Spirit and I have been settling in quite nicely at Rancho. The owners are not only sweet and personable but are excellent horse people who are concerned about safety and have good standards for horse behavior. They are the perfect balance of being welcoming while also not putting up with BS, which makes for a much less stressful barn environment. Spirit has been looking a little thin lately, but we’ve chalked it to the stresses of landslides and moving and more workouts now that the rains have passed, and we are hoping that she’ll fill out over the next few weeks. We can always speed it up by giving her some grain or pellets, but for now she just gets hay.
Though we’ve been working on her ground manners consistently, a comment from the ranch owner has made me realize that her manners need a kick in the pants. The rearing when alone in the cross-ties seems to have gone away. I’m using treats and a whip to encourage her to stand quietly when I saddle her up – we’re making good progress on that front. While Rancho does have cross-ties, I’ve been mostly tying Spirit to the corner ties at the main cross-section of the barn so that she can learn to stand quietly no matter how much space she has next to her. So far, well, not so good actually. She will swing one way, swing the other way, swing over to say hello to another horse or person… Plus, when I take the halter off to bridle her, she tries to walk off. We’ve had issues with that before, but this has definitely gotten worse with the lack of cross-ties. Yep, time for stepping up our lessons in ground manners. I really love that Rancho has some patience poles. I haven’t used ’em yet, but it is nice to know they are there and available.
As to our show and training schedule, the whole landslide and moving issues has put our entire barn back about 2 months. Basically, with our training, schooling, and showing getting put on hold for a few weeks, we are behind from where we thought we’d be at this point by amount 2 months. I’ve been stressing out about our lack of progress, but when my trainer helped me realize that all of us are in the same boat, I’ve started to feel much better. Sometimes things happen that set you back from your goals, but that’s just part of life and we’re getting back on track now. Unfortunately Spirit and I haven’t had any lessons since moving to Rancho, but we hope to rectify that this evening. :) I realize that Spirit hasn’t done any significant amounts of jumping since before the landslide several weeks ago! I took her over a little crossrail the other day, and she practically went wild with excitement. The poor girl does love to jump. I guess that explains the few more bucks than usual that we’ve been getting!