I thought I'd take Princess Fancy Pants out for a little outing every other day or so, and on alternate days I'll take one of the other horses out in order that they all know that coming and going is a normal thing and nothing to get in a tizzy about. Yesterday was PFP's day.
I took her to the trailer and gave her a nice grooming. I tied her up using the Blocker tie ring, just in case. I know she ties, but since she's new to me I think it best to just be careful and treat her as if she doesn't know anything. For those who don't know, this tie ring allows the lead rope to gradually feed through so that if a horse pulls back they don't scare themselves by hitting the end of the knot and feel trapped. She stood fine but was a bit fidgety as this is the first time I've tied her up and the trailer is up by the house for some maintenance work.
After I groomed her I took her to the arena and brought my flag along because I want her to get used to it and be so ho-hum about it by the time I start her that it is no big deal. And so far it hasn't been a big deal, but I haven't pushed it yet. I had a couple jumps set up with trot take-off poles and thought I'd just weave my way through them, walking between the trot pole and the jump itself. It is kind of a squeeze-type feeling and I've been doing a few things like that in preparation for trailer-loading training (I have her go past me to go into her stall and to go through the gate into the pasture). So at first I could tell she was a little wary of these things on each side of her but then we just weaved in and out and it was boring.
I decided then that we'd go through that same path but then make a turn and walk over a cavaletti. The first time she gave it a hard look but walked over. Then she walked over. Then she stopped and wanted to check it out by pawing at it. And it moved! So she JUMPED over it! It was actually pretty cute. So we did a few more walking-over-the-pole in each direction and called it quits when she did it non-chalantly.
We finished our outing by walking down the little trail that goes behind our house. It is probably 1/2 mile long or so and I use it for a cool-down after riding. This was her first little trail outing at my place and she was great! There's some water in the irrigation ditch next to the trail and she gave it a little sniff and realized that there was grass there and so that was appealing. We only went about 1/3 of the way because I didn't want to overdo it and I want her to look forward to our outings. There was only one holler from Mac when we first went back to the arena (and PFP didn't holler back) and when we got back he had already forgotten that she had left and was hanging out in the shade instead of standing by the gate.
One of these days I'll have to get Colin to take some pictures of us!