Who is the best pony? Princess Fancy Pants!
I'm trying to get back into a schedule of working with the pony since the weather is warming up a bit. On Thursday I started with clipping her gorilla face! She had a very fuzzy winter face, so I got out the clippers and cleaned up under her jawline, the whiskers (I don't clip them off, just shorten them), and a little of the long hairs around her face and neck. She was very ladylike for that.
Next came some ground work, some easy lunging (sans bit), some double-lunging (with bit) and then got on. The neighbor's dog was peeking under the fence about 20' away, which PFP could see from the arena and which made her a little looky. But for her, looky is just that - looky. No snorting or spooking or running sideways or anything, just a look-see. Then the dog came over for a poop snack from the dry lot area but that was no big deal. (Cute and sweet dog, I don't worry about him menacing the horses.)
We just worked on walk and forward trot and w/t transitions for a bit. Then I sidled her up to the gate and unlatched it from her back (first time, another no big deal) and then swung it open from her back. She was perfect!
We then went for a little trail ride out back and she was great. First time she's been out on a little trail ride since probably October, but she was fine.
That was ride number 13 and I will admit that I'm a bit superstitious ,so I was glad to have that under my belt.
Today I worked with her again. I decided to put a cavaletto on the ground on one long side, and then in one corner I put the mounting block (far enough away from the wall/corner that we could ride on the rail and go between the block and the wall) and then in another a small piece of tarp. We did some ground work exercises whereby we went over the pole then did some figure 8s around the other two items. Then we moved on to the long lines (I did move the tarp for that one) and did a little walk and trot. Of course she was perfect, so I got on.
I should mention that Colin was in the paddocks doing my poo chores for me and she didn't bat an eye about him driving around with the mower and little dump wagon (tractor is in the shop) and climbing over and through the fences.
When I got on we worked on circles, changes of direction, and then a short exercise whereby we walked over the pole (first time under saddle) then picked up a trot and did one lap at the trot and came back down to the walk before the pole. We did that three times, then for the fourth time we trotted over the pole. Perfect! Switched directions and did it the other way. No problemo, although going right is her more difficult side so we did do a couple extra circles to get a little bend through the corner. She really doesn't need a lot of repetition, she picks up on things very quickly, so I called it a good schooling session with that (about 15 minutes) and we again opened the gate and went for a little trail ride out back.
All in all, a great day for me and the pony! :-)