The First Week With Poe: Monday

June 20, 2013

Monday I tacked Poe up for our second ride. I hopped right on, and as suspected Sunday, he stood nicely for me to mount up. I warmed up, and got a better feel for his walk and trot gates. His walk is pretty normal, if not a little short. I pushed him to walk out a bit more, and with a little hesitation, he seemed to relax with a longer stride. His trot is a little shuffly, if that makes sense. I suspect he shuffles a little as his natural gate, but that he is also restricting his stride a little. I again asked him to lengthen just a little, and he was hesitant but did as asked. He did relax more, but was still very attentive and anticipatory. Or so it seemed. With just the slightest adjustment on my part, he shortened his stride back up again. I think we can lengthen it back out with some work, and I think this might relax him more. When he was lengthened a bit it felt more like his natural stride. Although I could be completely wrong. This was only our second ride.

I pushed him into a canter, which he nicely picked up the lead I asked for on all requests. Again, my initial thought is that he needs to lengthen his stride a bit here too. It again felt shuffly, and when he did stretch out just a little, he felt more coordinated and natural. He was even more anticipatory at the canter and broke back to a trot when I twitched.

We went through bending a couple times, mostly at a trot, with some canter finishes, and he improved each time through. After three times through he understood the pattern and made a nice tight end turn without prompting. Score! We also shuffled mugs, at a trot and canter, and he really is not fazed by nose. He is still a little interested in my leaning. But more in a, ‘are you falling off up there?’ way. I also attempted ball and cone, and he was quite content to stop and stand. Although he was a little interested in me leaning. He did not scoot or shift under me, but did look back at me, and one time stepped under me (and onto the edge of the cone). This is all very good and easily managed and, I feel, a great start.

I feel comfortable on him, and like we may mesh very well. He reminds me a bit of my older pony Osh Kosh (who was one of my long term games ponies and is now in his late 20s and out on free lease to a younger Pony Clubber). Poe’s shape, and attitude are very similar to Osh Kosh, although he seems more patient and less agitated than Osh was at his age. Poe’s gates are not similar to Osh’s bouncy Arab movements though, but remind me a bit of my friend Genevieve’s pony DJ.

I am still sorting out a bridle for him. I think he will be happy in a simple snaffle for now, although he does like to open his mouth to avoid the bit. I put a flash on him Monday and he was not very thrilled. Since it was only our second ride I decided to leave it extremely loose, and work into tightening it as I get to know him better. He does not seem like an overly sensitive pony when it comes to tack, although he is very aware of the pricker grass in the field and does a fantastic job of avoiding every clump of it.

I also measured him on Monday and he came in at just a hair over 13h. I am glad I did not know this before, because I don’t think I would have gone to see him thinking he would be too short. But I really do feel comfortable on him, and think his size works for me for a games pony. Although I am round, I am only 5 foot 3, and reaching things on taller ponies can be a challenge. And his girth seems to accommodate me well.

I checked out Poe’s teeth too. He has a small start in his galvayne’s groove, making him right about 10 years old. That is my non expert opinion. And have I mentioned that I like a pony with color? Yep, I sure do. And I think he is very cute.

As for the herd order, Simon has remained squarely on top. With Poe avoiding him, and being very respectful. Although Simon is not quite as aggressive toward Poe as he is to Linus, who dotes along behind Simon like a lost puppy. While I was riding Simon with Carol Ann on Monday, I noticed Linus and Poe scratching backs, and playing like two yearlings with intermissions to watch Simon and Jinny running races. There was one point where all four were whinnying back and forth, and I think Jinny had an eye for Poe in particular.

They spent Monday night in the barnyard as a group of bachelors, and as soon as the grazing muzzles arrive in the mail I’ll be letting them have free range in the big field together, at least part time. I suspect the three of them will be just fine together, and I hope to move Linus on soon, to a home that can devote more time to him. I’ll update about him in another post though.

2013-06-19 16.43.24

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