There’s a new kid on the farm!
Kinda cute, eh? She’s a 6 year old, mostly-Arab mare whose owner doesn’t have time to ride her. I, meanwhile, have a big gap in my riding calendar since I’ve decided to lay Consolation off for an extended period.
Maji hasn’t been ridden in over a year; before that, she had 30 days of pro training in the hills, plus a few trail rides with her owner. Getting her back to work will take a few “refresher” sessions, but she has a good mind and I expect to have her out on the conditioning trail shortly.
I brought her home Tuesday night, and we started getting to know each other yesterday. After a bit of grooming, we met our first challenge in the form of the Skin-Melting Fly Spray of Doom. Miraculously, she survived (whew!) and we moved on to a little photo session. I like to keep track of how my horses change over time, so photos are important to me.
Next, I put a rope on her and lunged her for a bit. I’m not keen on running her around in a bunch of circles, but working through some gait and direction changes seemed like the best way to get her mind working and establish some communication pathways. Indeed, she took a while to shift her focus from her new herd buddies to me. It was hot out and she’d worked up a decent sweat by the time she settled down to a few smooth reversals in a row, so we called that good for the day.
Her strong pull to the herd told me there was one more lesson I should instill early: You must leave other horses. It will be okay. We will come back.
I led her away from the paddock area, just past the edge of her comfort zone, and let her graze for a couple minutes. Once she relaxed and stopped looking over her shoulder, I took her home again. Next time, we’ll go out a little farther. Before long, she won’t think twice about it. Easy.