Wednesday, February 29, 2012

More videos...

Last Sunday I was lucky enough to ride Starbuck again, first we did some longeing in the big arena where she was super super obedient, focused and relaxed.  Afterwards, for something new I spread out a big blue tarp on the ground in the roundpen so we could practice riding over it (she's actually supercool with this kind of thing, we've done work with the tarp before and she had no problem with it then either).

She walked and trotted over it calmly while free-longeing, but once I mounted up she decided she needed to destroy the tarp a little by pawing at it before we could ride over it ;p  At any rate, in the end we walked and trotted over it without any trouble - I was so proud of her and people kept saying how impressive it was and how much she trusted me (and in fact a few tried it with their grown-up horses afterwards and weren't so successful).  I know that there are other things which scare her more and which would be a better test of her trust, but I also know that I need to introduce challenges to her a little at a time, so I'm happy to pat myself on my back a little for this.
She did so well and was so laid back about all of it that I asked my friend Ivón to help us by longeing Starbuck with me on her back in the big arena.  That way I figured that both Starbuck and I could build up our confidence about riding there, and if she wasn't worried we could unsnap the longe line and ride a little without "help" from the ground.  And it worked!  She wasn't worried at all, didn't spook even a little and we were able to walk and trot around the non-scary side of the arena without any trouble whatsoever.  
At the end of our ride Ivón had to leave so we enlisted Virginia to walk us around the entire arena - even beside the scary tiger house - so Starbuck would get used to it.  And once again, she didn't skip a beat (this for me is really test of her trust)!  It was a short ride but she did so well that I wanted to reward her while we were ahead, so after the lap around the arena I untacked her, gave her a quick leg and belly shower (if you didn't notice it was warm enough for me to be wearing a t-shirt so imagine her in her winter coat) and prepared her a big bucket of savoury bran mash before cleaning out her paddock and making her an even bigger and fluffier bed of straw in her stall.

Once again, a marvellous day thanks to my fabulous filly Starbuck!

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