Winter Games Practice – 12/17/18

December 17, 2018

We took a week off from practice but were back at it again yesterday.

We had a nice group of five; Val, Carly, Jenny, Carol Ann, and myself. And I had my new pony, Possum, in tow. He did quite well considering I had picked him up less than 24 hours earlier and he is incredibly out of work.

We cruised through an array of races and enjoyed each other’s company.

A little video of our fun.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeh5x5Voshs&feature=share

Pony Therapy – November 2018 Edition.

December 1, 2018

There’s nothing like an easy carefree hack around the farm to lower the blood pressure, and ease the mind.

I usually pop in my Bluetooth and pick out a podcast, or several, and roll along smelling the air and watching nature.

I enjoy the gentle roll of my pony’s gate and companionship of my dog, trolling along behind us.

Lately I’ve been lucky enough to have the fabulous Neville, the chillest blonde pony around, to be one of my equine companions to take out on these therapy sessions.

He has a nice smooth walk and trot and his canter is like butter. He is happy to stop and stand when I ask so we can leisurely admire the world around us and watch a chipmunk or squirrel do their thing.

And never to be forgotten is my heart horse, Simon. Anytime I start to think I might like another horse as much as him, I hop on this jokester and any question melts away instantly. His back is home.

I usually ride out to the road and grab the mail while I am out on these rides. This always makes me smirk. There has been more than one obstacle competition we have done where Simon refused to go near the mailbox. Yet he will stand on the road, with the neighbors horses just a few yards away whinnying greetings at him while I slowly open, collect, and flip through the mail before closing it and riding back onto the farm from the road.

There is one big hill behind our house to ride up. It’s long and has a spectacular view from the top.

There is a second hill across the way along a corn field that wraps up to the woods. It’s a really lovely farm to hack around. With all the fields and hills and a section of woods as well.

I love a good trail ride, but those involve trailering out and suck up quite a bit of time. They are not always practical. Where a farm hack I can keep short if I need to, or longer if I have the time.

I also enjoy a road hack and I am lucky to have several dirt roads I can loop around. Those rides tend to be more quick paced and riding at full attention. Although the roads are not busy with traffic, there is some traffic and the occasional dog or pony eating structure. One loop even has an assortment of sheep, cows and goats very closely lining the edges of the road for several miles of the ride. So keeping attentive is important.

So when it’s just a piece of mind I need a farm hack is grand.

Neville Becoming a Games Pony

November 30, 2018

Gosh I am enjoying this pony.  He is just so easy going.  Two weekends ago was his first games practice, and other than a small introduction to the equipment, it was the first time he had played any games.

Needless to say he did not bat an ear.

This past Sunday was his second practice and he did excellent.  The previous weekend I mostly walked and trotted and at this practice we added in some cantering and also some additional races.  He is just so easy going and happy to please.  Whatever you want him to do he is happy to do.

He did a few typical new games pony moves, like, “do you want me to bend or go right next to the line of poles this time?” and “Should I really canter since its only three strides?  Well ok, as you wish.”

He has really nice breaks and his turns are already good.  I felt him give me a bit of a roll back this Sunday, and I think he could easily turn his hoof to a full out rollback with very little work.  That’s his quarter horse side coming out.

I am throwing in voice commands, “Whoa” and “Stand” and he listens to them.

This weekend we also popped him over a small jump, you know, just to see if he jumps.  Val was the brave one of us non-jumpers to give it a go.  We do not suspect he is an actual jumper, but he was ok with it.  Just like everything else asked of him.  I felt like he said “you realize I have to go over that if you want me to go that way right?” and then “Well ok.” and over he went.

Here is some video of the smarty pants Neville playing games.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6aJqHa3-VY&feature=share

And here is some video of Mr. Nev doing some flat, hopping over our little jump, and a 360 view of his loveliness.  (don’t mind the dirt/mud on his legs).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzjfUywSki4&feature=share

Games Practice 11/25/18

November 26, 2018

We had another good games practice this Sunday. Val, Carly, Zoe, and myself were joined by Jenny, back in Boyce at the lovely Almeda Farm.  Matt and Joan, the wonderful people that they are, came out unmounted to give us a hand.

We worked through a bunch of races; tack shop, ball and cone, four flag, flag fliers, association, bottle shuttle, ring the cone, and even Canadian, which we hardly ever practice.

Always a good time.

We are back next Sunday for another session.

Here is a video compilation of our fun!

Practice Season is back in effect!

November 23, 2018

Its that time of year again! Winter Practice Season!

This year we are at a new indoor, since the one we have used the past few years was sold.  We made our debut at Almeda Farm in Boyce, Virginia last Sunday for a two hour practice session.

We are really happy with this new venue. So far it’s just lovely people and a lovely facility.

It was just four of us to start off.  Val, Carly, Zoe, and myself.

I brought Neville for this practice, which was also his first time really doing games.  I have to say he was amazing.  This pony is just so easy going and willing to do whatever is asked of him.

We went through a nice easy rotation of races.

We focused on skill vs speed.

And goofed around having fun while we played games.

I am looking forward to our next practice on Sunday.

And then one the following Sunday.

With day light savings and work work work during the week I am only able to get time with the ponies on the weekends. During the week it’s just feeding in the dark.

This is the first winter I haven’t been able to make it home in time for an afternoon ride a few days a week before dark.

So weekend games practices and a few trail rides will be my the limited ride time of my near future.

Bring on the games!

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