January 17, 2011

Pstardancer Lunging Lesson

This Saturday I had my regular lesson with Laurie but the exciting part was I was going to use Pstar as my lesson horse!  She's not under saddle yet so this was going to be a lunging lesson, both for me and for Pstar.

I arrived at the stable and saw the mares in the arena.  Pstar's ears were pricked forwards, she was looking very fuzzy and cute.  I retrieved her from the arena.  She seemed surprised I was leading her out of the arena and kept looking at me with an excited look in her eye.  I brought her into the cross tie area.  She hesitated but stepped up and I turned her around to get hooked up to the cross ties.  She sniffed around the area and watched me as I clipped each side onto her halter.  I wasn't sure if she'd been up there or not so I stroked her and talked softly. 

Funny angle, her head looks huge in this pic but she's really almost perfect in conformation! 
To really get good pics of horses you can't be this close to them, it's better to be further away
 and use a longer lens but of course this is just a cheap point and shoot.  I'd love to do a real
 photo shoot with the horses someday!
Then I started to groom her.  She'll be five in July and she's a dainty little thing.  I guess she's about the height of Divine she's just very slim and refined.  I wondered if I would be too heavy for her if ever I rode her!  Her neck was upright and her head inquisitive as I worked around her.  She stood pretty still, much more so than Divine on most days.  I was pretty impressed. 

Laurie arrived at the stable as I was grooming.  She then told me that Pstar had not been in the cross ties before and how she thought she was being really good.  Pstar did poop several times, definitely a little nervous at this change in situation and change in handler!  I then worked on picking her feet.  Divine just has to have her legs touched and she's ready to give me her hoof.  Pstar wasn't so sure so Laurie showed me the way she had her trained.  Pstar was a little nervous I wouldn't give her hoof back or something, she was a bit reluctant to give me her foot!  The back feet were the most difficult, I wasn't quick enough to get my hand and leg under her to support the leg and she sort of panicked with a "kicking" motion.  Later after my lesson the kicking motion nearly got me several times.  Talk about adrenaline!  Anyways, once the hooves were done I wrapped her legs with the polo's.  Her cannons are nice and short so I had to adjust how I wrapped them, with some help from Laurie as to the tension I put into the wraps as I worked my way around Pstar's delicate leg.

Laurie did some lunging with her, playing the "Two Eyes" game from Clinton Anderson.  Pstar was pretty frisky and even reared (first time ever!).  I admired how beautiful Pstar was as she trotted in circles and pranced about at times.  She was very feminine looking but with a sense of strength, like a taunt rubberband, you could feel her energy ready to burst forth.  She calmed down a bit but always was a spring ready to release.  I lunged her at the walk and worked on changing directions now and again.  Then Laurie showed me how to have the horse back off from my space and also to follow.  I'm not using the correct terms but the whole thing is you get the two eyes on you and then wiggle the lead and walk with a big posture towards the horse.  They should back up.  Then you change your posture to a meeker position, back up and the horse should follow.  Pstar did quite well and I guess so did I.

After the lesson I groomed Pstar again and I put her back in her stall to eat some hay.  Then Laurie and I talked a little about breeding, bloodlines etc.  We also discussed a possible lease.  I would pay Pstar's board and thus have access to work with her.  Laurie would also work with me to get her under saddle.  It could be an interesting prospect, I would get to really know Pstar and see how we work as a team before committing to buying her.  I liked how she worked today though I was so nervous about messing up that I feel we could have worked even better. 

I do have concerns though, I would want to see her in many situations.  Loading on a trailer alone.  Taking her on a trail alone.  How would she react to traffic?  Bicycles?  Dogs barking at her on the side of the road?

Many times while out with Willy I've had barking dogs run right up to us and he's been really calm about it, granted he's 19 years old but can you get a younger horse at least pretty safe and reliable in that situation?  How do you get them used to the Santa Fe Trail where there are bikes, joggers, dogs and children that may not be "horse smart".  How do you progress with a young horse's training?  What if I do something really wrong and screw her up somehow?

I don't know if I'm ready to take on a young horse I might feel more confident with a horse that has a couple years under the saddle.  Maybe I'm just scared and this is the learning experience I need to just dive head first into.  I know I can lease her and if I feel things aren't working out the way I want I could end the lease.  But honestly it's hard for me to think about quiting the lease on Willy and look how many complaints I have about him! 

At least I don't have to decide to lease her this second, I still have my lease contract with Willy.  I'll be leasing Willy at least to the beginning of April (as per my contract), and at that point I can decide if I want to lease Pstar.  I'll ask Laurie to do a few more lessons with me and Pstar in the next couple of months and then see how I feel about her and the prospect of working with a young horse....to include less time in the saddle for me as we work on ground work with her.  It's an exciting thought starting from the ground up on a horse, and a potential life riding partner but also I'm not sure I want to take that on.  Do I want a horse that is a few years older that has been on several trails and seen a bit more of the world?  One who has experience dealing with changes in their lives?  One who I can get up and go riding down a trail in Black Forest or take into the mountains right away? 

I also don't know what price Pstar will be next year.  She only just came into my range over Christmas and will most likely go up in price as she gets more training.  I'd hate to fall hopelessly in love only to end up not being able to buy her in the end.  Uge.  I just need to take this one day at a time.  There is a lot of ground to cover between now and even April when I will be able to change what horse I lease if I so desire.  I have to think sensibly and remember that Pstar is a wonderful mare and I love her affection and cuddles but I have to be objective about myself as a rider and her as a horse.  What mount would be the best match for me to accomplish what I desire to accomplish in the horse world?  I also think it's a good idea to see other horses on the market, kind of that "dating around" to find your match theory. 

Anyways I can ramble on, I just have to be patient and not let my emotions and desire to have a horse of my very own take over my logical thoughts. 

On a completely different note I'm excited for Laurie since she and her husband just put an offer on a 40 acre property with a nice house, stable and indoor arena!  How cool is that!  I hope the offer is accepted and Laurie gets the dream property!  She deserves it so much! 

Well until next time, I'll keep this blog updated with my workings with Pstar.  I have time to figure out if taking on Pstar as a lease horse is more than I can chew or if it's a challenge I can face right now.  I just need to get comfortable with the idea and if not move on at least knowing that I fully investigated the possibility.  Happy trails!


Mare said...

I'm new to the blog, so I don't know exactly how much experiance you have, but I can say that I know how you feel, wondering whether or not your ready for Pstar. Last April, the stars alined, and I got the opportunity for a horse of my own, after several years of riding my boss's horses. I didn't end up buying my mare until September, but I spent the entirety of the 5 months in between worrying about whether or not I was "ready" for a horse, despite that fact that my instructor told me to shut up and quit worrying...LOL.

I guess I've just seen so many people rush into buying horses, and then end up with the wrong match, that I just couldn't believe that I had found the right horse for myself even though deep down, I knew I was ready.

My point is, sometimes you just have to take a step back, listen to those who know you best, and go with what you know is actually the right decision...Easier said than done, but it's what I ended up having to do!:)

ruffles said...

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Jess said...

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