Wednesday was a pretty lovely day. The weather called for predictable February drizzle, but by the time Maisy and I pulled in to the farm, it was warming up and the sun was breaking through.
|the herd in the morning gray..|
I scampered out to visit the yak-mare who was hanging out by her new boyfriend (she broke up with the gelding across the street apparently). After the obligatory hugs and pats I headed back tot he barn to finish my coffee and figure out our plan for the day.
|yak-mare hunting for treats|
Our agenda included:
An arena play day for P. Followed by cold laser and adjustments for the little dog, then lunch, then a trail ride, then watching a new horse get let out with the herd for the first time, and finally - some thermal imaging of P with our vet's fancy new thermal camera.
Pretty good Wednesday, especially with the sun appearing to shine for the day...
Cowboy Man went to fetch the mare, and while she was very friendly and willing toward him, the appearance of a human, or rather her human, makes her rather disagreeable towards other ponies, as evidenced here:
But, the P walked nicely (sans halter) to the barn and has grown up enough to have her snack and groom session without a halter. (what a mature P). Also of note was the fact that P now stands quietly and happily for her feet to be trimmed. Cowboy Man pulled her front shoes to help her heels expand a bit and her feet look fabulous for it. They've come a long way in the last 9 months.
|Good P eats snacks, not farriers.|
Here's a shot of how well P does at the barn now. I know she has snacks in front of her, but still. Not running to the hay, not running to the herd, not meandering around like she owns the place. Such, dare I say it, manners? The other mare is China, a CUTE little Holsteiner who moves like a cloud and had really similar social issues as P when she first got to the farm.. they are peas in pods.
and P... standing happily while her toes get done...
Bear in mind she used to have to be held for the farrier.. and at the height of her shoulder discomfort, a little sedation was necessary to work on that left front properly... but this - this is a happy horse.
After her toes were touched up, we headed to the ring. P did a great job of showing us just exactly how you stick with your join up work. About halfway to the arena, she decided that walking with Cowboy Man was nice, but maybe she wanted to go somewhere else. She bolted (bad mare), but notice that immediately Cowboy Man is after her, and P even comes back to him as he gets close. It's sorta cool.
This is where it might take an hour to get the horse following you all the way to wherever it is that you're going, but when they do, it's entirely free choice and you have that connection established. Not always the fastest way to do something, but I like it.
Once she actually made it to the ring, it was time for the stuff that she's good at. Running around, playing tag and targeting with some toys (ball, hula hoop, sticks, barrels..). I took lots of short clips of that stuff, but I got bored of uploading to youtube, so I'll spare you the 42,000 mini videos.
I will share this one of P in the backing chute again. You might not be able to tell on the (iphone) video, but her back is way looser and she's able to rotate her hips much better than last summer. Small, small victory, but I am really feeling like this mare is getting more comfortable and happier by the day.
After her antics, we threw the mare back out with the herd. There's a strand of electric fencing that keeps the herd from mingling around the barn when horses are being "worked." Usually it just gets dropped to the ground when it's not being used, or if a horse needs to walk past, but today P learned how to go under. Not exactly rocket science, but I just love how calm and willing she is. a year ago this would have not gone quite as smoothly. It would have been the sort of question we might have had an argument over. but now? Now the mare just stares, sniffs then moves forward.
As I have to run to meetings I guess the summary of our Thermal Imaging, Trail ride and lunch (ok