Monday, July 18, 2011

A welcome interlude

On June 20th, I took Sweet Annie to a trainer, Jordan Stevens, in nearby Creswell.  I had met with him, and really got a very good feeling for his calm, quiet manner with his horses.  As he also said that when they deserved discipline, they got it, I knew he wasn’t a complete softy!

I’d been back to see her twice – once the next day, when she was so pissed off (and in flaming season) that she wouldn’t let me touch her, and then again last week, when, with the bribe of cookies, she was happy to bless me with her company so long as the cookies lasted.  I have not been avoiding her because of any instruction from Jordan; rather I felt it would be less confusing for her not to wonder where her loyalties should lie. It seems that I was right.

On a whim Friday, I went down to see her. Jordan was helping his whole family get the hay in before the next rain (that night…). He was grateful for the break, and walked right up to Annie (I couldn’t ever do that), and brought her out to show me what progress she’s made.  And what progress it is!  The skittish mare that I left is no longer in evidence. He expressed the opinion that since she’s the omega horse, she just needed someone to tell her what to do.  She takes instruction very well!  Even though she had been worked with earlier in the day, she graciously demonstrated all she’s learned:

Having a rope flipped up around her head, and all over her body

Standing untied to be saddled and bridled

Ground driving at the walk and trot

Stopping quietly with her nose down!

Standing quietly while Jordan mounted and sat on her

He’ll start having her carry him around with a friend leading her this next week.  He’s thrilled with her progress (as am I).  She’s not stupid, and catches on quickly and quietly to his instructions. One really great thing she does that was unexpected is that when he crosses behind her when ground driving, she doesn’t care. Many young horses are very unnerved by the “disappearance” of their human behind them, out of sight. Not Ann.  This bodes really, really well for continuing her training to pulling a cart. I’ll continue that part of her further education, since I have a little (very little!!) experience with that.  My arab was pulling shafts of pvc while I ground drove him around the fire roads near where we lived, but I never added weight.  If Ann is this placid about new things (Jordan says she’s actually a little lazy…), putting her to cart won’t be a huge deal, if taken slowly.

It was a really very calming interlude in my otherwise crazy life to spend time with my pony – after she was finished with show and tell, I led her around for about 45 minutes, letting her eat grass, which she thought was a great reward! Now that she a Jordan are working together well, I’ll check in more often (like once a week).  He’s sure that by the end of her 90 days, I’ll be riding her instead of him – I can’t wait!!


~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

She is so pretty Laura! So glad she's learning how to be with you.

Michelle said...

That really is great progress; what a great team you'll be!

Leigh said...

What fantastic progress. Sounds like Jordan really knows his stuff.