Nevada has been at our place for about ten days now. We were out of town for some of that, so I’ve only had a chance to work with her on four occasions. She is proving to be a very sweet and willing little mare. And like the few other young horses I have worked with, she picks things up very, very fast.
So far we have only done work on the line and with the flag. I haven’t saddled her yet, though that will come soon. We are starting to get all the basics down, she is improving on backing softly each day, and initially she was a little stiff stepping under to the right, but now she’s doing it very smoothly both ways. I’ve been grooming her, picking up her feet and giving her lots, and lots of face pets.
In many things she is coming along so fast it is easy to get ahead of ourselves. Today I was working her in circles with the flag, first getting the hind, then getting the front and sending her off the other way. We had done this very slowly before, and today we were working in a bigger circle and going just a little quicker. She started to get stuck in a few places, and I had to remind myself that we could probably work on the hind with the flag and not moving anywhere a little bit more. We went back to that and she started moving over very nicely. When we returned to the bigger circle, there were no more problems. I just have to remember to keep going one step at a time, and taking steps back is never a bad thing.
One thing we are still sorting out is catching. In the four days I’ve worked with her it has taken between 1 minute and 55 minutes before she is ready to be caught. They are out on nearly 15 acres of grass, and that is a lot of ground to cover when she’s not ready to be with me. But I just hang in there and slowly drive her up towards the winter lot, which is still big, but smaller than any other area. After I catch her, going back to open the gates gives us a nice little job to do.
Today it was only 10 minutes before she was ready to be caught. Thankfully we were finally there on a quiet day and I could use our indoor arena to practice getting her to come to me. A round pen would be perfect, but unfortunately we don’t have one of those. When I turned her out and started sending her around me, she was pretty keen to look out the doors at her pasture mates. But it only took a minute or two before she completely turned in towards me and was willing to hang out. It was really hot inside, so we went back outside after that one quick session, but we did come back inside to practice getting her to come to me some more. She learned the lesson really fast. I had her coming up to me from each direction, and she couldn’t have been happier following me around the arena. This should help some when I go out to meet her in the pasture next time.
She is settling into the herd nicely, too. We have a rather cliquish band of mares out there, but she is more interested in hanging out with the geldings and Jester, our resident pony. He always seems to take on the new comers and show them the ropes.
She is a really nice, and relaxed filly. I can’t wait to keep working with her and see what kind of a horse she turns into. She’s pretty little right now, but her parents are very good sized. And from some angles you can see she’s got a really big hip on her with wide, square legs. I think she should turn out to be right around 15 hands and quite stout, which would be perfect for me. That is exactly how I like ’em.