O @ the Ranch: First Steps

Thank you all for the best wishes about O’s adventure to the country!

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m a very lucky girl in the marriage department.  My husband really is the greatest guy.  Of course we argue as normal couples do, and while O sometimes often seems to be a source of those “conversations” he knows how important riding and horses are to me.  Mainly because he has a huge, giant, soft spot for his own spicy little mare.

Yup, that spicy little mare.

Yup, that spicy little mare.

He was the one to call his parents about possibly keeping O for a few months, and working with her.  He knew to not touch me, or bother with talking on the ride home after she left.  And he did the math on exact drive times it would take me if I wanted/needed to see her on any given day.

He also drove down last weekend while I was traveling for work, and took O out on her first excursion around the ranch.  His report cracked me up, and shocked me as well.

1. There is water all over the ranch, everything from teeny creeks to full blown streams.  And you have to cross them to get anywhere.  O politely refused to get her toes wet.  Hubs asked again.  And again (a bit more firmly).  And again (a bit more firmly than last time).  Finally O awkwardly crouched down and then attempted to jump across the first one which was rather large.  She landed in the middle and trudged right on out. He thought it was hysterical.

Pretty water at the ranch.

Pretty water at the ranch.

2. She does not speak gate.  Cattle ranch=a ton of gates everywhere.  She was massively offended by him leaning off of her to move them.

3. Sensory overload.  He couldn’t help but laugh as she pretty much couldn’t decide what to stare at first.  He said she walked through the ranch swinging her head back and forth and back and forth trying to take it all in.  Also, she didn’t spook a single time, but pretty much was on her tippy toes the entire ride.

4. Out in the big field, he let her have her head and some room to run if she wanted.  She got her rocking horse canter going, and carried them across the flat areas, acting quiet and polite about it all.  I was shocked, as multiple times we’ve had major issues with her trying to be naughty in big open spaces.  He did say she was drenched in about 5 gallons of sweat by this time, so maybe she just didn’t have it in her.

But here’s the big one.

5.  There were logs scattered about the trails, nothing bigger than 2’6” or so, that Hubs just allowed her to canter up to.  No exact steering, just letting her figure it out. He said a few strides out she raised her head to check it out, and proceeded to quietly hop over them; landing quietly and happily loping away.

To review: My mare, who can’t usually be trusted out in open spaces, went cross country riding with my husband, who hadn’t ridden her in two years.  She went alone with no other horses in a completely new area.  She didn’t buck or spook once.  Her biggest issue was with the gates.  She leaped over logs, a random stick in her path (like 2 inches tall–Hubs wasn’t quite ready for that one), and did it with respect and interest.  Oh and he actually called me from her back to tell me how ‘wild’ she was.  And he snapped this picture, which makes my heart all warm and fuzzy.

Getting her degree in Ranch Pony.

Getting her degree in Ranch Pony.

She’s being pushed outside her box, and she’s learning to be confident.  This is a great first step!  Hopefully more to follow.

25 thoughts on “O @ the Ranch: First Steps

  1. It’s so awesome that your husband knows how to ride and was able to get on O for you! Sounds like it was a really great ride with lots of questions that O answered well. Can’t wait for the next update πŸ˜€

    • In lots of ways it’ll be so good for her to be ridden by someone a bit more demanding, since I naturally want to baby her. He does a great job with the horses, and I can’t wait to watch next time we visit!

    • I agree! It’s funny that my first instinct was to try to work her thru the spooking issues by riding her at quiet times when in fact that may have given her too much time to stress.

  2. this is so awesome!! maybe she saw the jumps and was like “FINALLY something i recognize – i can totally do that, no problem!” sounds like she’s starting off on the right foot there – good luck!

  3. I read back through a few posts to catch up (I’ve been a bad blog reader lately). One thing that strikes me about this new situation and the post is how O would pull an antic, like the water crossing, and hubs would laugh. I think as horse “moms” we can get very emotional about issues that arise. Love that you now have an impartial (sorta) rider that can help O work through some of this!
    Also- I think the “down time” is great for any horse! I have see an enormous change in Wilbur’s demeanor just having some time off and a large place to play!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s