How To Escape A Corn Maze-Equestrian Style

Church yesterday. Felt awful in the morning because of a cold and I also deal with like, chronic nausea almost every day which doctors believe is hormone/anxiety related, had to skip the first half of church but went in before the sermon started. After that I decided it was pony time and Jeff came with me, not mom this time. ;) Jeff doesn't typically get to go but mom decided to sacrifice for him. ;) He and R took the 4-wheelers  out and about while A, AM and I tacked up our ponies and got to riding. A rode Bay-Bay, who hadn't been ridden in about 3 weeks, AM rode Annabelle, of course, and I rode Red, obviously!! We all tacked up in the barn. Red didn't even have to be tied, he just stood there like, "Okay!" so that was thankfully hassle-less free.
 After my incident with a branch vs. my finger, I decided to break out my riding gloves that I bought at a yard-sale, never used. They are a bit snug but I'd rather have that than my finger swollen once again! ;) I really want a red pair..maybe for Christmas.

When I was tacking up, I noticed my girth was nowhere to be found. Looked at the billet and the hole was completely rotted?? uh.....yikes! I'm really happy the girth fell off on the rack rather than on my horse while riding!! Borrowed a billet from A and fixed it up again. Time to go shopping, urgh. Oh well, at least it's something cheap.
I just want to pause and let everyone know that this was taken during our "mounting" exercise and when my saddle was looser. No, it wasn't that uneven, lol!!

Once everyone was done tacking up, we went out the back gate of the barn and went to our own trails. I decided on a splurge to grab my crop from the hook next to Red's stall and I was really thankful that I did. ;) He went down the hill that typically gives us problems beautifully after a quick side-step, once he realized that Bay and Annabelle were going too, he settled down into a nice walk and seemed eager to go. Annabelle is looking a lot better, as some of y'all may not know, she was diagnosed with EPM awhile back and has finished her treatment and is EPM free. :) She still has some weight to gain after it but as we say, "No horse can stay skinny at Ivy Hills!" I think all of our horses rated a 6 on the body scale. ;) Even the rescues that were so skinny it was awful.

We went straight to the back pasture-the biggest one, also the most fun one because of the hills and creek!-and rode around for a few minutes. Did some hill work with Red, only a couple trips up and down today. Cantered a couple times. He was more stubborn today but I got him in a good trot/canter a few times. Went back to the trails and went towards the fruit and berry patch like last week. We got through after a few cars passing us and once again, the overall dumbness of the human race shocked me. One guy, had to be like 17 or 18, ran up to Red and smacked his butt, it wasn't meant to be rude or mean, he was just being "nice" to him and giving him attention, but seriously? Who I guessed to be his mother told him to stop harassing the horses ;) Thanks, ma'am! Took off after that and left them in the dust. I told A and AM I felt like the saddle club. We went past the pond, Red kind of looked at it like, "I must go swim!!" but he went past it with nothing more than what I'd call a lustful look, haha!! Went past the dog and goats, Red tried to herd them again but other than him deciding to be a cattle horse again, he did good with that and walked past it. Sadly, I have no photos from in the saddle because I had no phone!

Went through the gorgeous trails there, trotted around, cantered a few times. We came across a corn maze and decided to see if we could go through it. We got in and rode through it, lol. Bay-Bay kept trying to eat the corn and once she literally pulled a whole stalk out of the ground and tried to carry it through the narrow path, didn't work out so well. ;) We kept passing people and everyone cracked up and asked us which way to go, since we could see over the corn with our very tall "ponies" lol.

The fruit and berry patch was busy, passed quite a few people, along with one little girl that squealed over Red and said, "He's a beautiful pony!!" yep.

Red had one little incident that resulting in me getting a very large bruise and cut across my jean/boot covered leg. Don't know how I managed it. He spooked or got barn sour or something and went in between two metal posts and almost hit his stomach with one, me, being the good horse owner that I am, jerked my leg out so he wouldn't get hurt. ;)
This photo was a couple hours later and doesn't do it justice, while it looks like a plain cut, there is a HUGE bruise on my leg around it now. Taking a shower this morning was like death. Geeze it hurt!!

But after that, with the help of my crop and a few pats on his neck to calm him down after whatever spooked him, we were back on the trails. I checked him out all over and nothing was hurt, so I figured he either saw someone or something and it just surprised him. Every bombproof horse will have his or her moments.

After that we went on back. He did really good other than those stubborn moments, I think it was mostly from him knowing that we weren't home. He acted a little sassy last time, too. Either way it was really fun.

Got to the barn and cooled him off, his stall was taken-thus us building more stalls!-so since he's the only horse there that is well-behaved just hanging in the barn, he got to walk around in there and eat.

His snip is officially back with a vengeance and possibly bigger than ever. I've never seen a horse get such a prominent marking so suddenly. So weird!! I love it though..makes him look cute. :D He doesn't really have a super common marking so I like it more than just a typical star. His stripe is starting to come back as well. (You can see the faint stripe if you look closely enough)
 While he was tackless, I worked some more on his tricks and etc. ;) He officially has the kissing and hugging on command, and he joins up perfectly now. Still working on the backing, next time I have more time to spare I'll take him out to the round pen and use the whip. Need to work some more on the cues. Since he already "hugged" without the command, it was easy, all I do is tap my leg on the side I want his face and he does it. For the kiss, I tap my chin. For following, I just say "follow" and for the back, I walk backwards and tap his hindleg on whichever side I'm on.

I actually took a video of him following but I completely forgot to upload it and it was on Jeff's phone, so I'll do it when he gets home from work.

After a year, I finally feel like we're making headway in the natural horsemanship/bond department. I had to focus on his skin and weight for so long and now I'm happy to just lay back and relax a little.

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