Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sammy's Got Back...

The moment came and went with none of the expected drama. I decided that it was just time for me to quit being so over protective and start making some real progress with Sammy's training. So, Sammy donned a saddle yesterday afternoon.

She was unsure, wary even, but took it all in stride. My daughter, who is to my dismay is a much better rider physically than I am, was Sammy's first passenger. Tiff is lighter, and easier at the mount, along with having Velcro on her butt so I being a middle-aged self confessed big chicken, ask her to step in.

Sammy wore a halter, and a long line along with her reins so if it went bad I would be able to help Tiff. I didn't think it would but better safe than sorry, especially when you don't know for sure what may trigger Sammy to explode.

Where she came from there is really no way to know what had been done to her. I know from past experience that some of the people who hung out at the former owners farm were less than able horsemen and would do some REALLY stupid stuff.

With very little fanfare, Sammy walked off. She did not get excited about the weight on her back. She isn't sure about when to move forward but other than that is was wonderful.

We finished after a few laps around the round pen, and making several turns to the left and right. She backed up nicely and Tiff got off.

Sammy dropped her head into my chest and sighed. I was so proud of her! She didn't freak out! Her trust level is growing every day and it is such a wonderful thing to see her deal with scary new things with such a calm attitude.

I have a new goal for Sammy, one with a deadline this time. New Years Day will be a landmark for her. I want to take Sammy on a real trail ride on New Years Day. I want her to step into the new year a new horse. Strong, confident, healthy, and ready to take on her new life.

Stay tuned there is so much more to come.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Long Line Aerobics...

Well, it is a sure bet that both Sam and I will be sore tomorrow. I don't' remember Bonnie being this much trouble to start in lines. However I am very proud of her . She did not try to kill me, she didn't rear up, and she DID listen. Under protest but she did listen.

She has also found a new way to express her opinion and frustration. For every 4 steps she actually took 5. She would stomp her front foot pick it up and put it down again. I would have laughed but I was to busy trying keep up with those long strides. WOW, time really does make you forget the pain. I had forgotten how hard it is to follow a walking horse in lines, lol. She walks I jog.

Really though she did good, although because of her protests her nose is going to be tender tomorrow. But something else good came from her workout today; she discovered that a cool water bath isn't a horse eating monster. Up until today she was TOTALLY opposed to baths, but today, the cool water was a welcomed treat. She even drank from the water hose.

I am thinking she will get tomorrow off, her nose and my legs just might need a break.

Input Overload...

I can see the writing on the wall for me. I am going to be a lawn dart if I am not very careful. Now lets don't jump to the conclusion that I am riding Sam. I am not; but we are beginning the next stage of ground work, and OH BOY what an adventure it is going to be.

The Surcingle...

Friday afternoon proved to be exciting for both of us (Me and Sam). The new part of the surcingle was finished and ready for use. See I had measured to see if my equipment would fit her last week and discovered that it was WAY to big for her, so I had to make another piece to bring it down to her size. I brought her out of her stall and groomed her which she loves, and during this time I determined her mood was good so springing something new on her was somewhat safe.

I brought out the surcingle in placed it across her back. As before no reaction. I place the new girth plate on one side and adjusted to where I thought it would need to be, and crossed around to the other side to make the connection. At this point Sam began to have a concerned look on her face. As I pulled the strap snug her eyes got big; now keep in mind I have my hand between her and the girth so it wouldn't have a chance to pinch her side; and she shifted away from me. I stopped and soothed her and began again. This time she didn't swing away and she did decide she wanted NO PART of my plan to strap that unholy thing around her middle.

Now we all know by now that Sam's way of dealing with anything uncomfortable is to kick. She did but I was prepared. There are huge columns in my cross ties that hold up the loft. They make great things to hide behind when the but swings your way. They also make great places to hang crops and other correctional aides. We did the kicking dance for about 30 seconds and stopped snorting and giving me the death stare. Oh, bless her heart she is just like her mother, LOL.

She resigned to her obvious fate was not happy about this thing around her but it didn't seem to be so bad after all. I had no intention of attaching anything to it (this time) so I only made it snug enough so it wouldn't slip if she ran with it on. Now that she was somewhat calm again it was off to the round pen. Like a perfect angel she fell right into our routine, yielding her hind and shoulder, and the one thing I was worried about circling. She didn't buck or kick out but she did run, well gait really fast. What she did would be the equivalent of a extended trot for other breeds, but wow she is going to be athletic.

The instant that she calmed down and walked with her head relaxed we switched directions. Again flying circles, but this time only one, and back to her relaxed posture. COOL! The brain is engaged. I immediately stopped at this and took everything off. She had done what I wanted which was deal with the new equipment in a calm manner; and she didn't even break a sweat. She got her scratches and her hug (she loves to have her face hugged) and off to eat grass.

Now here at Southern Oak besides horses we have teenagers. They tend to be as unruly as the horses sometimes, LOL. But I had a house and barn full of them this weekend, so any serious work would have to wait for another day. I am hoping to work with her again on Monday, if it is not raining. My kingdom for an in door arena *sigh* but that I am afraid is not going to happen any time soon. College tuition is the pressing matter of the moment. *Shameless plug* My son began his college education last month at the University of Kentucky majoring in Mechanical Engineering. I am such a proud mom!

So I will keep you all up dated on her progression. Hopefully we will add lines to the surcingle this week and be closer to the cart work. She may surprise me and not make a lawn dart out of me when we get to the saddle part. I can only hope, and ask for lots of prayers.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

More Adjustments...

Thursday morning Sam got to see her favorite vet (you know the one with the cookies) for another chiropractic adjustment. Since she was at his facility this time she got the extra special treatment. He has a area that allows him to be over the horses back so he can manipulate their pelvis more easily, and since this seems to be where Sam is having her problems that is where he wanted to work.

Again she was a trooper but was not so willing to flex for him as she was last time. He laughed and ask me if she was really bothered by flexing or was she just being stubborn. I was standing over to the side laughing as he tried to get her to flex and told him she just didn't want to. He smiled and said "Ah, she remembers" and took off across the room and around the corner. Puzzled, I waited and sure enough he comes back with a hand full of cookies. "Yep, now she will flex" he says as he picks up her lead rope; and she did.

As he works on her, moving her bones around she stands so still. Like her feet are glued to the floor. Sam never fails to amaze me with how calm she can be. The vet was very impressed at how relaxed she was. He spoke about the ligaments near her tail, saying that allot of horses will be very tight, and he can almost pling the ligament when he starts and after he adjusts them it will be so soft and flexible. Sam was so comfortable with what the vet was doing with her that those ligaments were already relaxed. The vet was very pleased with how well she handled his adjustments and scheduled her another appointment for two weeks.

So in two weeks I will haul her back to his place and we will see how she is doing. Stay tuned.