Neville – Summer Time

August 19, 2020

Just a few shots of Neville to capture him as he is growing.

We went for a walk one Sunday afternoon in July.

It is not easy to take photos of him without help.

But I attempted to take some in August.

He loves to follow me around the field. I snapped these in August when he stopped for a nibble.

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.

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)

Neville – June 2020

June 30, 1020

Just a few snaps from the month of Neville’s progress.

June 15, 2020 before the mane clean up
June 15, 2020 after the mane clean up

I even cleaned his forelock up some.

We have been doing ground work. And we even added in some ponying from Simon.

Day One – getting to know the new pony

June 9, 2020

I got home with Dex on Saturday and woke up excited to play with him on Sunday. I brought him in from the big field to the yard paddock. Rich brought Simon in as well. Rich also had a “work area” set up in the driveway we needed to work our way through to get to the gate, and Dex did not care. He stood under the canopy and navigated all the equipment and tools. Rich even held him for me while I ran to grab something.

Next I have him a bath. I got his mane scrubbed out and conditioned but ran out of supplies after that and just hand washed his tail and hind quarters with no soap. I am going to need to restock myself with some bathing supplies.

He stood quietly while I took my time. He did play a bit in the hose but was a true gentleman and not concerned about any of it. Rich joked that he was probably hot and happy to be getting hosed after living in NY and moving to hot humid Virginia.

Next I brushed him out and groomed him up. He politely picked up his hooves and stood quietly while I sprayed him with detangler and fly spray.

I finished his work for the day with a long walk around the farm. He had chickens running around him, the dogs and cats, the neighbor on his four wheeler and lots of weird farm things to look at. We stopped and stood frequently and Dex was easy going and polite for all of it. He looked at some of the stuff and did some lip licking and chewing, not continued to be level headed and laid back as he took it all in.

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