Sunday, January 15, 2012

on the road

After more and more thought, I have come to the conclusion that arena work is not for Shyloh and me. Yes, it is convenient, but it is boring. Even I am bored in the arena. I compare it to working out in a gym. Snooze. I would much rather bike or kayak. And since Shyloh came from the Amish and spent a short time as a trail horse, she is probably just as bored with the arena. 

So, my intent from now on is to utilize the arena for work as little as possible. I know I cannot avoid it, but I will try. And if we do use the arena for work, I will find something that is engaging and challenging for Shy. Any suggestions? I can't imagine that our little bareback walks around the arena were doing much for her, either. So, a saddle is order. Soon.
Let's get out of here!
Today was the best day for this realization. Jaime had asked me if I wanted to do a line drive down the road with her and Kyle and their horses. Of course I did!

Shy totally reiterated to me why we need to get out of the arena. After a rough start with getting out of her stall, she was amazing! Shy will not let me lead her with her harness on, so I had to drive her out of the stall, which is a small area and tricky. She kept going in circles and missing the way out, which was more than likely my fault for incorrect steering. But, we finally got out of the stall and out of the barn.
I'm all tacked up and ready to go!
Down the driveway and to the road we went! Shy started off in second place, but quickly took the lead from Notch and Clutch had the rear. She has a quick little walk. There were a few icy patches that Shy slipped on, but she didn't spook and kept on going. It was so nice to see Shy working and not fighting me! She displayed none of the behaviors (mainly stopping) that she displayed in the arena. We even got a nice little trot going.

Getting out of the arena was very educational for me, as well. I now know I need to spend more time working on whoa with Shy while we drive. She was very eager to keep moving forward. She would stop, but then she would be dancey or start moving before I asked her to move. I think she was so excited to be outside. She kept blowing out.
Leaving the driveway and going to the road!
The best part was that as we were walking down the road, a lady ran out of her house and wanted to take pictures! She thought all three horses were so cool! And when we got back to the barn, Jaime and Kyle hooked sleds up to Notch and Clutch and pulled people in the snow!

I walked Shy around the barn while they were sledding. I also learned that she doesn't have complete trust in me to direct her where to go. If she felt uneasy about going some place, she would stop and try to turn and go a different way. Mostly this happened around tight corners, uneven footing outside, or narrow paths. I had to go to her front and let her see me and reassure her so she would move on. It is good to know these things so we can work on them.

I was waiting for a phone call to come today, but it didn't. Hopefully tomorrow! And hopefully I'll have some  exciting news to share!
Big toothy smiles!


  1. Sounds like such a blast. Camryn & I find the arena quite boring as well. Love your smiles :)

    1. Thanks! For her next trick, I should teach her to smile on command! And bowing, and basketball. . .

  2. You are such a tease....'waiting for a phone call'..... Now I have to wait for a blog post!
    You guys are looking good!
    Yes, the arena can be deadly unless you find some 'games' to play.

    1. Actually, I have no idea what this phone call will hold, so I am in as much suspense as anyone else!

      We definitely need some games. I have to keep that smart Haffie mind engaged!

    2. I could always send her the video of Pippin's halter escape trick. She could work on that!

    3. No thanks! Catching her now is hard enough, I can't imagine if she could get out of the halter! She would be a wild horse, for sure!

  3. Glad you and Shy are having a bonding moment with the harness and blinders. If the Amish used her to pull, she will (is) ready to step on out and down the road. Glad you have someone to help you and to drive with you. Good luck to you both!!!! And congratulations on you adventure.
    Rae in WV

  4. Oh the driving looks awesome!!! You both must have been thrilled. Keep up the awesome arena-free work!!! : )

    1. Shy really seems to shine when driving down the road! And she looks so cute! She has a nice little trot, too.

  5. That looks like so much fun!! I can't wait to try it. :) Shy is adorable. If you look back on Chrome's blog I posted a video of how I taught Chrome to smile. It's still one of his favorite tricks.

  6. A video! I will have to check that out! She makes the face on her own all the time, but doing it on command would be sweet!


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