Ponies, Dandelion Love and More

Sunday, May 19, 2013

I have written before about the pony Sophie from Bill's neighbor. Bill has been working with this horse to help her overcome some of her fears. He's made a series of videos (13 in fact!) on Sophie's progress. This past week, the progress continued.

Here's the little darling on Thursday night (bah! I mean the horse not Cowboy Bill!). Thursday at lunch I had gotten a text from Bill saying Sophie was ready to be ridden again. He had the round pen set up and she was ready. I finished work at 6 and since the weather was perfect, I headed over.

While Bill tacked Sophie up, I hung out with my brumby who was in an extraordinarily snuggly mood. She was probably laughing to herself that I was getting on Sophie and not her. 

I gotta tell you, I don't remember what kind of saddle Bill had on this little mare, but it looked very nice. Bill put a little tiny bit in her mouth, checked all the tack, lunged her for a minute and then it was my turn to get on. First I just stood in her stirrup. Then I bounced in her stirrup. And then I climbed aboard. Yes, it was a very comfy saddle.

Before I got on Sophie, I told Bill if he spied a buck before I felt it, he was to yell NOW! and then I'd disengage her hindquarters, Chris Cox style (or try to anyway). I need not have been worried. Sophie was very good. No, she was perfect. We started at a walk. We walked around the round pen, changed direction several times and then I asked her for a trot. Gorgeous, all of it.  I'll tell you though, my legs are kinda long and this was a pony so I felt like a giant person on her.

Sophie has a trot that is as smooth as ice cream. It was fairly windy too and she just kept trotting around. I will also tell you that this pony neck reins a lot better than my brumby! To see part of this ride and other desensitizing that Bill has done with Sophie, follow this link:
It is  Bill's most recent Sophie video in the series, Sophie 13. You can watch 1-12 too  if you want to!

Saturday I was back at the farm. Bill and Jackie were off to Maine so Jackie could run in the Sugarloaf Marathon (she ended up finishing first in her age group!). I decided to try split reins so here is a picture of Lilly wearing them. I think they look very nice, very western. What I like about them is that she can't get caught in them like she can with rope reins.

In my opinion, the weather was lousy all weekend. On Saturday I was chilly heading down the road but by the time we got to the trailhead ten minutes later I was broiling. So I hung my jacket on a tree thinking that it looked weird and scary and when we came back it would be a good training moment. Never pass up a training opportunity!

Even though I am the only one who uses my saddle, sometimes I need to adjust the stirrups. Now I wonder, why would this be so with all  factors remaining constant? I just don't get it. Barn elves? In any case, I had to lower this stirrup one notch.

We had a fabulous ride. Here we are at the ice pond on the short trail. I also call this Ansell Adams Pond. Brumby took a nice big drink here and this is when I realized that the split reins meant that I could still sit up in the saddle while Lilly bent her head down very low to drink. Very convenient and comfy.

We ventured into the Blueberry Pasture to have a look around. I have not been in there in MONTHS! I could see the opening to Trollwood beckoning. But I wanted to wait. Maybe the first ride of the season in Trollwood might be more fun if I were with Bill or Christine. While I pondered, my brumby lost no time having a snackfest.

It was quite nice out in that field.

I am amazed at the pictures my little Olympus camera can take. Take this fern for example. Isn't it gorgeous? I love the idea of it beginning to unfurl and get its life started. What will this summer hold? What will we all do with it? I think this little fern is suggesting it is going to be beautiful.

 At the BP I stopped to count heads since Bill was away. Ruby, Glitter, Charlie, Freddie, Jodie, Pokey. All present and accounted for!

 Always a friendly bunch at the BP. I should have been filming though because Lilly made quite a squealy production during our visit. She acts like she has no idea who these guys even are. Sometimes she kicks a front foot out too which I find scary and ridiculous! But alas, I am a human and they are horses.

Footnote to Saturday's ride: remember how I hung the jacket on the tree thinking it would give Lilly a pause? Nothing of the sort. She walked by that jacket like it had been there for ten years!

Another footnote: When we finished this ride, I picked more than 50 ticks off of Lilly's legs! Now that's gross!

On Sunday, in spite of the gloomy, wet weather, I was back in the saddle.

The Gobbler was at it again. This brumby loves dandelions. Each spring she has a love affair with them. Saturday she ate so many of them I worried that she had overdosed and so I did not give her a single carrot when we returned to the barn, which is extremely unusual! Can one OD on dandelions?

Not if you are the Dandelion Queen, you won't!!!

Here's a closer look at the Queen.

Another ride, another blissful weekend gone!

Hope everyone is enjoying themselves and their horses, and CONGRATS to Jackie C again on her win in Maine!!


Paint Girl said...

Looks like another fabulous weekend!! Sophie is adorable and that is great that she was so good for you!

Anonymous said...

The beautiful 'Dandelion Queen'. Love the dandelion crown!

I am glad you both had such a lovely day. Looks like things are warming up there.

Rose & Emma

Melody said...

What a beautiful Dandelion Queen you have ! :))))))

Kalin said...

You have no idea how excited I am about the fact that I found a western trail riding person. Every horse blog I follow is English, not that I dislike it, but I really like reading about trail riding, why? Because I'm a western trail rider. Hahaha! I love your blog!!! Can't wait to read more!
Kalin from Sittinginthesaddle.blogspot.com

lmel said...

Weekends are just too short!
Lovely photo of Lily with dandelions--I love it. 50 ticks? Yucky--so far only a few here, but we've started with the Equispot to keep them at bay.
What Olympus camera do you have? I'm still in the market for a new one.

Willow said...

What a good little Sophie and a brave you ! Lilly looks lovely with her dandy golden crown!

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