Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Unexpected Bonus

I know I've said this a million times, but Zoe is unlike any horse I've ever had before. That's a good thing. I was definitely ready for the new challenges, but they are still challenges. 
um never had a horse let me do this before <3 
For example.

I started a new job last week, which is fantastic. However. It's mentally a lot of work to learn a whole different way of doing things.

Plus daylight savings time.

Plus fall/winter weather arriving.

All of which equaled not necessarily wanting to saddle up and go for it after work in the dark on a baby.

Especially on a baby who is a little bit coming into her own and enjoying the fall weather. Nothing she's doing is bad or unmanageable, but it means I need to get on and ride or like, not.
smooshes gotta smoosh
Here's the fun part though--Zoe starts bootcamp next month, which means I'm totally not worried about the riding. I can not ride from now till December and she'll still be #Zoefabulous, because that's the kind of lady she is. Or I can get on her and toodle and have her be absolutely foot perfect, then let her tear around the round pen after and see what a smart baby knows when she's working and when she's playing. (Did that too.)
such a fancy lady!
Oh yeah. Round pen.

We hadn't actually used said implement since Zoe graduated to the big arena for canter practice. It's out of the way and I hadn't really thought about it and I'm not really a "round pen" person in terms of wanting a horse to pointlessly run circles.

But when it's late and I'm tired and forgot my lunge line in the tack room? Oh hell yeah I'm learning to be a round pen person.
#effor
In our clinic, I learned that the canter is the key to improving Zoe's other gaits. Getting the canter under saddle right now takes more brain cells than I can rub together on some work nights, but 10/10 I can ask her to be responsible for her own balance and do a bunch of transitions in the round pen.

Another challenge I've been dealing with is that Zoe's bugaboo is loose horses running around--if the pasture horses take off when I'm working her, she gets very distracted. She hasn't been naughty about it under saddle yet, but it's definitely a topic we come back to.
unrelated but how cute is she?
I really don't like getting after horses a ton with a lunge line and dragging on their face/mouth. I also don't like the idea in a big arena that she might learn to get loose under duress if I were to lose control of the lunge line.

But you know how to eliminate those variables?

Oh yeah round pen. NIFTY.

So yup. Put her in the round pen. Horse outside went a little nutso. Zoe was like WUT R THAT MUST CHECK OUT and I was immediately able to send her forward and put her to work and get her attention back on me and work through it in a couple minutes without ever pulling on her face or worrying about losing control.
you're getting weekend pics because 1) we are adorbs and 2) the lighting is hella better
Also cool is just dealing with Zoe's brain in these circumstances. She's a naturally forward going gal, but she's happy to come back when I ask her to. Instead of like. Checking out and leaving. (One of us has baggage. #itsme).
this angle hides how dirty her tail is
I'm definitely looking forward to being back in the saddle and doing the "normal" sporthorse training stuff, but I love all the value I see coming out of our quick evening sessions too.

20 comments:

  1. I've never had access to a round pen. I've never really cared, but now reading this I'm like ohhhh, one of those would be really nice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's never been a priority for me, but it's been really handy this go-round. (See what I did there.)

      Delete
  2. Before we built the arena, all I had at home to ride in was a round pen. I loved it for many of the reasons you mentioned, and from time to time I miss it! But it's so cool that you're figuring out ways to work on such a variety of things with miss ZB ☺️ even with a new job and limited daylight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I keep reminding myself that we're like 5-6 weeks til the days start getting longer. Ick.

      Delete
  3. The most wonderful things about babies is that whatever you do is training. (that's also teh bad part too but let's not dwell on that. #myhorsehasbaggage). She doesn't need hours and hours- just a bit of time goes so far.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Repetition is definitely more for us than for them. :-)

      Delete
  4. congrats on the new job! i know that's been a major thing for like.... a while now, must feel good to have it settled! also awesome that things are working out with le baby horse re: bootcamp and other training opportunities when the drive to ride just isn't always there!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha yeah the ammy struggle is real. I'm handling a lot right now, but I definitely think next spring is going to be better than right now.

      Delete
  5. congrats on job!! and she is still the cutest. I LOVE Round pens (got into them in Texas and wish more people had them up in the NorthEast). I agree it beats wear and tear pulling on horses mouth lunging when they feel ummm..fresh? SPeaking of my 14 coming on 15 acts just like Zoe when horses elsewhere take off. NOT fun :) HA so excited about her schoolwork coming up :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So much of what we're doing right now is just figuring each other out and figuring out what our expectations are of each other. Every bit helps.

      Delete
  6. Zoe smart. Zoe cute.

    I'm also learning the value of the round pen right now because I have a nutty ottb I don't ride often enough and he recently got separated from his boyfriend and he is not ok with that so there is much screaming and much nuttiness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why did I think this was a good idea? Should've kept the Zoe-like pony.

      At least I didn't die today?

      Delete
  7. Every time I get a new horse I really wish I had a round pen. Glad you're making good use of yours! Sounds like miss Zoe continues to be world's best baby horse!
    Congrats on the new job too!

    ReplyDelete
  8. “Unexpected Bonus” made me think #Zoepreggers LOL, but roundpen epiphanies are good too 😂

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We clearly have different ideas of what a bonus is. ;-)

      Delete
  9. Zoë go round!!!! I'm so jealous of the laying down picture.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Congrats on the new job.

    And I love the things I can teach in a round pen. It's how I established everything with Grif in the beginning. I credit it with helping us to build the foundation for our incredible partnership. I'll always make sure I have one now!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...