Monday, 11 November 2019

Flying Fridges!

I did pretty well in working towards my goals for Sophie this past week, if I do say so myself.


We checked off Intro To Night Riding 101 by getting her out just before dusk one night so we were passed by vehicles with headlights. Now to add my headlamp and her reflective quarter sheet and LED lights to the mix in the actual dark and we'll be good to go!

Rainsheet back on last week with the usual drama because she hadn't seen it in at least a week. I think the quarter sheet will be fine though.
She also had a good visit at Aunty Bridget's School Of Equine Etiquette.

Bridget looked at me like "Why?!" when I put Sophie in her field. She secretly loves her, though and likes the bossy mom role. Sophie is noticibly taller than B now!
Sophie thought it was all very fun and exciting. I'm pretty sure she's contemplating kicking the fence here, but she made the right decision.

I even got back on after however many weeks off. Actually, I got back on twice, the first time without a helper, that's how confident I was that she was going to be s good girl.

Obviously giving her all those weeks off hasn't resulted in any progress, but I'm impressed she's game to pick up where we left off. For the record, in the round pen we're kind of able to walk circles to the left... and sometimes we sort of turn right too! :D The feet get stuck often, so there is a lot of disengaging hindquarters and shoulders to keep her moving. Which for an ammy like me is fine... it's all calm and cool,  please take a step forward here, good girl. No speed demons are required now, we can always speed it up later!

It's a bit easier on the trail, given there's only one path to follow, and it goes home! It's probably sketchy as anything  to ride her there given I have such little steering and questionable braking, but honestly she is already showing a bit of boredom with the round pen/arena, and we want to keep this all fun and positive! In order to mitigate the potential for disaster, my husband accompanies us on foot, and has a lead rope handy! Also, if anything weird were to happen, it's a quiet trail right to the barn so there are no worries about traffic or anything like that.

Sorry for the lack of media- it was pouring rain! Here's a picture of Bridget's ears instead on the same trail.

And finally, our big challenge for the week. I feel like I need to give a bit of a back story here so bear with me a moment. There is a metal recycler guy halfway along the road between the barn and the arena. He's super nice, and lets us use his other property to graze the horses and access the trails. We like him! But, I'm afraid I've not been the best at teaching him about horses. Often he's smashing stuff or driving his forklift or using a grinder or welder or whatever. He used to be nice and turn off whatever machinery he was using and wait for us to go by, but over the years that's been forgotten because he didn't need to with Bridget, and I go back and forth sometimes multiple times a day .

A more normal day at the recyclers, again with Bridget ears. 


So, the other night, I was leading Sophie home, and he was out on the road with his forklift. I think he saw us and tried to back up to give us space, but the fridge he was carrying rolled off the forks and started tumbling towards us. Poor Sophie! Lol, she's already a bit suspicious of him and now he's throwing fridges in our path.

Dramatic reenactment. She's spooking at the neighbour's cows here :)

No worries, he came and scooped it up again, and by now Sophie was fascinated. As we passed by him, that fridge was again teetering on the edge of the forks, hanging over a giant metal bin. He shut off the forklift, which I thought meant he was letting us pass. Except no, we were barely past when he simply pushed that thing by hand into the bin. You can imagine the noise a fridge falling from about 5 feet in the air, into a bin of metal makes. About 20 feet behind us, too  :D

If this guy can't bombproof my horses for me, no one can. He should be charging big bucks for the extreme despooking clinic :)

In all fairness, he'd 100% stop or wait if I asked...but for a few years now I've kind of been of the opinion that it's free training and I've been expecting the horses to just deal with it, and they haven't let me down yet.

Bridget couldn't give a flying fridge about any of it.

So there you go, we got stuff done and even have a The Tale of The Flying Fridges (In which no one dies or is even seriously disturbed). For all my talk about what a good girl Sophie is, I have to say honestly, she's pretty hot and sensitive and super opinionated. So, I feel like all of this stuff is especially important for her if I ever want her to be a safe all around pony.






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20 comments

  1. Good banana pony!
    I'm a big believer in taking any training opportunity that I can, provided I'm not in eminent danger of death! She'll be pretty bombproof in no time!

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  2. Omg talk about bomb proofing haha... also tho that’s awesome that things are clicking right along. Sophie sounds so sensible ❤️

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    1. She wants to be very dramatic, but luckily she also wants to be best friends with everyone too and Bridget and I aren't big on drama. It's pretty cute sometimes, you can almost see the wheels turning in her little brain :)

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  3. Once you have their trust, a lot of things can be overcome. Including flying fridges!
    You can stay safe on Sophie, even on the trails, with a solid one-rein stop. When she gets older and fitter, she will start to test you (somewhere between 4 to 6 years old) and that's when it might get tricky. You will want to have many more tools in your toolbox by then.

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    1. We do have a one rein stop (on the left rein at least!) I always teach it, but in practice it's not always to most useful on our steep and narrow trails. In the arena and for first XC schooling it's come in very handy with the babies tho! Testing is already in full effect...we went right from sweet two year old to adult mare with many opinions :D

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  4. That is some amazing bomb proofing!

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    1. Either that or I'm going to give her a lifelong fear of fridges :)

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  5. Sounds like great progress! And WOW on the fridge. A lot of really broke horses couldn't handle that.

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    1. I hate the feeling of heading out and hoping you don't run into something surprising so I try so hard to expose them to unpredictable stuff. I'm way to much of a nervous Nellie so I like to know there's a good chance pony will trust me when the inevitable weird thing happens.

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  6. Flying fridges indeed! What a good girl. Ed is like that (well minus the fridges). He pops up without warning, does things without thinking. He even had the nerve to look peeved when I asked him to not take the chainsaw into the woods and cut trees while I was riding. But it is good training.

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    1. Ha! Ed and Ron (our resident metal recycler) would get along well, I think. It's kind of like a game of Where's Waldo every time we head out - you know he's in there somewhere. Bridget likes him and actively looks for him, so usually I'm the one who's surprised when he pops up!

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  7. I can't say most people could have survived a flying fridge! Good job! Nice progress you're making with the Sophie pony!

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    1. After riding past that place in a wind storm, I think we're good to tackle anything, LOL

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  8. Oh my god lol. I giggled at the flying fridge comment. Poor Sophie!

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    1. I keep tossing it in to conversations and of course no one thinks it's as funny as I do, glad it gave you a smile :)

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  9. HA. That is some intense conditioning to some crazy circumstances! She's going to be a solid little citizen in no time.

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    1. Fingers crossed! She'd much rather be dramatic and exciting, but I seem to have a hidden 'talent' for making those sorts of horses dull and boring...which is great for trail riding, less so for dressage and eventing :)

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