Archive for the ‘Powder’s Development with Jennifer Vaught’ Category

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PostHeaderIcon Powder’s Trip and First Day

Written by Jennifer Vaught

Powder arrived at Pine Dell early Sun. morning Oct. the 17th.  She was going to go home with Nichole and I.  I had brought my two horse straight load trailer with a ramp, which she hadn’t seen since she was a yearling, so I wasn’t sure how thrilled she would be to load in that.  At a trailer loading clinic she had played with it, but she had never been shut in.  Nichole went to catch her for me and I went to talk to my Mom.  When I  came back a couple minutes later, Nichole had her loaded and had the trailer shut up.  Powder was quietly munching on some hay and ready to go.  What a pro, Powder and Nichole! 

We wen to pick up another horse, and then were on our way to Fair Play.  It was a beatiful day in the Ozarks, and she settled in nicely.  She got to stay in a large pen with a shelter with her trailer companion, Isabella.

The first week of development for Powder I decided to keep things pretty simple.  We needed to get to know each other again, so we started in the round pen.  She was very interested in her new home, so we started with some circling.  Not real fast, just wanted her to keep her feet moving while she looked around.  After a few laps, I checked to see if she would come in when I asked.  It took her a minute, but not too bad.  Once I was sure she would disengage when I asked, we started on gait transitions.  I like to do a lot of these on the ground and make sure they are really smooth so that I can have the same under saddle.  I’ll slowly go from walk to trot and then canter and then slowely work my way back down.  I don’t want my horse in the habit of going from a canter to a halt too much, because it doesn’t always feel so great when you’re first riding them and they decide to throw on the brakes.  Young horses usually learn to stop from our seats very quickly, so I know we won’t have a problem with that when we need it.

We also did changes of direction at liberty while maintaining  a walk or trot.  We played pretty much all the games including sideways.  I think the only one we didn’t do at liberty was the squeeze game.  We even did one or two little spins on the fence.  Susan has done such a great job with Powder, that we were able to do a few pieces of some level threee and four tasks.  What fun!

All in all, Powder did great her first week.  Her biggest weakness is probably her tendency to want to crowd me.  Both on line and at liberty she trys to push me around a bit.  She’s just a touch sassy.  That’s no surprise either.  I let her know immediately that that’s not a good idea.  She wouldn’t be any fun it she wasn’t a little sassy!


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