Friday, April 16, 2010

Playdate for Babies

Yesterday, several friends from our local Parelli play group with young horses converged at a friend's arena to practice together.

Tenley brought her 4 year old draft cross, Augie. Shannon brought her 6 year old Arab cross mare, Una. Diane played with Ivan, a 4 year old Arab gelding. And I brought Guinness. (Cody's mom and I decided not to bring Cody, since he and Guinness need some practice hauling shorter distances together, since G. has only been on a two-horse straight load with another horse once for a very short trip.)

It was a lovely clear, but somewhat breezy day. Once I arrived, a bit late as usual, we released the 3 non-resident horses together and ate lunch together while the horses grazed. The downside of this was that when we went to retrieve the horses, they had formed a new herd structure (Una & Guinness in the "in group" and Augie in the "out group") and didn't want to be caught!

We spent a couple of minutes changing their minds and then moved into the arena, where we played the join-up game that Carol Coppinger's L3 students play at clinics. Guinness & I went last, and I'm pleased to say that he stuck with me very nicely.

We then tacked up and played follow the rail/point to point in the arena with each of us trying to give the others space. This was Tenley and Augie's 3rd real ride together and they did great!!

After we got too hot to continue, we mosied down to the creek for water practice. Guinness seems to really enjoy playing in water and I'm looking forward to enticing him into Dave's pond at the Trail Competition this summer. :-)

The ride home was uneventful.

Today, we will be going on our first ride on the New River Trail!

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