I worked with E-va today both on the lunge line and with the long lines. It gave me a pretty good idea of where all of her holes are.
Until today I had worked her in the roundpen a couple times, gave her a bath, clipped her, and took her on a trailer ride to the vet's for shots. Supposedly she has done some ground driving and Wendy said she was close to hooking to the tire, but aftet today I am not too sure about that.
It could be that she has some good time off and her work ethic is lacking (and perhaps she is getting more energy in her food than she is working off!). Lungeing she was pushy and disrespectful of my space. I had to thump her a couple times when she severely invaded my space and that is definitely the first thing that will be worked on as I start her training up.
I had some raised poles set up for the lessons I was doing and she went over those fine (not entirely intentional on my part, they just happened to be in her way as she was being a bit of a pushy goober). She even did a decent jump effort over two little rail razors rather than skirting around them (they're about 6" diameter and individually 4" tall so a 6x8" object on the ground was apparently jump worthy).
She didn't object at all to the surcingle being put on, even if I was purposefully clumbsy with it. I could have gone through all the steps before trying to ground drive her the first time, but after lungeing her I just snapped the lines to her halter and off we went to see what I had. Her stop was horrible. She'd pause half a second and then push on again (and Wendy thought she was a colder, less-forward horse...) so I would back her up, release, she'd move on again, rinse and repeat a few times until she finally stood still. She pushed into the lines and was a bit opinionated about where exactly her track should be and wasn't entirely fond of my corrections.
I think the ground driving portion of her training will be laid aside for now until I reestablish a solid baseline. This will include: working on the lunge in all three gaits, and halting, yielding, and changing directions smoothly, establishing her buttons with the whip aids (body control, moving shoulders and hip left and right regardless of where I am standing), and general respect of space when standing and working around her. She seems to have gotten into pushing into pressure and that is a tendency to redirect until it is needed (when hooking to something and pulling). I think once the things above have been established I will move on to the long lining and starting towards getting her broke to drive. She will be two next month and if her bloodwork comes back good when we get it done I don't see any reason why she won't be broke to drive by the time she is three and then back her in her three year-old year.
My goals for Tru-D thusfar basically include getting her ground driving by the end of the year. I am doing some basic lungeing with her, but don't want to do too much of it due to her age (not asking her to canter, only doing a few minutes to establish she will yield and turn when asked and not much beyond that). She also needs her buttons established, but she is also much more respectful of human space, probably because of her wild child roots. I imagine E-va was handled fairly regularly and allowed to mug people a bit so she doesn't have as much respect for humans as she probably could. We can work on that for sure, but it is annoying to deal with.
I think I am going to pick up a pair of those cotton rope traces from Clay Maier
and figure out how to create an emergency release for our tire set up. I don't think I want to eliminate the singletree entirely as he does, but I do want a way to disconnect from the tire if needed.
Sunny is coming along and ready for my more advanced students. I may offer the ride on her to Mariah, but I need to ride her in one of the English saddles to be sure she is cool with that. I have been riding her bareback the last few times because I am lazy and have gotten comfortable with her reactions at this point. I do wish she would more conistently hold herself in a level frame. She has a tendency to bob up and down like a cork, wich is a bit annoying. She is better than where we started when her head stayed up and her back inverted 99% of the time and her canter felt like riding a pogo stick, straight up and down, but it is a constant reminder right now to ask her to round up, drop her poll, lift the base of her neck and at the very least keep her back neutral. Her downward transitions to the trot are a bit rough still and today was the first day I asked her to halt and she didn't initially throw her head in the air. Progress where I can take it!
She is getting less opinionated when I correct her way of going and I think she is much happier in her face with the continuous rein design versus the ring design on the Dr. Cook's (and most every other cross-under bridle). I think the end of the month I am going to try the Dr. Cook's again just to see if she really does hate that design or if it was linked more to her initial lack of work ethic.
I did use some frivolous Easter money to pick up a bitless bridle specifically for Kash. The blue one I got for him and Chewy to share is a bit large around the nose. I could have sworn the measurements were fine on it, but apparently his nose is a lot more petite than Chewy's or I was looking at the wrong thing (or even ordered the wrong size). It does fit Chewy just fine and it fits Sunny well too. But anyway, this time I am ordering the bridle from Running Bear
and getting their sidepull bridle. Looking at it I am 99% sure that I can attach the Moss Rock
reins to it and have it function as a cross-under bridle instead of just a sidepull. I also like the option of the bit hangers, which are more easily snapped on and off over the integrated loop for the bit that Moss Rock has. They also offer the hunter green, which Moss Rock can't acquire right now. It is $20 more expensive and I will have to buy a set of reins to go with it or just use one of the sets I have where as Moss Rock includes the reins (and shipping!). I do reiterate that Lisa at Moss Rock Endurance was absolutely fabulous to work with, but I am (and have been) curious about Running Bear's stuff and the opportunity to get Kash one in his color was too tempting. Had the blue one not been too big in the nose I probably would have held off and had I not ended up using it on Sunny too maybe so. I did think about contacing Moss Rock about getting a smaller strap for the underside of the noseband, but since Kash will be getting his own the point is moot. I do think once I see how it functions I will be picking up another set of reins from her (probably shorter as Kash carries his neck so that he doesn't take up much rein at all) and maybe see if she could rig up some long lines for them so I can work both Tru-D and E-va bitless to start, and maybe see how Charm-N does too, and even for students wanting to try out long lining save my horses from having to go in their normal bridles, but not using the lungeing cavesson or their halters (my cavessons aren't really designed for long lining, the rings don't stick out far enough and halters don't typically allow for as much finesse or control).
That turned into a bit more mindless rambling than I thought.
Business continues to be exceptionally good. I need to order more hay and I have zero stress about it (WHAT A NICE CHANGE!!!!). I think I am pretty much done splurging on tack as all of the things I had been holding off on (15" English Saddle, bitless bridles, leathers, irons, etc.) have been acquired. My testing is paid for, Spring shots done. The truck is on track to be paid off before the end of the year, and I think, in general, life is pretty good.
I had my first deposit made for art classes this Summer. They were a bit of a bust last Summer as I don't think I really got the information out in time. That's okay, I had an infant and a toddler to look after and now it won't be so stressful. As it gets closer I will need to do some cleaning at the little house (the studio will be used as a studio! WOO!) and pick up a table to use. I don't think I will need to acquire much in the way of supplies other than the table, but we'll see about that. I am hoping for a decent turn-out and students in all the classes. I did restrict the time down to three hours a day for the classes as the last time I did something like four or five and that was a bit much. It was fun, but a bit much, especially since we were still living in the little house and I was using Marty's place to do it.
I still have a video to do and that last question kicking my butt. I also have to figure out what the heck I want to do a presentation on. Last time I did a brief talk about biomechanics (how the rider's use of body affects the horse's) and I wonder about trying to address that again or doing something else entirely. Maybe about how horses respond to different types of pressure (steady, intermittent, etc.)? I need to make a decision fast. I think the presentations are supposed to be 3-5 minutes. I will have to recheck my paperwork.