Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fun and games

On Sunday my barn had a cookout/party complete with lots of yummy food and horsey games. So I decided to bring Charlie, and Connie brought Gi, to have a little fun. The only thing is, with all the stuff that's been going on in my life I haven't been able to ride like I've wanted in, Charlie had the last week and a half off. Oops. :/

I figured that might make for an "interesting" day but I was committed and had told people I'd be bringing him so I doped Charlie up with some extra vitacalm and off we went. He loaded perfectly and wasn't overly excited when we got there. Connie and I put the boys in the indoor while we got our stuff ready, then I spent some time with Charlie in the round pen before hopping on for a quick walk/trot to see what we were working with. So far, so good.
When we got outside Charlie was a little more excited. I walked him around the ring on the ground at first to let him see the place. He was pretty hyped about there being horses in the surrounding fields, and then at one point he spooked and scooted forward and Judy (Connie's dog) dashed into the ring barking and trying to "herd" Charlie back into behaving. He usually is ok with this at home and doesn't mind dogs, but he was already high and so wasn't too thrilled so he actually reared in response. Eeek! I was worried he'd flip out and accidentally strike her, but once I got him to stand still and ignore her she stopped running around and we got it under control. Poor Judy, just trying to help.

The first game was Simon Says; pretty basic, only at the walk/trot since there were less experienced riders in the ring with me and Charlie needed something easy to start. We won!
Pretty much a simple flat class, good practice for Charlie
The second game involved trotting up to a couple of barrels and getting your horse to eat only a certain number of carrots on the top of each one before hurrying back to the start/finish line. Charlie liked this!!

Unfortunately, although Charlie was really good at the game, they started giving pony/cart rides around the ring at that time and he basically went berserk. You'd think he'd never seen a mini horse in his life and that the cart was going to eat him. His head was practically in my lap and so I had to call it quits because we were jigging all over the place everytime the pony got near and Charlie was close to losing his brain entirely.

Jan and Buster giving rides
Luckily I had Gi to ride too since Connie is just now getting back in the saddle after her accident a few months ago. I rode him in a few games: another round of the "carrot barrels" (he wasn't too good at it) and an "egg and spoon" race. It was so much fun! He's a good boy, even if he doesn't steer :P
Me and Gi
Carrot Barrel races
Gi in the carrot barrel races
Egg and spoon races

At that point, Charlie really started acting up for Dan, who had been holding him for me outside the ring; Gi wasn't nearby and the Killer Mini kept reappearing and Charlie just couldn't handle it. So I had to bail from the games and take Charlie into the indoor for a little "brainwork" and some time away from everything to calm down.

Connie and Gi, back together again :)
Overall we had a ton of fun. Not too many people showed up for games and, personally, it wasn't quite as successful as I would have hoped, but I mostly just wanted Charlie to get the experience of trailering out someplace and being around other horses and activity (and this was the perfect low key way to try that out). It's my fault he hadn't been worked in a week and a half; if he had I think we would have been much better. But, on the other hand, he didn't completely embarrass me, which I was slightly worried about. Next time will be much better and I'm determined to keep up with riding him on a regular basis, even if I get busy. Next year, we will be showing for real!

Hanging out after the games, happy as clams


  1. I always think it's entertaining to see what really, really melts their brains. Poor Charlie! Hehehehe. Maybe if he saw the pony separate from the cart, and then saw them being put together, he'd get it? I'm glad he was well-behaved other than that, though!

  2. Sounds like a fun day even if he decided to spaz a bit.....great learning/training experience! :-)