Saturday, August 28, 2010
Mind you I'm not a professional nor have I ever played one on TV. I'm just sort of making this up as I go along.
It's funny to see them together - they are like two kids in a car on a long trip. Bleu reaches towards Cricket, Cricket swishes her tail. My girls . . .
Wednesday, following my farrier appointment, I had the girls turned out in the open paddock near the barn. I decided to saddle up Cricket and start teaching her to pony Bleu.
With Cricket saddled and ready, I figured I'd start with trying to pick up Bleu's leadline from Cricket's back. The idea was that if I couldn't get them to stand next to each other without the hassle of lines and reins, maybe ponying wasn't such a good idea.
I managed to get Bleu's lines with minimal pinned ears from Cricket and only a few "mosey offs" from Bleu. All in all, it went well. I think Cricket started to understand her "job." Bleu, while she wanted to be near Cricket, was also respectful of Cricket's "stay back" energy and was a little laggy. The other thing Bleu missed was "synchronize with the herd." She totally didn't get that she needed to go when Cricket started moving off. By the end of the session she was much better. I dropped her line to allow her to graze and trotted around with Cricket for a little while.
Last night we had another short session in the arena. I put my bareback pad on Cricket and got on her while holding Bleu's line. I was so proud of my Cricket. Yes, she was ugly and swished her tail and pinned her ears and snarked a little. But I was on her bareback (not her favorite thing) Bleu was too close (another not-favorite-thing) and there were four other horses in the arena. Six horses in a 60' x120' arena is fairly close quarters for Cricket. Not once did she actually kick or bite or even open her teeth.
I think this is going to be a good adventure for us. In trying to manage both horses, I don't over-think what I'm doing and I have to be in charge to stop any of us from being hurt. I think I assert my leadership better without getting dictatorial and it seems to put purpose to even aimless wandering in the arena.