Friday, February 28, 2014

Breaking It In; Bit By Bit!

Well, I didn't exactly break the round pen in bit by bit. The first time I brought Chester in there, it wasn't anything special to him. (Which was Tuesday.) We weren't in there that long, maybe thirty minutes....why? Well, it's winter here and now (hopefully) spring is on it's way. But, for the past three to four months I haven't been doing much with Chester. So from going to the arena almost every weekend, and working him once a week, to not much at boy has (now had!!) A LOT OF energy. There was one week when I took him for about four walks. Other then that, I have only lunged him a couple times, and a few walks this whole winter.

I had noticed that when I would take him out that he was getting pushy (not respecting my space) and head strong. Plus, last fall he decided he was going to be barn sour. So, a horse with tons of energy + no respect + being barn sour = a "crazy" horse. Now, he was not truly crazy. He was just  "high strung" or something of the sort. I am pretty much a beginner with horses. I have had Chester for two and a half years. I don't really know when you would not be a "beginner" any more. But that doesn't really matter. Before I got Chester the Lord gave me a chance to take care of a friend's horse for ten days and get to know how it is to own a horse. That was a huge blessing and prepared me for my own horse. It was a great opportunity. I also got to take some riding lessons one summer when I was 7 and 8. I started when I was seven and turned eight in the mean time. (If that makes sense.) Those were my only horse experiences before I got Chester.
Chester is the horse that I have learned the most with. He was the one who started my ride through the horse world. =) With that said, when new things happen with Chester most likely it's my first time in that situation and first time dealing with it. He may be just acting like a horse or doing what horses do, and I'm like, "what's my horse doing!?" If that makes sense at all. =)

Ok, now I'll go back to using the round pen for the first time. I didn't know what to do with my horse. He was not respecting me and had loads of energy. After being out there for a little bit, I decided to be done (after ending on somewhat of a good note) and put him away until I knew what to do. Neither of us were too happy. He was the most energetic I have ever seen him. That is saying something since I have had him for two and a half years.

Well, I emailed my horsey friend (aka: my friend who had helped me tons with Chester and even went with me to buy him) and asked her if she could come over and help us both. The wonderful person she is, she actually came over the next morning, on Wednesday, bright and early at 8:15! She worked with Chester for a couple hours and gave us both a reminder on ground work. It was such a blessing and a good needed reminder on how to handle certain situations. Chester was different and calmer just after those two hours. Thank you, horsey friend! =)

I told someone the other day; "the horse ocean is deep and wide. You have to take swimming lessons to learn how to swim and then keep practicing what you've learned to stay afloat. And then, it takes years to become a strong swimmer."
Just think of that all in horse sense. =)

After we had worked him, I brought him breakfast and decided to leave him in the round pen for the rest of the day. To work on his "barn sourness". That kinda sounds weird...oh well! (Sorry about my grammar, Grandma.) =)
Anyway, he stayed out there till about four thirty, to his dismay. He did fine, though, and then I put him out there all Thursday and half of Friday. He's doing better every day! He is very safe out there and I am constantly watching him. I will keep putting him out there for about another week. I feed him his breakfast out there, but so far he hasn't eaten a whole lot of it. Silly boy!

Today I went out and worked him and even hopped on and walked him around. He did really good! I think I am going to set some goals for myself. I probably do a post on them. =)

Chester has done a good job at breaking it in- hasn't he? Well, more like he was running around because he didn't want to be down there- therefore it is 90% mud and dirt now. Not that I wanted it mud; it would have been nice to keep it grass. He's a horse in Washington though, what do you expect?
Isn't he purtty!! =) (Even though he's dirty...) He has a long back. A couple people have told me that. I think it's the Thoroughbred in him.

A quick question for ya'll. What are your opinions on, sweat scrapers? (I know, I know, sorry about the weird sort of question.)
In the past few days he has been quite sweaty, since he has been working and not happy about being in the round pen. Do you guys use sweat scrapers? I know they are pretty cheap, but are they worth your money?

I hope you and your ponies have had a nice week. The weather was nice starting on Tuesday and has been gorgeous! It's not supposed to last and I know it won't since it's only February. (March tomorrow) But it makes me excited for summer. Therefore, I will make goals for this summer and take advantage of the nice weather when I can!  

Have a great weekend!
Warm summer thoughts from Malory and her pony, Chester.


  1. Oh that is so good you have a friend to come help you! I know what its like to feel like you're not sure where to go. I normally unload it all on my Dad! And he normally has some good advice or something I didn't think a bout.
    Sweat scrapers...sorry I don't really use them. When my horses are wet I walk them around a bit or just tie them up to dry.

    1. It is truly a blessing to have horse knowledgeable friends! Even you! =)
      I bet that is really nice to have your dad know so much about horses! =)

      Thanks, ya I usually just let Chester dry by himself and then brush him or brush him off a little bit before I leave him.