“Don’t step over gold to pick up pennies.” ~ Pat Parelli

Yesterday, I was extremely proud of my horse. It was hot outside, 80+ degrees and he was sweaty, so I decided to make it an easy ride. We didn't have much time because I had church that evening and had to work in the nursery, so I was thankful that he was in the bottom pasture near the driveway with Sii, the new mare, and the babies. All four of them trotted over when I called for them, but Red was the only one who actually stayed. Got a lead rope around him and he was sort of impatient to get in the barn, but considering he had about 4 bees surrounding his legs and was only a little pushy, oh well. Got him in there, fly-sprayed and groomed. His face looks a ton better and he's pretty much 100% shed out now. Let the fun begin.

I had put on a new headstall with a one ear, but it didn't have a throatlatch. I know they aren't completely necessary but I had never ridden without one before and since Red was being barn sour for the past, well, whole winter, I was nervous about not having one...I've heard that they give more control but not sure. We rigged one up with baling twin, just to give him the feel of the throatlatch. The hack was fitted looser than usual, I think we somehow put it on wrong but it wasn't effecting the actual hack that much, it was just loose. I basically had the control of a halter. The shanks barely even touched his face at all, so I guess it was better than fitting too tightly. We checked it over to make sure it wouldn't cause him any discomfort but it seriously fit like a halter, lol! Tacked up with a new girth and headed out. We mounted near the 4 acres, Red was a bit stubborn but overall, he was better than he has been. Circled once and then let me mount without anyone having to hold the reins.

taking a nap?
 I really need to work on my confidence on the ground. Once I get up on him, I'm completely comfortable and ready to ride, but I'm not comfortable on the ground anymore. If I'm just alone with Red or Spirit, I'm fine, but when I'm around the other horses at the barn? Not so much. Some of them, I can handle, but so many of them are so pushy and mean on the ground and get horrible/nosey...one of the reasons I'm excited to move our good and calm horses home!

We basically just walk/trotted around since we had been off work for 2 weeks and it was super hot. Red was already sweaty, apparently he was having fun with Sii, and I didn't want too push it that much. I'm a firm believer in calm, easy rides for them in between the more hard-core rides, just to make sure everything isn't all about training. In my case, training means a lot of trotting and loping, hill work, work around goats and etc. While he really enjoys that stuff, he also loves having his head down low and riding on the buckle just as much. I don't want him to think riding time always means "run run run!"

Spirit did super good, he literally had one tiny little moment of barn sour issues and just like Red, he calmed down shortly after. Red and Spirit work so well together now and you can really see how relaxed they are when they ride together. When one of them spooks, the other one comes over and helps calm them down. It's really great, seeing Spirit finally trust us and Red considering how scared and iffy he was of his new place. We'll have had him for a year in May and I think mom has accomplished a lot on him.

We took a few laps in the pasture, Red had one moment and insisted on trotting to the barn, so I pulled him back and circled, riding it out until he realized, "Oh, we are going in circles...this isn't helping..." I didn't ask him to stop, just showed him that trotting isn't going to help. I can handle that kind of spook, and that's pretty much Red's only trick under his sleeve. Most people hated his trot so bad that when he did that, they let him get away with it and ended the ride...nope, sorry Red. I can trot. ;) Mom did compliment me for posting the trot and said it looked way better than before, so yipee!
Good boy chilling out while Spirit circles around. The horse can not stand still...

Overall,we had a really amazing ride. They were so calm and we ended on a great note. I also managed to get a few good pictures!

Red sometimes pretends to be majestic, but I don't think the baling twin helps his case.

Sometimes, he even puts his ears up!
 And just for fun....a comparison from around this time last Summer and yesterday....

 He looks about the same, but that's fine. :) His mane has grown like crazy but you can't see it in that pose, of course. His neck and check have filled out a bit more as well, and his coat color is a bit different. He was more brown last summer and now he has a red'ish tint and his black points aren't as dark. Am I missing any other differences...?

Once we were finished, I dismounted in the pasture and just let Red walk around with it, knowing that work wasn't over and he wasn't allowed to push me over to get to the barn. He submitted to that in about 5 seconds, while Spirit did not, so mom walked him around more while Red got a few bites of grass and we took selfies.

Sweet boy.
 Untacked, gave him his first treat in forever which he very much deserved, groomed out again and medicated!

 And I'm aware that this post is getting too long and photo-heavy, so excuse the photo dump and carry on with your other blogs. ;)


  1. Throatlatch does nothing to add to "control." It's there to help keep the bridle from slipping over the ears (think about it like this, if you pull back on the reins, does the throatlatch do anything different than if you weren't pulling).

    Be careful with a hack that is too low/loose. You can interfere with breathing and/or end up putting pressure on some delicate nerves on his face if it isn't fitted correctly.

    1. Ah, I see! I was curious about it....thanks!

      And definitely! We double checked everything and it was fine. Got the BM and mom to check it out and even texted my friend who trains kids and does lessons, it was fine, just not offering quite as much control.