"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Gravel Crunchers

Just a quick update on the Lilybird.

Over the weekend, we did a lot of this:

"What is this brightly colored object?"

She refused to touch it with her hind feet initially. 
Mission accomplished.
She stopped being afraid of the bath mat after I made her chase me while I ran backwards, dragging the mat in front of me. Don't ask me how I came up with that one, but it was the key, as it passively made her follow after the object that was intimidating her. Her ears flicked forward attentively the minute I switched to this tactic. It was so cool to watch her entire mindset change.
 After that, she would happily walk and trot all over the thing. Go figure. Yay for desensitizing that doesn't involve flooding!
Oh, and she was sober. Check out how calm and happy she looks. :)

We also went for a walk in the woods, where I did a short lunge with her in a flat clearing where the grass was up to her knees and hocks. This made for some really fancy walking and trotting, and initially she was a little spazzy about all the brush touching her body, but then settled. We just did one circle at a time in each direction, first walk, then trot, and each time she came to a halt when asked. 

Today we hit the trails for a 35 minute ride, with our two 4-minute trot sets. We did the Bayou Trail again; she crossed the little bridge, the small creek crossing, and then the gravelly creek crossing, without any kind of hesitation. We circled around a meadow that we hadn't visited since January, and she was da bomb-diggity. She didn't even startle at all the deer we saw. At one point she kept trying to trot, and I realized that it was because a giant horsefly was perched on top of her croup, biting her. SUCH A GOOD GIRL!! Recently, while being tacked up outside, one of the OTTBs at the barn completely lost his shit, bucking and bolting, when one of those suckers bit him on the rump. 

I smacked the fly off, and it didn't bother us again. 

We then retraced our steps home.

She was one happy, calm, relaxed mare all the way. Check out her ears in the photos. I was so proud of her! On the homestretch home, a deer leaped clear across the trail barely 10 feet in front of us. Lily was marching along at a peppy walk, and she didn't even pause. Just put her ears up like, "Oh look! A deer! Pretty!" and kept right on trucking. 

Yup, happy pony, happy owner! She got a huge hug and extra mush after this ride.

The following 2 weeks, I will probably be posting a lot less frequently because my mom is visiting from Puerto Rico! We are giving her the Grand Tour of the MD-DC-VA area. She was a military wife so of course she lived in the US for a solid 14 years, and of course she visited often in FL, but she hasn't visited this area of the country before. Very excited! 


  1. So happy she's settling and enjoying her trail work. =) Good for the mind and the body. Go Lilybird Go.

  2. Yay! Sounds like she is doing really well :-)