I was excited to work with Blu tonight and called my daughter to join me and she could ride her horse as well. It is about time she starts getting her little quarter horse mare in shape for show season anyway.
While I waited for my daughter I went ahead and tacked up, mounted, and putzed around the riding arena for several minutes. I eventually I got bored and dismounted and led Blu out to the pasture to look for my keys I lost out there last week 😦 I had planned on mounting again after walking around for a while, but my daughter showed up, so we headed back to the arena.
Once in the arena I remounted and my daughter joined me on her horse, Gracie. It was then I realized that Blu had most likely never ridden with another person on horseback. She acted totally shocked that there was another horse and rider trotting around. She was especially scared when being approached from behind. She would tuck her tail and scoot a few inches. If I kept her real busy she was too occupied to let it affect her too much, but still very aware of them. This situation had never occurred to me, especially since they have all been pastured together for the past couple weeks. They have all had time to adjust and sort out the pecking order. But to actually have another horse with a person on their back trotting or cantering around was a totally different situation to her. We will definitely need a few more sessions riding with Gabrielle and Gracie before we can venture out and about to other locations with other riders. Gabrielle and I both admitted that we had never given it a thought that this could be an issue.
By the end of our session she was much better about it, no real spooking, but still alert to them. Gracie was getting sore (she has arthritis in her knees), so my daughter dismounted and handed her over to me to start untacking while she took Blu for a spin. Within 15 minutes she had her moving off her legs much better and had her worked into quite a sweat. I convinced her that was enough for the night and we swapped horses again. I enjoyed brushing and grooming Blu (even though she acted like the spray bottle was a fire breathing dragon) then letting her graze on some nice green grass while I hand walked her in the yard. Tonight’s episode does have me a little on edge as to what Blu might be fearful of next, but on the other hand it also gave me confidence knowing that I was able to handle her competently. When she spooks it’s not like she jumps into the tree branches, she just tucks tail and scoots a bit 😉
I think I will make more of an effort to expose her to a few more areas around the property…