Part of the homework I was given for the TWH was to walk him up and down hills to try to help him muscle back up in his stifles. Apparently his almost 2 months of being a fluffball has had a negative effect on his muscling, go figure haha. With now having 3 horses, I will admit it is a bit harder to keep everyone in a shape that isn't round. I am doing a pretty good job of working Mia most mornings and then working either Mia or the TWH in the evenings but that leaves the App without work and I am only giving a couple of lessons a week which isn't enough to keep him fit. Since he is now sound (95% sound and works out of it), it is apparent he has also lost all of the little muscling he had as well. Oh geez, what is a girl to do when there are only so many hours in a day and she still works full time during the day?!
SO is actually the one who made me feel guilty enough to do something about it, I was getting ready to work the TWH one night and he made a comment that the "poor app" is just a forgotten horse now. Well that doesn't make me feel very good! In my last post I worked everyone with cavaletti, this time I bumped it up a notch and decided to pony these dang horses. I have ponied the TWH before and it went well but I haven't actually ponied the App before. I grabbed the TWH and saddled him up, while walking to the arena I threw the halter on the App and brought him in too. We started out with some basic walking and it was quite apparent the App did not appreciate this new job. The App tried walking as slow as possible, making ugly ears at the TWH, trying to take a bite out of the TWH, trying to stop and just being a boat anchor. I gave the App a couple of good smacks when he was being dominant to the TWH and finally just braced the lead rope across my hips and let my hips pull him along instead of my arms. This worked significantly better as there wasn't any give, after a couple of laps the App started to actually follow along and did a decent job of keeping up.
We moved outside to the pasture for more room as a small arena starts feeling really small with 2 horses. While it was completely (and totally) dark outside, the lights from the arena and the outside light on the barn made it light enough to walk around the pasture. The TWH was awesome as always. I was able to spend the majority of my time focusing on keeping the App in line while steering and rating the speed of the TWH using just my legs. I was even able to get the TWH to do a nice flat/running walk and the App trotted along with us. Success!
After a half hour I left the App go and grabbed Mia, might as well work her too! She was much easier to pony, she kept right up with the TWH and wasn't the boat anchor the App was. She had to learn to stay on one side of the TWH and not give ugly ears but overall she was super easy. She is a super smart horse.
Last night I did the same except I went out an hour earlier so it was light outside. I rode the TWH and ponied the App first and we went up and down the big hill in the pasture 5 times. It was a pretty good workout for the both of them, as it is a pretty big hill. The App was much better about ponying and wasn't nearly the boat anchor he was the other day. He is, however, not in shape and was a little winded with the hill climbs. Gotta get these guys back into shape.