Last Wednesday, I rode Lily out to the equestrian center, and she was an absolute BRAT. She did not want to go down the street; she would balk, back up, or pop up every time I asked her to go forward. In the middle of the street. With cars coming both ways. And my health insurance hasn't kicked in yet. She was especially bad when we came even with the pasture with the two cows halfway down the street.
|Lily's version of cattle.|
I started her on Mare Magic that same night!
She then had 3 days off due to me working, which were well-deserved because she had been worked 5 days in a row (a first) and most of the rides, though not always strenuous, had been pretty long . She got to spend her days and nights out with Rose, and yesterday Sunday I was back at the barn.
I longed Lily in the arena, and worked on some desensitizing with the dressage whip (she is deathly afraid of whips in general). She was a spaz. Looking for the other horses in the other paddock, tearing around, snorting, acting like I was going to clobber her at any second. Even though I have never done anything to hurt her. But this is her when she is in heat. She goes into this weird fear mode. I'm sure this was part of her problems with her previous owner and trainer. I let her run around on the longe in both directions, then asked her to walk. She would not. Gentle pressure on the line. Nope. Half halts on the line. This brought her to a walk, but when asked to change directions, she took off again. After about 10 minutes of letting her run around again, I asked her to halt and rubbed her entire body down with the dressage whip, both sides. She remained perfectly still, but she also wasn't paying 100% attention, still trying to look for the other mares. I extended my arm to the side away from her, and waved the whip up and down in the air so that it made whooshing sounds. This got her attention. Off Lily went again, tearing around in a circle. I asked her to stop, still waving the whip, and she changed directions. I asked her to stop again, she changed directions again. We ended up doing this little dance, her basically zig-zagging in front of me, until suddenly it clicked in her head, and she stood still, looking at me, while I whooshed the whip in the air on either side of her. She remembered that I am not here to hurt her. She received a LOT of pats, praise and kisses for that one. I then had her yield her front end and then her back end, and she responded obediently. I then had her walk forwards, back up, stop, turn, trot next to me. She had to mirror what I did without me asking. She did excellent!! The whip came in handy for tapping her when I started to jog and she tried to just walk fast behind me, but after one tap she understood that she was to pick up a trot and stay next to me when I jogged. It was a beautiful session. By the end of it, I was doing all sorts of maneuvers with Lily matching my every step, despite a big loop in the longe line!
After that, I turned her out with Rose and Lil Red while I cleaned her stall. This is the first time that the 3 of them have been out together since the last attempt when Lily first arrived, where Lily was chased away from Lil Red by Rose. This time, Rose came over to greet Lily over the fence when I brought her over to the paddock. She allowed Lily to come in, and they stood head to tail sniffing each other, with Lil Red on Rose's other side. I stood watching. And then...Rose stepped away and allowed Lily to greet Lil Red! I ran for the camera and took a slew of pictures. Lily is officially part of the herd!
|Rose making sure Lily is still Lily|
|Lily has a new favorite friend|
|The little herd|
|Lily posturing for Lil Red. Yup, my mare is a hussy.|
|Rose the chaperone. "I see you looking at me!"|
|"Oh, that's why-you have a treat for me!"|