So Friday evening after Matt gets home from work we'll put the rubber mats back in the trailer, haul Arabee the 2 minutes down there so I can "practice" driving the truck/trailer, and she will get a WORKOUT.
In anticipation of getting her good and sweaty tonight in coolish weather, I attempted to try out a blanket for size (a throw blanket) on her w/out a halter in the paddock. She sniffed it, I put it up over her shoulder, and GONE! Kind of a stupid move on my part. So I went back to get the halter, but by then she was hyped up, and wanted nothing to do with being caught.
So I "round-penned" her - sent her away, changed directions, until she started chewing/licking and lowering her head in a request to come to me. She was UP, she bucked, she jumped, she spun 'round FAST. It was beautiful to watch, with her tail flagging straight back over her rump Arabian style, nostrils flaring, neck arching gracefully. Cora in the wagon on the other side of the fence squealed with delight each time Arabee snorted or did something unexpected (which was alot!). Well, this only lasted about 5 minutes, and would've been shorter but she was having fun, and she very quickly gave up and followed me around like a puppydog. I haltered her, and pretty easily got the blanket on.
Eventually I'll be adding webbing in a color to match (and may post up a tutorial for turning an old throw blanket into a horse cooler sheet) but for now I'll just stitch some leftover ribbon on to keep it on under the "real" sheet I have - it's an irish knit sheet, for extra wind protection on the short trailer ride home tonight. We probably won't drive over 30mph, and it is less than a mile away, she will be fine.
The plan is this:
- Big workout Friday - After familiarizing with the arena and warmup - Walk trot and CANTER, work on transitions. Walk to cool down, haul the 2 minute drive home.
- Saturday OFF with turnout
- Sunday - Workout in Arena. Refamiliarize/warmup - more trotting and cantering transitions, work on speed control at the canter.
- Monday - OFF with turnout
- Tuesday and Wednesday - Pleasure trail rides in the woods around home. Practicing creek crossings.
- Thursday - Arena work again. Hope to be fully confident in my horse to canter calmly and safely with minimal cueing and good speed rating.
- Friday - easy trail ride in woods at home
- Saturday - TBD: Either first big trotting workout on the trails at home (see how Friday's ride goes spookiness-wise), haul to the arena again, or trailer out to a park to ride with other horses.
I'm really not too far off of my previously posted goals. I had front boots and a saddle by 2/6, with rear boots on the way, and have been having steadily longer workouts with more trotting. We should start cantering tonight, and do hour-long workouts. We've worked on expanding the comfort zone on the trails around home. I think the plan for this week I posted above will be making great strides in increasing Arabee's fitness and wind. Friday 2/20 is the AERC trade show, and I hope to fill in a lot of the gaps in equipment that day. Potential for trailering out 2/21 for our first trail ride with other horses - we'll see what the family plans are and how the weather is.
A big thanks to Rott'N Horse Farm (they raise rottweilers and horses) for the use of the arena!!!