Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Appy Diaries: Day 1

My new project got home yesterday! He walked calmly, if slightly cautiously, onto the trailer. I liked his though process- he was obviously unsure and he just dropped his head, inched forward until he had one foot on the ramp and then walked right up. He backed off the same way, and didn't fuss at all off the trailer, just looked around, took it all in.

This was the "look" of the evening. Just checking it all out.
 I put him in the roundpen to show Anita how he moved and found him to be a total puppy. The biggest problem I had was keeping him away from me! I turned him out with his new buddies and he was totally non-confrontational. Everyone tried to get a response out of him and he didn't flinch!

I got him up today to work with him a little, and was pleased that he had good manners in the cross ties, picked up all four feet, was skeptical of flyspray but decided it wasn't so bad. Of course the FIRST thing I did after I groomed him was take care of that mane and bang his tail. It seemed almost criminal to cut the mane on an appy, but it didn't stop me! I think his tail will grow out thicker as time goes on, also. I cut his mane shorter and then pulled/scissored it to look more natural. I'm pleased with the result!
After! It still needs some work, but didn't want to over-do his tolerance levels on day 1!

More about him:
He's a six year old appy, though I'm thinking app/TB, and it wouldn't surprise me if he were 4 or 5, either. His old owner had him about 2 years and he was started under saddle, lightly, when he was originally bought- walking in the roundpen. He bucked a few times with the owner and scared him. Owner hired a trainer who worked with him 5 or 6 times and never came back. I'm told he bucked the first time the trainer got on him and never again. He hasn't been ridden since then, but his owner did A LOT of ground work with him and his roundpen work is fabulous. He's very smart on the ground, he knows verbal commands for walk, trot, canter, woah and "easy."

I put a saddle on him today and he was obviously very comfortable with wearing it. No bucking or silliness when I did the girth. I bridled him as well, and he, again, knew exactly what that was all about. After a little more longing, I put the reins on the bridle and "drove" him, me standing by his saddle with my right arm over his back. He understood that very nicely, as well, we turned left and right and halted, made some circles, switched direction. GREAT!

I will spend some time in the roundpen with him, ground drive him and see if I can find what made him buck, but I'm suspecting that he just sensed his owner's timidness. He also has his wolf teeth and they were riding him in a tom thumb, so it wouldn't surprise me if that was the problem as well. I put him in a happy mouth snaffle and he seemed pleased when I put it on!

In other news, I brought my gang to the beautiful Colonial Hill Farm for an XC school today. Amy had some of her students there as well and we all sat down for a nice picnic afterwards, thanks to my AWESOME barn moms! Everyone had a great, confidence boosting school and I wished I had something to ride!

Ari is still off and Brandy doesn't need to school this close to another event! I'm hoping Ari will be better for Poplar at the end of July, but if he's not, hopefully the new horse will get to make the trip!


  1. Awww... you've got yourself a big spotty joePony ! (There's no higher praise than that ;) )

  2. Appy looks intelligent.... Have fun..... Dad