Thursday, September 19, 2013

Zoey Update

In some ways, our summer with Zoey hasn't gone at all as planned. After a trim a few weeks ago, she was a bit footsore. We gave her some time off. When she got over that, she had a strained stifle or hock. We gave her some more time off. As soon as that cleared up, she got a puncture in her shoulder that left her lame again.

So, at the moment we're waiting for her to heal so we can get back to riding her. Brian and I have talked it over and decided that what we agreed on in the spring (we would sell this horse before winter, no matter what) isn't going to work for us. Basically, we're going to keep Zoey until we can find her a good home with people who are right for her.

It's not exactly how one is supposed to 'flip' a horse. But you know? You get attached. It's easy to sell the hypothetical horse you don't own yet. It's hard to sell the sweet, living, breathing mare who has made so much progress in just a few months.

The thing is, we bought a fourth horse because we wanted to learn more. And in that respect, the summer has been everything we could have hoped. We've learned a lot from Zoey. A lot. And that's a good thing.

One day when she was a bit sore in the stifle/hock region, I decided not to ride her but instead work her as much as possible from Steen's back. This went quite well. I worked on ponying, getting close to her, making her yield to me/Steen, and following a feel. After our warm up, we headed out to the tree pasture and I ponied her around a bunch at the walk and trot.

Here I'm working on moving Zoey's hind with Steen's front.

She was fast to learn to yield to the rope, and it was great for me to get more comfortable with dallying, and great for Steen to become familiar with the sensation of being pulled on. And it's something I never would have thought to do with our other horses.

So much about Zoey has changed in the last few months. She's happy to accept the halter in the pasture, she stands quietly for grooming and tacking. She leads nicely and she's easy to be around.

Unfortunately we've not gotten the hours in on her back that we would have hoped, but she's doing better under saddle as well. Hopefully we'll get her healed pretty soon here and back into more regular work.

In the meantime, we're just going to have to have four horses:


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