By Patty Wilber
Part three? Well, part one was “Training with a buddy“.
Part two for Birdie was sort of spread around in the last three blogs.
But to recap, Birdie came in January and she had been handled, but not that much: Never had her feet picked up let alone trimmed (but, that is not to say her feet were in bad shape–they were, and are, actually, in really good shape), was hard to catch, didn’t tie, and was just a tad over reactive, which was why I used the buddy training to help her. At the end of February I added magnesium (which is often calms horses, some) to her diet.
I didn’t even try to get on her the whole first month and I also had a bum knee that held me back from hopping on a potentially silly colt-start for a bit. I started riding her in February.
A fellow trainer that gets his horses loping on ride one, offered to help me get her loping (I was at ride nine) and I seriously considered it, but then decided that I would just stick to my program, as I am comfortable with it, and it works for me, all in good time.
So here we are at the start of March, and Birdie now has 18 rides (and around 40 days of work), has been out on the trail twice (with a buddy–she still needs emotional support), can trailer and tie, can have her feet cleaned and can lope just a little, both leads. She is pretty light and coordinated and will be one that can bury her stop.
I do think the magnesium has turned her down a notch, making her more comfortable in new situations (but not a dead-head by any measure!)
Lucy is jealous of the time I am spending with Fancy and Birdie in the round pen and she hangs around at the gate, apparently begging to come in, so I opened it. She marched in to tell me that I should pay attention to her. I went ahead and worked her in there on Thursday and she ran hard and bucked a lot, and vigorously, which made me laugh because under saddle I am often having to really work to get her to move out!
We did go to a shaggy show last weekend and she showed good spark in cow horse and circled up like a pro. She also got firsts in five of her eight classes, so you know I was pretty satisfied! Still a long way from perfect, but I sure do get along with her.