Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A Grand Day Out

Jordan and I are still doing the medieval thing - we've been riding every weekend so far. Week before last we attended the practice session for the Unser Hafen group - up in Ft. Collins. SO: that meant we needed to trailer him offsite. We've gotten good at trailering in the big trailer with several horses, but as we were only taking him, this was to be a whole new experience. First off, we were going to make our first use of the 2 horse trailer we bought back in November. Yep, it's been sitting here this whole time and we'd never yet tried putting a horse in it. Actually Ginger said she'd never looked inside - LOL.

So on Saturday Dave hooked it up, and we tried our hand at loading Jordan. He was really very cooperative, considering it is a much smaller and darker trailer than our big 4 horse slant. So we were pleased. I don't think he was nearly so pleased with us, when we closed the doors and actually took him for a ride around the block! Opened the doors when we got back and he was a bit anxious. But nothing terrible. We unloaded him, let him graze, and tried one more time to load him again because last thing I wanted him to do was remember coming out of there anxious.

Sunday we went to load, and he clearly still remembered our jaunt, and he was the most reluctant to load of all. But again it was nothing dramatic, got him in.

But the real question was what he would do when we went to an unfamiliar stable, without any of his buddies to keep him reassured. This part I had no idea how he'd react: since we've been at the ranch we've NEVER taken him off property by himself. So I'd warned the other riders that I might well show up and do nothing but hold onto him if he was being a dork.

We pulled in nice and early as planned, unloaded and took him for a tour. He was great! Definitely alert, but not dorkey. By the time I had him tacked up, the group was there and starting to set up the equipment. So I walked him around the arena. Too bad he was far more interested in the horses in the adjacent pasture than he was in looking at the equipment stands. Oh well.

Unfortunately the group got a rather late start during their 2 hour practice (like more than 30 minutes late) and we already had to leave an hour early -- so I was one of the first to mount and ride around. He did great! Never spooked at anything, and even walked calmly around as I smacked heads off of their posts with the sword, poked at the quintain, and speared rings with a long lance. He was the least comfortable with the lance, but ultimately he prooved to be just fine with it when I completely flubbed ditching the lance and ended up boinking him in the butt with it! LOL - no blow up is good. Dave met the group and got to try his hand of being squire and replacing rings on their stands for me.

AND I think he was happy to load up going home (Jordan that is, not Dave ;-)) , knowing that it was home we'd be headed for. His best load attempt of all. When we did get home and I walked him back to pasture -- boy did he give off one long whinney to his herd mates!

So it was a terrific outing, very educational and very reassuring -- for me. I won't even bother to deny the fact that it is probably more me than Jordan that needs reassuring in going new places, and this outing pretty much established that without a doubt.

This past weekend I fashioned my own swords and heads for knocking off - I think Jordan's starting to get into these games! We found out, though, that we need to work on collecting his canter into shorter strides. His canter is so long now that he really can't manoever around our smallish arena. OK. New exercise to add to our growing list of them.

Soon we're going to have to try dressing up, to see how he takes to wearing costumes. I don't have a costume yet (though Phyllis has agreed to help me make one!), but as with everything else so far I'll improvise to start with.



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