Goin' to drill!

This stunning 6 year old sorrel 14.1 hand mare was rescued from the feedlot in May 2006. She has been started under saddle and is available for adoption to the perfect home.

Goin' to drill!

Postby Juliane on Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:53 pm

Well, I officially fried Ms. Class' brains last weekend! ROFL!!! It was my girlfriend's Jenny's bachelorette party on Saturday evening down in Buckley, as well as cow sorting on Sunday morning at the same arena that we have drill practice at. I didn't want to have to make an unnecessary trip if possible, so I brought Dandy and Class to Jenny's house. They stayed overnight in stalls with runs, and then after a fun night of partying and too much drinking, Sunday morning I loaded them both up and headed to the Tacoma Unit. Class was fine with everything, until I left her tied to the trailer while Dandy and I went off to the arena to play with cows.

Poor Class became very anxious, reminding me much of Buddy. She pulled back numerous times on the trailer, pawed anxiously and even did little half rear ups in her temper tantrum. I watched her for a bit to make sure she wasn't going to get herself in trouble, and then left. Jenny and I checked on her a few times over the next couple of hours, and for the most part, she learned to stand tied quietly.

However, then a downpour deluge came on, with rains I've never seen before. Class was still tied to the trailer and I felt awful. So, I ran out to get her, though I was soaked within about 30 seconds of going out in the rain. I figured since I was already wet, I didn't want to have to come back out later to saddle Class up, so went ahead and did it in the pouring rain. What fun!

Once saddled, we ran back to the arena. Class took one look at the cows and froze. She definitely doesn't have the natural cow instinct in her! ROFL. It was great for her to stand at the edge of the pen and watch the cows. She was fascinated, though distracted with the 100's of horses in the arena, all the commotion and then finally seeing Dandy again. She has become very herd bound to Dandy. Dandy seems to have that affect on horses! :roll:

While I waited for my turn to sort cows, I sat on Dandy, holding Class' lead rope. She was good and patient. Then, Susan showed up and offered to play with her for a bit. She tried riding a little, but Class was having none of that. She didn't do anything naughty like bucking, but refused to leave Dandy. *sigh*

For the next hour, I did cow sorting on Dandy with Jenny on her amazing gelding, Skippy. Then, it was time for practice to start. I handed Dandy off to Susan and took Class. She immediately became anxious to be separated from Dandy again and it was clear that I probably shouldn't ride her. So, as practice started, I stayed in the outside covered arena and worked with Class. She kept doing these little half rear ups and racing around me, whinnying constantly for Dandy. Argh!

I was about to lose my patience and was seriously frustrated as I was now facing my 2nd practice (out of 4) that I may not be able to ride, due to horse issues! Then, something that Ally said to me in regards to Buddy rang in my head loud and clear. "Give her a job!". I couldn't just expect her to stand still, keeping her feet in once spot. Yet, that's exactly what I was expecting.

So, we spent about 10-15 minutes doing ground work, sending her this way and that, serpentines, backing up, halting for a few seconds at a time. She came back to me pretty quickly and so I decided to get on. As soon as I went to mount, she started circling and acting silly again, but I went ahead and got on. Once on, I asked her to move out. We did the same stuff while riding that I did on the ground. Within a few minutes, I was feeling like maybe I could bring Class into the arena with the rest of the team.

So, I dismounted and lead her into the indoor arena. As soon as I got in there, I mounted and asked her to move out. I did it as quickly as possible, so as to not give Class a chance to become anxious again. This proved to be a very good move. Once her feet were moving, she was great.

We ended up spending the next hour or so, riding with the rest of the team. She was actually very, very good and I have very high hopes for her. However, she is seriously dead sided! I hate to think that I need to use spurs on her, but I have to kick the sh*t out of her sides to get her to move forward quickly enough to maintain our proper place in drill. Towards the end of the evening she was starting to get it and responding better to leg pressure, so maybe we can forego having to be dependent on spurs. At least I sure hope so!

Sorry - I didn't get many pics - it was dark in the arena. Here's a couple, one when I was holding her while sitting on Dandy and another when Susan was attempting to ride Class while I was warming up Dandy for our turn at sorting. You can see that Class wasn't in the most cooperative mood at that point! ROFL

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Feel the Spirit, Keep on Riding!
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Juliane
 
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Postby cat_67 on Sat Oct 13, 2007 9:45 am

Having dealt with a lot of green polo ponies panicking when tied to the trailer at polo the first season, my advice for next time is: Put her in the trailer. They typically won't pull back once inside the trailer, or you can put them in loose but that may annoy the other horses if they are stomping around. It's a good way for them to adjust to being left alone at the trailer without killing themselves or you having to worry about a loose horse while you are trying to ride.

That's why big trailers like yours are so awesome - you can use them as portable box stalls! They don't like sitting in a 2 horse anywhere near as well.
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Postby Juliane on Sun Oct 21, 2007 8:59 pm

Class has now been to 3 drill practices and has become quite the superstar! She is learning how to do maneuvers in large groups at all three gaits, including a fast hand gallop. She is still trying to grasp the concept of slower gaits, and why I would want her to canter so slowly, when its so much easier to just trot fast! LOL

All in all, she is a gem to work with. She has a great mind, a wonderful work ethic and never gets frustrated with what I am asking, even if she doesn't understand it right away!

Cat67 - if you are bored next weekend, would you be willing to come by the Tacoma Unit (about 20 minutes from Graham), and take some pics of us? I handed the camera off to a team member in the stands, but they only got pics of us walking manuevers and standing, so they aren't all that exciting. I was hoping for some working shots! I know you know what I'm looking for! We ride from 5:30pm-8pm on Sunday evenings. :) I'd be most grateful!

Here's a few pics from tonight:

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Feel the Spirit, Keep on Riding!
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Postby myhorsefaith on Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:17 am

awww, i miss that little bugger.

She looks good! 8)
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Postby cat_67 on Mon Oct 22, 2007 7:17 am

Sure, I'd be happy to come and take pictures! I'd love to meet Miss Class. :D Just send me a reminder e-mail on Friday or Saturday so I don't zone out and forget.
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