Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ponying Progress

It was greyer and colder this afternoon when we repeated Thursday's exercise, but Raven was MUCH better. She threw a couple of half-hearted temper tantrums, but mostly walked along beside Tonka and I, or slightly ahead of us. After 30 minutes I felt that she was relaxed enough to try some trotting, and that went well for both horses. Then Tonka walked over a tarp that was on the ground near to our burn pile without a moment of hesitation. What a good boy! David came out when we were done to get some pictures.

No stirrups, one hand on the buckle, slumped in the saddle -- now that's my kind of riding!



I sense a hissy fit coming on. Tonka either doesn't notice or doesn't care.



I was feeding her treats off of Tonka when she was behaving sanely. Here she is checking to see if I have any more and Tonka is wondering why she gets all the treats when he's doing all the work. David took pity on him and I know that you will too.



I often call Raven "muleface" or "donkeydonk" because she has such long ears for a thoroughbred. She has turned a dark brown in the sun over the past week and now she looks more like a moose. A good-looking moose, but a moose all the same.


10 comments:

allhorsestuff said...

I am dying with laughter here DP!
When I saw those pics-side by side!Har! I was just telling my mare today, as I walked to the gate with her standing there "you looke like a donkey!" Becasue she is sooo fuzzy hairy under her chin and in her ears!

I love all your pics! What a great day..Tonka is so wonderful! Glad Raven did so well!
Wa always tries to go ahead of us and I take my riding bat and hold it straight out, nose level, in my hand of whatever side I have her on and -she can run into it if she's not paying attention, it is up to her!
Yes...relaxed and having fun..the best rides!
KK

Black Jack's Carol said...

Great to see those pictures. I couldn't have imagined ever riding one horse with another one free at my side. Amazing, and with so much progress after only one session. "Donkeydonk" huh? Raven, that's possibly disrespectful, and after all your progress too! I think a protest is in order!

Did you mention Raven's size anywhere. I remember seeing that Tonka is 16 hands. Bill thought Raven looked significantly smaller, or was that the angle of the photograph!

Note about male readers. They may not comment but I bet there are more than you think reading. And why not? It's a damn fine blog about a damn fine subject: HORSES

dp said...

Sorry Carol, I probably haven't mentioned it. Raven was officially sticked at 15.2 by the sport pony registry, but she has that high TB wither. I would say most of her back sits about 6" lower than Tonka's so yes, she is considerably smaller. A very typical quarter horse size -- compact and agile. I can mount Raven from the ground with no problem, even when I am wearing jeans.

jme said...

i love ponying, but have never tried without a lead! that's great they're so good about it. i used to ride in a paddock where my friend's horses lived, and her 3 year old used to run up in front of my horse and rear at him to try to get him to play. didn't make for very productive rides, but it was pretty funny...

long ears on a TB is a sign of a good horse :-)

Grey Horse Matters said...

Looks like she's getting used to the ponying. What a great horse Tonka is, I just love his saneness. Love the bottom picture too.

MichiganBarb said...

Your notes on ponying are fun. Perhaps in time, as with my experience ponying from an old timer, Raven will acquiesce to your dominance on the back of the subordinate horse. It can be a really good authority exercise. And it's great to tire out the lil' booger, which is a good time to climb aboard and give some lessons without bucking, rearing, etc. Fun times!

On the hoof front, my rehabilitated foundered horse has been susceptible to thrush from time to time, likely due to his being insulin resistant (he's a Morgan) and not quite 100%. My trimmer had me order a topical treatment designed to address mastitis in dry milking cows. It's made by Fort Dodge and the product is called "Tomorrow." I ordered it through Valley Vet. He said to use it once a day for one week, and once a week thereafter (12 tubes per package for $24.25). He said it works better than CleanTrax. I'll post a follow-up after treatment. Just thought hoof-minded folks would like to know.

dp said...

For the record I'm pretty sure that Raven would have been a danger to all three of us if I started ponying without letting her get used to the idea at liberty. Next time I will start moving her around Tonka on lead at a standstill in the paddock and then do the liberty thing again in the pasture. Baby steps...

And also for the record, Tonka really is awesome. Before we started this I probably had not been on him more than 10 times as I wanted him to heal so that riding was not painful for him. He does everything I ask of him, not always with confidence but always with heart. Are all standardbreds like that?

Stacey said...

LOL at the moose horse comparison! How cute! When I was working at the carriage barn in Salt Lake my most favoritest Belgian boy in THE WORLD earned the name "Donkasaurus".

oregonsunshine said...

LOL! Raven is much cuter than a moose!

rockandracehorses said...

Great work with the ponying- love the pics!