Nothing too exciting to blog about these days....lots of working, and preparing for winter going on. But today C and I were able to spend a few hours down on the jogging trail by the river. And the sun shone!!!!!
We worked on our arena exercises, just did them on the trail. Lots of turn on the haunches and fore. A nice forward working trot with some collection- he's getting better and keeping a nice position even when I go for a loose rein for several strides. Then a lot of loping on both leads and some transitions. I have to admit I love having a horse with a real "whoa".
Last week I hauled Cartman and Dazz out to Skamokawa so that we could see if Dazzby would be able to be used a bit by some of Shawn and Tina's kids riding group. I've told Shawn about what a kind horse she is and how she will literally try her best to keep underneath you if she feels something going wrong.
Some of the girls in the group are a little interesting in learning to ride english, so, what better job for my girl than doing the English Pleasure thing. Honestly though, despite my best attempts I've not had a lot of luck finding someone to ride my extra horse! Hard to believe but people aren't lining up for a free well trained horse to play with, go figure??
I was not really prepared for the true extent of the 4H/kids group. It started out that Shawn and his wife Tina (both teachers) wanted to give some kids the opportunity to learn to ride and learn horsemanship. So they set up this group on Tuesdays after school. The school bus drops the kids off at the County fairgrounds and they stay and ride until their parent's can come pick them up. I believe none of the kids had had any exposure to horses previously. Shawn provides nice-kid appropriate horses and even a small cow for the kids to learn roping if they are interested.
So here I am riding Cartman and practicing canter circles when around the corner of the arena appears a few girls, carrying their books, backpacks and lunch boxes. Then another group of girls, then a group of boys that were running towards the arena, then some older girls and more boys! Holy cow, there must have been 20-25 of them.
The boys started practicing their roping and the girls were everywhere, brushing, saddling, riding, talking (lots of that), and then they'd trade off and start over. It was some serious desensitizing action for my horse.
The kids were all surprisingly well behaved, I did not hear one bit of whining or complaining even when they had to trade off their horse to another child. They didn't all know the traditional arena etiquette but noone got run over and noone ran into anyone else either. They learned some games on horseback (Shawn demonstrated on Dazzby- I was so proud of her!)
I'd left Cartman tied in a stall off to the side of the arena area and he was occasionally screaming pathetically for his Mama. I had no idea that the two were so herd bound!
I went to check on him and found a handful of boys at the other end of the stall area. My first reaction was to wonder what they were getting into. I didn't really worry too much, but was later surprised to find out they had been doing their homework! Learning to identify parts of the horse on a chart that Tina handed out to everyone at the beginning of the session.
All in all it was actually quite fun and one little girl about 6-7 years old told me "I like that horse, she is so cute!" So, I think Dazzby may have a part time job:)
Back to today, C and I had a great ride, then I spent the afternoon cleaning the inside of the truck- still dusty from OR100! Then cleaned all the wood chips out of the trailer and hosed it all out. I also cleaned about 20 water buckets with bleach and got them ready for use the stalls, put up my solar hotwire box for the winter, and dumped the trough over in the paddock that contains our septic drainfield since its off limits for winter use. Whew, we are getting closer to being ready for "real" winter.