Kat Goes to Work

Hey everybody!  I’m back from my cruise, which was pretty nice.  I was enjoying some lovely 80+ weather, sun and beautiful clear water, only to come back to… endless drizzle.  For real, it’s been nonstop mist/drizzle since I got home, and every cell in my body is telling me to go back to Mexico (note to others: I really have to recommend Tulum.  Such pretty beaches!).  But that is not to be, instead, it is back to work with the ponies.

The bulk of my riding for a while is going to be with Klondike, concentrating on actually riding, instead of puttering around.  So look for frequent updates on his blog. 🙂

Kat, on the other hand, is still a bit far away from serious riding, and is just getting reintroduced to the idea of “work” after a ten year hiatus (give or take a little).  Our volunteer Laura has been working with her the past few days, which Kat is enjoying very much.  Particularly the beauty school part.  Laura has removed the equivalent of two medium sized shetland ponies from Kat with the shedding blade, and on her neck and shoulders, you can see a slick and shiny coat starting to peek out from under the long guard hairs. 

On Wednesday, we went ahead and plopped a saddle on her to see what she’d do.  Her reaction was basically just to crane her head around and watch the process, and you could see the wheels turning in her head.  Not the bad kind of wheels, like the horses that think, “I’m just waiting for you to tighten that girth… go ahead, I dare ya!”  but the more quiet kind of wheels, like, “Hmm… I really thought I was long past this… Didn’t they give me a ‘Get Out of Work For Life’ card at Broodmare central?”

Yesterday the re-education continued and Kat was both saddled AND bridled.  She’s a little unhappy about the bridling, apparently.  Although she didn’t seem to have issues with me touching her ears while grooming and messing about with her mane and forelock, the appearance of the bridle seemed to make her much more sensitive about her ears, particularly the left one.  While it’s possible this is just her, and she is highly sensitive, our assumption is that at some point she was ear twitched, and that we will need to do some work to get her over it.  I foresee many an enjoyable ear rub in her future.

Once tacked, Laura brought her to the ring for some lunging- to get her used to the feel of tack while moving, and also to start the process of getting her more fit.  I took some pictures, but it was overcast and dark (did I tell you it’s been misting/drizzling nonstop?), so I haven’t bothered to upload them.  I will tell you that in tack, Kat goes from being pretty to looking downright classy.  She is a STUNNING mare who looks like she would be right at home in the hunter ring. 

On the line, she practiced whoa and go, and got about twenty minutes of exercise.  I’m very excited at the prospect of getting on her eventually, because not only is she a pretty mover, but her natural tendency seems to be to go, yes, like a hunter.  So far she’s showing no real inclination to be hollow or to giraffe with her head.  That may change with a rider, of course, but Afton was always very giraffey no matter what- she looks like she’ll be very willing to stretch out and be an enjoyable ride.

After lunging, she got introduced to the mounting block.  Because horses tend to be a little worried about people being up above them, Laura walked her back and forth by the mounting block several times as Allie first stood next to it, then got up on the steps.  She gave it a little shifty eye at one point, but didn’t seem too fussed.  Likewise, she didn’t move a muscle and didn’t seem to care when Allie draped herself over the saddle and layed on her back a little bit. 

So far, so good 🙂

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