Aspen has been on the farm for about six weeks now. She has settled in amazingly; the first day she didn’t even seem to miss her old her. There wasn’t much vocalization between her and the other two, either. Had we not told the few people that saw her the first couple of days they wouldn’t have known she’d just been pulled from the only home she’s known and hauled a thousand miles.
At first she wasn’t keen on being haltered, but would follow us around like a puppy on a string. She didn’t care that the halter was on, it was getting it on she disliked. I could slip the halter over her nose, but getting that crown strap buckled? Nah, she wasn’t interested. She would simply back up, I would follow her and quietly continue haltering her. As soon as it was buckled she stopped. Eventually this turned into me throwing the leadrope over her neck, once she didn’t mind a flying rope, and using that as a brake.
Now she’s to the point where haltering is no big deal, and thankfully it was a quick process to get here. I spent a lot of time simply leading her around, stopping and backing. She backs up nicely but ‘whoa’ still needs some work. She humors me when I set up obstacle courses in the round pen with barrels for her to go around and between and large planks of wood for her to step over. Small things done consistently have helped her to develop ground manners and patience. When she was first turned into the south pasture she had to stand quietly for five seconds. If she fidgeted too much while I removed her halter, I stopped and waited for her to quiet down. One thing I’ve really learned with her is to be confident. At first she wasn’t sure about going through the gate back into the round pen, it was scary. If I walked purposefully up to the gate she never gave it a second look. Good filly.
Now, one of the best things about getting a new horse, and one of her size, is tack shopping. I went online and purchased a rope halter for her as the one she was sent home with is horse size and well, she isn’t. Sorry Aspen, you’re a pony. Her pink halter works fine for leading but the rope halter will make training much easier. I found a seller on Etsy and while I’m disappointed it isn’t royal blue as I had expected from the rope sample photo, the construction and fit are nice.
She doesn’t buck and throw fits when she’s feeling frisky, but she’s been known to take off running for no apparent reason and do a few laps around the pasture. I’m looking forward to getting her on a lunge line and just staring at her cute little trot while she circles me.
Yesterday I threw a saddle pad at her and that didn’t bother her in the least. I’m eager to see if any of my saddles fit her. If not she’s going back to Texas. Kidding! … Sorta.
The weather is starting to get gross featuring obnoxious temperatures and humidity levels. I doubt Aspen minds as she’s from Texas, land of outrageously hot weather. I certainly mind though and her training will either happen in the morning before it can get too hot out or in the early evening once the pesky sun has disappeared. Nothing major to report except for a growing relationship between me and the little filly. And her and Jephy. Her and Horse? Eh, not so much. Mares.