get him bridled, he had relaxed some, though was sill calling out every minute and very, very alert. I walked him back into the arena and took him to the center where we lunged in both directions while everyone rode around us on the rail. Poor Buddy's pea-brain was about to explode! ;) He was beside himself. He didn't know who all these horses were, where Dandy was and why everyone was riding around in a big circle.

As soon as he'd calmed down a bit, I mounted up, for which he was excellent. He stood quietly until I was on and asked him to move out. We partnered up with one of my team mates, Sara, who has a very quiet, laid back paint. Buddy immediately took to him and we rode at a walk and trot around the arena. He was nervous at horses coming up on either side, but fairly quickly got the idea.

When the warm-ups started, Buddy and I tried to keep up with the rest of the group, but for the most part, it was too much too fast for Buddy. Riding in groups of 4's and 6's at a canter around the arena was intimidating for him. So, we did what we could without hampering the team, but enough for Buddy to not feel too pressured. When warm-ups were done, I dismounted, tied him up and got Dandy for the actual drill practice. Buddy was tied in the side part of the arena so that he could see everything, but he managed to call out every minute or two for the rest of the practice. He would start to settle down, but just as I thought he'd relaxed, he'd start up again! LOL

The weather was really crazy last night at practice - 65+ degrees and raining sideways and windy. Everyone was off - riders, experienced horses, coach... Dandy was borderline out of control, so practice was interesting! :P

Liz (RockNCircleC) had stopped by to show the team some potential rhythm beads for our grand entry at State. She was still there at the end of practice, so I asked her to take some pics of Buddy and I as I attempted to ride him one more time now that the arena was quiet.

As I went to mount up, I did not have his head turned to me and he spooked. I am not sure at what - the camera flash, another horse, me, or a combination of a stressful evening. But he ended up bolting forward. My first instinct was to ask him to whoa. As soon as I pulled back on the reins, he tossed his head, causing the short shank of Ally's Myler Comfort Snaffle to turn around so it was pointing up and not down.

I could hear Liz telling me to bend him and I knew that was what I needed to do, but I was off balance, and Buddy was still bolting foward, zig zagging and totally freaked out. My reins were still backwards and I ended up coming off. (How embarressing!)

Luckily Liz was there to help talk me through working with him to get back on, because by that time, both Buddy and I were on edge. I was able to quietly work with him and remount, and then ride around the arena. Towards the end of our 10 minute ride, he was listening and responing well.

I intend to try and ride him as much as possible and continue to take him to drill practice. I think it will make him a well rounded riding horse, which will give him a better chance at finding a good home. I am also going to start ponying him off Dandy both at home and at practice so that he can get used to all of the horses riding around him as well.

All in all, Buddy was excellent last night, but it was a lot to throw at him in one night!





Feel the Spirit, Keep on Riding!
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Postby Sandilf on Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:52 am

Ahh. Good for you Julie! It is wonderful how Liz was able to be there and help you get back on! I just love this horse. He is soo beautiful!! :lol:
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Postby tontonsmom on Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:45 pm

he sure is a pretty boy!
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Postby RockinCircleC on Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:16 pm

I was happy to be there to help, even though I think the camera flash during mounting probably contributed. Juliane was grace under pressure and kept her wits about her during the aftermath. Buddy settle eventually, thank goodness.

The herd-boundness thing for him could be a major stumbling block, but it is one that IS surmountable once he starts looking to his handler/rider for that support instead of the other horses. It will take time and patience, but it can be done.
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