Brian, of course, has been doing almost all the direct work with Nevada. But I’ve been around for most of it, sometimes supporting them from the back of another horse. This has been pretty fun for me, because it’s not something I’ve had the opportunity to do before. Since she arrived, I’ve done basic yielding work, helped get her used to bumps from feet and legs down by her sides, and deal with movement up above her back, all while riding another horse.
Yesterday, we got out the barn and brought Nevada and Steen up. Brian wanted to work on getting Nevada trotting behind him on the line, but every time he got to the end of the rope she’d start to pull back. I offered to work on getting her into the trot using Steen, so he handed the rope over.
I’ve only ponied horses off Steen a handful of times, but he’s good with it. We had to work out our angles and I had to remember how to get my dally on and figure out how much rope to give Nevada, but soon we had it sorted out. It definitely took a lot more of a pull to unstick Nevada than any other horse we’ve ever ponied. But Steen was great. He dug in, drove from behind, and pulled until she unstuck and figured out how to come forward.
It only took two or three pulls before Nevada figured out to start trotting before our forward movement took the slack out of the rope. After that there was no more issue. I handed her back to Brian.
A little later in the ride after Brian had mounted, he wanted to get Nevada in the trot. This was his fifth or sixth ride, but he’s been going super slow because he’s big and she’s small and we have all the time in the world. The first time he got her trotting she got just a tad sticky. So this time I trotted ahead with Steen. Brian got in behind us and asked Nevada to trot. Her practice following Steen earlier helped her solve the puzzle. She got into the trot pretty easily, and went forward without any trouble.
So, it’s been really fun to watch her come along, and also fun to participate here and there. She is already seeming really settled with a lot of things. Clearly, you can get a lot of things done with young horses without using a more seasoned horse to help, but I do think the extra support can be pretty nice sometimes.
Plus it’s fun for me and Steen to have some new and different jobs to do.
Horseback Hours YTD: 141:45