Extreme Mustang Makeover 8/28/07
Back in the saddle again
While Ted is still having more bad days than good ones, he has managed to get out and work with Amigo for the last couple of days. The weather is still very hot and muggy most of the time, limiting his sessions to very early morning, when I'm at work, or late evening, when the light is not the most conducive for pictures. But I managed to catch a few shots of them last evening, and will update his training...
Monday, August 27th
Amigo met the clippers tonight - that of course is MY job. I went in his stall, there's a plug right there, and not wanting him to feel too confined, I left him free in the stall with the ability to move if he wanted to. Amigo likes to taste everything, so of course the clippers went immediately in his mouth... and back out again! Okay - So I rub them over his face and neck. "Weird brush, mom, but okay." Then I turned them on, he looked a bit askance, but didn't back off. He got a cookie for that. Trimming the whiskers and guard hairs wasn't too bad. He thought it tickled once in a while and would move over a bit, but always came right back when asked, and pretty soon was standing with his down, just letting me trim away. All in all the clippers were pretty much a non-event and Amigo now has that pretty head revealed, a little bit of bridle path, I still need to clean that up, and while I didn't clip inside his ears, I did do the fold in half and run them on the outside thing. He's so pretty now! Although he thinks mustangs should be muddy and hairy all the time, he humors me and lets me groom and bathe him from time to time.
Ted managed to rest most of the day Monday after his Dr's appt, so he came out and rode Amigo for a while after the heat finally dissipated. They are really starting to come together - riding in just a rope halter seems to be what Amigo likes best. He has an appointment to get his teeth done Thursday morning, so we'll see if that makes any difference. He's steering well, picking up the trot and even the lope readily and softly now, working on haunch turns and forehand turns, a little half passing and side passing. Trots the poles without hitting them FINALLY, and is just overall really softening up. Friday we may take him to a local arena, Saturday we're hoping for a trail ride - both being weather dependent - expecting more rain - and Ted's health dependent. At this point - we're just planning to get as far as possible and leave the rest in God's hand for the actual show.
Tuesday, August 28th
Another day Ted has been able to get out and work with Amigo. They started off with a little groundwork, which Amigo just eats up, and his clown-like personality really shines through. Here Ted was asking him to walk over and touch the barrel with his nose, which he did perfectly. Then he swung around and looked at Ted, I swear you could see the glint in his eye as he used his hoof to knock the barrel over and jump it! He knew he'd be asked to do that later, so why not get it out of the way now? Dark was descending fast by the time Ted saddled up, but they managed to get a few minutes in the round pen, then they went out to the open yard. This was Amigo's first time working under saddle outside the round pen or the larger arena. But he took everything in stride, walking around the tractors and other equipment, over the bridge, the tarp, trotting the poles and just having a really good time.
Working in the open yard. This is the first time working under saddle outside the round pen or the larger arena. Amigo took it all in stride.
Yes, the yard lights and security lights are already on,
that's why the pictures are so dark!
Then it was off to the arena again for a little more work on loping and control. Amigo is still very green and needs lots of work in this area, but it's coming along. Considering that Ted hasn't been able to work with him more than a few hours a week between his health and the weather, I think he's coming along pretty well.
First trail ride
After the arena work, Ted was planning to quit for the evening, but the air was finally cooling down a little and the stars were just coming out against a still blue sky, with a full moon rising above. What better time for a little trail ride. So they headed off across the creek to the back pastures, an area that Amigo has never seen before. He took the creek crossing in stride. They waded through belly deep grass and played in the persimmon trees for a while - that reminds me, I'll have to keep an eye on those, looks like a bumper crop again this year. I have to try to get them before the deer and the horses have them all gone! Amigo had such a forward attitude and seemed to be having so much fun outside of the arena, it really makes me think he'd make a great trail or even endurance horse. He has much more enthusiasm for that kind of life than he does for arena work, which I think he consider B O R I N G.