Red Horse Equine Training: 2nd Game Night

July 12, 2020

Jenny and I both headed back to Red Horse Equine Training’s second Game Night where Amanda had new obstacles and games for us to play.

We started off with the pairs timed challenge taking turns going over obstacles. Jenny and I teamed up again and cruised the course.

Then we did the simon-says follow-the-leader game. I really enjoy both of these games.

Last we did musical obstacles. We all rode around the outside of the obstacles while music played. There were tall cones in the middle. When the music stopped we had to go through an obstacle and reach a cone. The last person was out. This was also tons of fun.

Red Horse Equine Training: 1st Game Night

July 6, 2020

On Thursday I met Jenny for a game night hosted by Amanda Brunson in Louisa, VA. It was a little bit of a drive but doable, especially with little else going on. and I always have fun with Jenny who spoke highly of Amanda, so I gave it a go.

I arrived my usual, way-too-early, but had time to leisurely groom and tack Simon, reply to some messages and then wonder to the ring nice and early.

Amanda had all sorts of obstacles set up in the indoor which I was able to check out in advance while chatting with her.

When everyone was ready Amanda explained the first game. It was a pairs course with multiple obstacles. The two riders took turns with each completing an obstacle back and forth until all obstacles had been completed by one of the two riders. To start an obstacle the rider began from behind a basket, rode into a square of cones at the center, and then to the chosen obstacle. Each obstacle was paired with a ring or ball which the rider retrieved after navigating the obstacle. The rider then carried the ring or ball back to the starting point basket and deposited it signaling the next rider to go.

Obstacles included crossing over some flower boxes, crossing a bridge, walking over noodles, weaving through baskets, pushing a large ball, and using a pulley to retrieve a stuffed animal. Jenny and I started off, and thoroughly enjoyed the course. We than cheered on the other pair, Elizabeth and Anna. We took a second round of the course, speeding up our time, laughing the whole way. We both very much enjoyed this game and it played well for Jenny and I with our Mounted Games background.

The next game was similar to that electronic game “Simon” with lights that light up requiring the person playing it to hit the buttons in the same order, adding a new one each time. We lined up and started over the obstacles with rider one picking an obstacle, editing it in anyway they wished. After the last rider completed the obstacle they added another, and the circle continued. This was also a lot of fun.

The final game for the night was sort of an equine version of basketball horse. One rider selected one of two obstacles and added a twist. Each rider then took the challenge to do the same thing. We were all laughing and cheering each other on. Jenny managed a double MGAA Games style obstacle by “hoopla-ing” a tall cone, then dismounting and going through a hula hoop. Anna upped the challenge by putting the hoop over her horses head. And later Elizabeth upped the bridge obstacle, which was modified by crossing it twice in a figure eight, by taking off her bridle for it.

One challenge was to back a course through the cones. Jenny had just taught her pony, Seven to back, and the skill was stronger on the ground. So Jenny smartly dismounted and backed her with hand signals and cues. Very clever.

In the end we all won a prize and left with big smiles. Amanda has set a standing Thursday night game night date and I am excited to go to the next one. It was really a good time.

*Thank Amanda for hosting and sharing the photos and video.

Trail Report/Training Neville – Old Mans Run

July 5, 2020

I was off Friday for Independence Day (July 3) and decided to shoot out early and take both ponies on a ride. This would be Neville’s first ponying trail ride so I picked a quiet location that had easy footing and no people.

Usually I tack up before heading to a near by location but I choose to tack at the location so Neville would have the experience of standing and waiting, which he did well.

Once tacked I climbed on Simon and grabbed Neville’s lead and off we went. He looked around a bit and did quite a bit of licking and chewing but was completely ok with everything and trusting.

The creek crossing was mostly dried out but we stopped for a drink and for daisy to cool off.

When we were passing the side trail that passes under the power lines We took the side trail and rode out under them. They are loud and sort of spooky. Neville didn’t care.

We got in some trotting but mostly walked. After the initial trot Neville got the hang of it and we moved out at a good working trot. I kept the trot sessions short but we did quite a few.

We ended up going further than I planned but Neville handled it well and seemed to enjoy the adventure. The bugs were getting worse by the time we got back to the trailer and all of us were ready to call it a day.

I am looking forward to getting Neville out on some more rides and build some muscle on him.

Trail Report: Blue Hole 06/26/2020

July 1, 2020

Last week Carol Ann and I went over and rode out with friend Gayle from private property. The trail looped back into familiar trails at Blue Hole making it a super neat connection.

We had a lot of slow going through wooded trails and got to do a lot of chatting. It was lovely.

We saw a turkey, some deer, and even spooked up a resting fawn. Lots of lovely nature.

The views were outstanding, and as always cannot very captured properly on film.

We popped out from private property into National Forest and onto a logging road trail I have frequented. The trail looped up and along some recently logged areas (as in a few years recent).

The company was excellent and the ride was lovely. I’m looking forward to doing it again. Or something similar.

Training Neville – Jenny Does Ground Work

June 25, 2020

I have had neville for about two weeks. I have done some leading and simple desensitization with him with complete success. I want to start doing more routine ground work and I wanted some help getting started. So last weekend I took Neville over to my friend Jenny’s house. She is a master at ground work.

She started off with the whipping, then the lunging, onto backing, turning, etc. I have included a little video at the bottom that starts off right from the beginning of Jenny working with him. (And then I mostly videoed the ground – on accident)

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