Sunday, May 24, 2015

Dakota gets a person of his very own

Today a young lady came out to give Dakota a try for a possible lease. It went perfectly! They loved each other. She's a very soft, balanced, tactful rider. She also already knows how to deal with his head-shyness. She has a bunch of experience competing in both English and Western as an undergraduate. She'll probably want to ride him a few more times before committing, but I have a good feeling about it! The guilt is already starting to fade :)

Monday, May 11, 2015

When a GSP wishes hard enough

Yesterday our GSP, Duke, and our beagle, Annie, were very fixated on the birds in the giant maple tree in our backyard. In the late afternoon, my husband took this picture of them hanging out together, staring upwards.

About ten minutes later, we heard a big, birdy kerfuffle high up in the tree, followed by a small thump on the ground right next to where the dogs were. Annie immediately leaped forward and grabbed something. Ted and I asked in tandem, is that a bird? After a moment Annie dropped it, and Duke grabbed it and started trotting proudly around the yard. Ted went to get something to put the probably dead bird in. When he got back, I got hold of Duke and pried his mouth open. What tumbled out was indeed a dead bird, but the interesting and horrifying thing was that it was decapitated. What could have done that? Definitely not a cat -- with four dogs running around, cats stay out of our yard. At that time of day, could it have been a hawk? Surely not an owl during the daytime.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Wonderful canter work, and pony snuffles

Between having the flu and hosting my mom for ten days, I haven't been getting to the barn as much as I'd like. The good news is, Clair can have a week off, and I can just hop on her and pick up as if no time has passed. She's such a doll! Today I decided to work on getting her canter departs more elevated, with less of a jump forward. After warmup, I put her on a twenty-meter circle and starting asking for canter-trot-canter, with just a few steps of trot between canters. She picked up on it right away, and boy howdy, did I get some fabulous canter. She got more and more collected until it felt like I was sitting on a bouncy rubber ball. I started leaving out the trot steps and just asking for a big half halt back to forward canter, and she felt so powerful. That'll be the canter I need to get nice canter-walk transitions. Such great progress!

Before I left I walked out into the pasture to take a few pictures, and I got this fun video of many pony snuffles. They are both very sweet, people-oriented kids.