March 20, 2011

The Pstar Dance

I had my lesson on Friday.  Since I had issues with Pstar last time I was out I asked Laurie if we could work with her.  We got Pstar in the cross ties and I started grooming her.  Again lots of hair shed's that time of year!  In areas around her neck I could see the smooth and metallic brown hairs coming in for her summer coat.  I can't wait to see her in her gleaming color this summer!  When we came to the feet I learned a few things...I was a little panicky about how quickly a young horse picks up their feet, it's unexpected and Pstar was most likely feeding off of my fear.  Also, two hands are better than one!  Normally with older horses I just use my inside hand, while my outer hand awaits with the pick.  When I was able to get Pstars feet I praised her and then held her hoof with one hand while rubbing either her shoulder or butt with the other.  That seems like it should be the mode of operation while she and I are still getting to know each other. 

I then got the western saddle to put on Pstar, I started the cinch and Laurie finished up, slowly getting the cinch tighter.  Pstar, and apparently most mares don't like the idea of the cinch so much.  A little bit of movement back and forth was all the irritation Pstar seemed to show.  Then she was fine.  Laurie showed me how to take the chain for her halter and loop it around the top nose band so it was not too severe.  She still thinks with a young horse it's best to use the chain for now.
You can still see she has hairy goat hairs on her cheek!

Out in the arena I struggled with the whip and lungeline in my hands, afraid of whacking Laurie, Pstar or myself.  We worked on backing first.  I wasn't too successful...I'm not forceful enough, I'm more like "pretty please with a carrot on top?" when I should be "Back please...I mean NOW!"  Laurie demonstrated wtih a more dominant way of making Pstar back without the clucking and hand motion.  Pstar kept looking in my direction and I wasn't sure how I should view that!  I know as I work with her she'll start seeing me as a dominant mare rather than a friend...but I still want to be the friend!  I took up the lungeline and worked on the back again....much better success.  Pstar is such a good teacher/student!
I then lunged her in both directions, asking for the trot and again not being dominant enough.  I often found if I started looking at Pstar's face for shoulder she would slow down, I have to remember I'm working on moving that butt!  I need to use the body language that says move this way, point whip to move horse outwards from the circle and use my body to walking along side her to move about the arena in a more straight line.  As Laurie says, "drive her" forward.  I was getting the knack of it!

We did well together.  I brought her in, untacked her and groomed her down.  I worked on her hooves again and used the two hand method to steady her leg faster, picked her hoof and then rubbed her while praising her as I held her foot before placing it back down.  While picking one of her front hooves Pstar lipped at my back, at least the area where my shirt came up on my back from bending over.  No teeth, just little lips, it was cute...was she trying to groom me back?  I feel much better than things have gone well.  The only question is to see how she is when it's just me there but at least now I have a few more "tricks" up my sleeve and a better understanding of what was going on before.
Cute little mare coming to say goodbye to me!

On Saturday I went out to see Ushi ride, got a tour of the property that Laurie and Dan closed on (YIPEEE!!!) and went over the lease contract with Laurie.  First off the property was amazing!  The indoor arena was so nice!  The house...let's just say I'm gonna try and move in with them!  The lease for Pstar will be for one year, at which time I will hopefully be able to make a decent offer on a horse that is well above my price range.  I have to look at this lease as an opportunity to grow and learn about horses, work with a fantastic horse and support a business I fully believe in.  I hope the stars will align next year and Pstar will indeed be mine but mentioned to Laurie that I don't want to impede her from selling Pstar for what she is actually worth (monetarily).  There is only so much I can offer on a horse, with my debt I'm paying off I can't them turn around and go back into debt.  As I've said on here before, I don't care about bloodlines or even if I find a purebred Arabian, that's why I've set my limit.  I'm sure I could go a little more for Pstar but we have to see. 

I have a year to work on the three main bills I want to pay off and then save as much as I can so I can make a cash-in-hand offer to Laurie.  I fear it won't be enough or someone else with the funds will give her a home before I can.  the thought of Pstar going to another home before I can claim her is less hurtful though than buying her, creating more debt for myself and then something happens (job loss, etc.) and I have to sell my beloved.  If it's meant to be it will be.  For now I'm paying for her care, working with her and learning as much as I can.  Naro Elinsalka lirima! (Elvin: To Ride Pstardancer will be lovely!)  Yes I'm a dork!  At least it's not Klingon!

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