Monday, April 27, 2009

Misty's Monday Muse

This weekend was a busy one for Marley & Me, and My Lady. We all participated in a 2 day horsemanship clinic.

In the morning, My Lady and I did ground work. I was a good girl, but I did get worried when I heard a monster circling around outside the indoor arena. My prey instinct is quite strong and I'm very sensitive to scary noises. If I'd known it was just the hay truck replenishing our vittles, I would have been happy instead of frightened.

My Lady rode Marley in the afternoon sessions. She practiced using direct and indirect rein to communicate to Marley's front and back feet, respectively. The riders also practiced transitions from walk to trot, and back to the walk. Sounds simple, but there was actually a lot of communication going on between horses and riders.

Marley got a little naughty a couple of times. He did that ornery trick of his where he shoves his right shoulder out in sort of a "run away" attitude, even though he didn't go anywhere. My Lady used her left direct rein and a lot of right leg to get him back on the rail. He was OK after that. But then later, Marley got very relaxed and sleepy while the riders were quietly sitting on their horses listening to instructions. When My Lady woke Marley up and asked him to move to the rail, he didn't want to go. Instead of moving forward, he started backing up. My Lady asked him more firmly to go forward and he kept backing up and backing up some more. She had to get aggressive with her legs, and he finally decided she meant it, and he moved forward onto the rail. Marley was just testing My Lady. Sometimes he likes to question who is in control. We're hoping that soon he will stop questioning so much and just be a good boy.

They did a couple of fun exercises on horseback, although I think it was really more entertaining for the trainers watching than the riders. Some riders went to the right, while others went to the left and when they encountered a rider coming toward them they had to weave around one another. It was kind of funny. Everyone agreed that they wouldn't be forming a drill team anytime soon.

Next they played a game where some of the horse/rider pairs pretended to be cows and the other horse/rider pairs had to keep their "cows" from going back to the herd. It was fun, but by this time My Lady's brain was full and she was feeling a little overwhelmed and tired. She felt like she wasn't thoughtfully herding her cow, by correctly maneuvering Marley's front and hind ends at the appropriate time. She was just kind of riding him back and forth. After all, she is 50 and this Vaquero style of riding is new to her. She may be an old dog, but she can still learn new tricks given some time. (Don't tell her I said it like that).

It's still "Springtime in the Rockies". So, Sunday afternoon it started snowing again. It snowed heavily last night and into this morning. I don't mind, but the humans are sure grumbling about it. Unlike the last couple of snowstorms, this one will be short lived and the sun is scheduled to make an appearance soon.

Despite the snow, we had a few pine trees planted on our property this morning. A fellow stopped by with a bunch of Pinion Pines (pronounced "pin-yun") in the bed of his pickup truck for a really good price. My Lady was happy about that because she loves Pinion Pines and they'll add curb appeal to the house.

Have a good week.


  1. Sounds like you had a fun time at the clinic. I'll bet you're really sick of the snow by now, I wouldn't have minded some cooler temps over the weekend. We had a lot of outside work to do and it was in the 90's! It's just too hot for April. Oh well, crazy weather this year, have a good week with your herd.

  2. Grey Horse, 90s is too hot for me any month of the year. But if I complain about the heat anytime this summer, remind me of the snow I'm so sick of. It was a fun clinic and I learned a lot. I'd like to continue with some regular 1-on-1 short sessions with these trainers before the next clinic. I hope it cools down where you are.

  3. Thanks for the info on the clinic, OnceUpon!
    Quite a busy weekend, I gather?
    You know after your last post, I was thinking on Misty, and wondered whether she is a kind, but sensitive horse with a panic button.
    Is she?
    I smile when I read about Marley.
    He is a Fjord, no doubt about it.
    I can't help it, but I have a soft spot for the ponysmart ones. They can be really irritating, but you get a lot of entertainment from them too!
    I will tell you about Tarzan one of these days. And of my first love, Walja.
    Give your two gems a scratch from me!

  4. Hi HorseOfCourse. Marley sure is "ponysmart", but everyone adores him despite that. I keep saying his cute, stocky looks are his saving grace.

    You've figured out Misty correctly. She is a kind mare. She is the boss of Marley, but she bosses him gently.

    Looking forward to hearing about Tarzan and Walja?

  5. Oh, how fun! Sounds like one of those clinics I enjoy going to! Lots of fun activities instead of work, work, work.

    I closed my eyes and didn't look at the snow picture. I can't even stand the thought of THINKING about snow right now! I imagine you are pretty sick of it too. I wouldn't even trade my mud for your snow right now!

  6. Jenn, oh yes, I'm soooo sick of snow. We've got mud too. Lots of mud which I watched Misty roll in today. Lovely.