Sunday, October 20, 2013

Countdown to Nevada Day's

Countdown to Nevada Day's 

Such a kind, soft eye.

Day 49:

Nevada Day's is coming up quickly and there is a lot to get done.  One of the riders at the barn wants to try to ride carrying the American flag on his mustang Amigo.  The three of us have worked once in the round pen with the flag, both rider and horse did amazingly well.  This time i took Opal into the arena while we worked with the flag in a bigger environment.  If we do have a rider with a flag, Opal will need to be exposed to it ahead of time.  Amigo did spook at the flag once, but after spending some time building back up to it, he and his rider Greg were walking around like nothing happened.  Opal didn't seem to mind the flag much, but wasn't fully on board with it, but did what I asked.  

 Working with the flag.

The goals for Amigo and Opal for the parade are very similar.  1 - Have a fun, positive experience for the horses, which may mean we walk.  2 - If horses are calm, we ride.  3 - If Amigo and Greg are calm and confident, they will carry the flag.  Our priority is making sure the horses have a positive and safe experience above all.

Day 50:

DAY 50!!!  How did this happen?!?  Wow.  Opal and I enjoyed a nice ride at the walk and trot in the arena.  She's standing at the tie pole well, letting me pick out all for of her feet, but we are still working on our half halts.  Right now, any pressure on the bit and Opal will come to a full halt.  She's got great breaks and has no problem using them....just makes it hard when she's at an extended trot and I want her to ease up a bit.  

I did get to see her turn into a bit of a fire breathing dragon before the ride.  She was all puffed up, snorting a bit, and even crow hopped a few inches off the ground.  The cause of such dragonish behavior?  My daughter in the play yard in the arena.  Opal has seen the play yard, the wagon, and my daughter in them outside the arena and has never acted like this.  What the difference was, my daughter was playing in the sand, moving around and Opal couldn't see what or who it was.  Once my daughter got into the wagon and Opal could see her, she calmed right down as if nothing happened.  

 The scary, horse eating, play yard.

After our ride, I un-tacked Opal in the arena and walked her over to her favorite rolling spot where she flopped right down for a good roll.  She's comfortable enough to let me stand within a few feet of her while she rolls around.  

 Nothing like a good roll.

Day 51:

Opal and I have a short time left for Parade prep, but it's also going to be a long, fun 3 days.  I wanted to take a break from the push and have fun playing with her in the arena today.  We walked around, brushed her all over, then she rolled, we said hello to the neighbor's gelding who had been turned out in their arena (Opal talked to him a lot), and played which hand is the carrot in.  After our games, I realized while Opal and the sand are close in color, she should have a bath before the parade.  I know, I know.... I'm a mean Mom, letting her roll then washing her.  The horror.   

This was her first full bath while at the tie pole.  She did pretty good standing for it.  It is a nice sunny and warm day here today, so while it will take her some time to dry with her fluffy, winter coat, she's not cold.  I also noticed she looked a little higher in the shoulder vs her hind, perhaps she's going through a growth spurt.

 Opal seems a bit shoulder high, maybe she's growing?

Bath time.


Ehawee was lounged again today.  15 minutes walk and trot.  She would have prefered to graze with her friends and kept trying to stop with them.  She's got her fluffy winter coat now so on these warmer days, I have to watch that she doesn't get super sweaty.


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