Saturday, February 6, 2010

Diamond & Dolly - saddles, ponying, playing

I spent Tuesday with the horses. The sun was out (even though it was 15 degrees F) so I hurried to get the horses without shoveling manure first. I put saddles (poorly) on them both. I didn't put the saddle correctly on Diamond because I expected her to roll on it or something anyway. The tightening of the cinch worried her, but after that she was just fine with it.

Then I rode Dolly for a short while. I could tell she was hyper, so I free lounged them both for a short while.

Then I attempted ponying Diamond while riding Dolly.

Ponying is definitely above our current abilities, but it was fun. After a while of trying, we got in a couple of perfect steps so I called it quits. Here is a picture of Dolly while I'm riding her, and of Diamond with her head right by my knee.

I discovered three ponying issues to work on next time:
1) Diamond needs more basic training first.
2) Dolly is very excited at the change of pace, and doesn't enjoy standing still long enough for me to give cues to Diamond.
3) Dolly got a little cranky from me holding her back so much, so then she wasn't in the mood to allow Diamond's head right by her side, and kept pinning her ears which Diamond took as a cue to back away.

WHEW. So then I shoveled manure. After I finished and was putting away the sled, I realized that Diamond wanted to play with it!! Here is a video of her mock-attacking the sled. It was hilarious. She really amuses me.


  1. OML Amber!!! Diamond is a riot to watch going after her sled! She had me on the floor in tears. My husband had to come over to see what I was laughing at and now he's on the floor! I see how she amuses you and herself. What fun. You will never have a dull moment with their training. And Dolly seems to look at her like, WHAT is the big deal with this??? Glad to hear you are having such a great time with your animated gals. Keep up the good work and stay safe!

  2. Amber, this post was hilarious! Diamond is so playful and has a good sense of humor. You have your work cut out for you in training...get ready for some crow hops down the road...these Curlies like to play. Your pictures were great. Yes, ponying is harder than it looks and requires a lot of practice and preparation! Your riding horse needs to be very well trained and obedient, your follower needs to be sensitive to halter pressure, and the rider needs to be deft at multitasking. I used to do it all the time when I was a kid when I had a mare and foal. I ponied the foal even after he was a grownup, and it really helped him become a wonderful trail horse.

  3. Great photos, Amber! You always inspire me when you get out in that cold Alaska weather and fuss with your horses. Good for you! They both look great!

  4. Amber, How fun to have a horse with such a personality! I just love Dolly's color and Diamonds curls. And so glad you posted pics to tell me who is who :). Ponying is what knocked my confidence. I was getting quite brave bareback and then started leading another - solid - horse to and from the road grazing area. But the other horse was more sensitive to my voice and when I scolded Mocha then the other horse jumped and then Mocha jumped and then I went THUD! So good job for assessing the needs and for finding a good spot to take a break! And DITTO to the inspiration on the cold weaher work!


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