Preparing to ride Dalton while Gillian is gone!






Dalton is with Thru-Rider, Gillian Larson.  She is teaching him the way of the trail.  The long trail!  But first, he has to learn basic horse things like … collection, side passing, canter leads… you know.

He is with her, learning that.

As he learns his things, I am learning mine.  The first is to ride a horse that I didn’t raise (I’m amazed at how different it is when I haven’t known the horse since he was born), and how to ride a horse who isn’t a Morgan and doesn’t move like a Morgan.  I really never put it all together, but I’ve raised all of my rising horses from birth or a very young age, and all of them have been high headed Morgans or… Finn.  It is surprising to me how narrow I am in my riding comfort zone because I like to ride horses who go the way I like to go.

Dalton is the first riding horse that I acquired as an adult (age 4 or 5, we aren’t sure…)  Dalton is a very good Mustang and has nice gaits… but he is different than a Morgan.

So, today we started in the arena.  I watched how he responded to Gillian and noted how well he did, what made him fuss and what he had learned.

Then it was my turn.

I learned that Dalton is an even better boy than I already knew he was.  He really tries and learns fairly quickly.  My boy has made huge strides with Gillian!

Next we went out around her her property and her neighborhood to show me trails to take while she goes on her 5 week outing with her horses starting July 30.

I’m kindof excited to have Dalton all to myself in a place that is perfect for learning about each other on lovely shaded trails…

MY SHORT PHOTO JOURNAL FROM TODAY

I always seem to forget to take photos when I’m learning something new!

Gillian working on his canter.

Dalton proud of himself. (Dalton is a small mustang, perfect for me… but a bit short for her long legs!)

Here you can see that we are using a mishmash of tack that works the best for him. Part Western, part dressage and part whatever we have that works.

Here you can see that he has a Western headstall (mine), an English noseband, my old bit, her reins, my dressage saddle, her dressage crop…

I’m on Dalton, following Gillian as she points out the trails around her house for me to use when she is gone.

I’m horrible at selfies, but here we are!

 

 


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THERE IS A NEW NEST! I think House Finch, but not sure…






The Office Nest that has been on the downspout outside my office was used already this year… and the babies just fledged.  I looked today and there were no new eggs.  Honestly, someone needs to fortify the nest or remodel it… it kinda looks a mess.

However, when I was cleaning the donkey paddock today, I was dive bombed and squawked at non-stop.

Hmmmm.  Was there a nest somewhere?

I looked around and lo and behold… a nest!  A very NICE nest indeed!  This one was constructed like a civil engineer was at the helm.  Not only does it have many different materials that are quite impressive, but it includes AND ENTIRE TREE BRANCH, which I found fascinating.

You see, last year, there was a nest in this exact same spot.  However, it fell.  So, this year, the design engineer added a new support system and I like it!

To top it off, 4 eggs!!  This is very exciting.

The only bummer is that I could never get a look at the birds who were pelting me as I cleaned.  So I am not sure if they are House Finches.  But the eggs look similar so I assume that they are House Finches.  We have a lot of them because I feed them all the time.  Hubby says that I’m creating a false sense of security but I say that the seeds will always be there unless I die.  So there.

PHOTOJOURNAL

The next is in the donkey shelter on the alley side next to the Mulberry tree and the Poplar. Plenty of shade. Smart choice. Notice the branch that anchors the nest.

The next is 12′ up… so I’m teetering on a fence board (with dive bombing parents) to show you this nest.

With my arm outstretched to the tippy-tip, I took this photo of the 4 eggs. As you can see, two of them have crack marks from little beaks!

I included this shot so that you can see the detail in the nest. They used landscaping fabric, horse and donkey hair, thick weed sticks, foxtails, cottonwood tree cotton… very well executed.

This is the Office Nest in the downspout. Clearly it has seen better days. I wonder if anyone will come in and fix it up…?


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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!