Can I just take a moment to say how much fun it is to have a horse that is capable of doing a little bit of *everything*? I feel at this point like O could do almost anything we decided to try. (I say almost, because things that involve a steady rhythm or being slow, like hunters/WP/etc, are definitely NOT things she would be capable of doing well at. 'Slow' is not her thing!).
Today, we decided to play around on the barrels, because why not? We are just starting to canter parts of the pattern, and she is starting to understand that idea. (We started with walking the pattern, then trotting the pattern, then we switched the pattern to run it backwards, and then we started with the canter, all over the past few months.) After watching these videos, I see that I need to give her some more of her head around the turns, but the rest of it doesn't look half bad for someone who doesn't actually know anything about running barrels. It's fun!
We even finished before it started to rain, how about that.
I obviously don't *really* know how to barrel race, but it is super fun to do and can be very technical. It's a constant fun challenge - how best do I negotiate this obstacle at speed? A little of this, a little of this? And sometimes it all comes together perfectly. I'm not about to jump ship and change disciplines, but it might be fun to do some of our little local rodeos.
Naughty ponies that flip their heads around have to have their tie-downs put back on though...
Please excuse extra strings in the background... that's how you keep your tackroom door open ghetto-style. There is a little bumper on the bottom of the door that is supposed to pop into a little rubber holder to keep your door open, but you have to push hard on your door and the hinges to get it to pop in there. Sundowner hinges are notorious for breaking, and I've gone so far as to have all of them replaced from the plastic (that snaps) to metal (that rips the screws out of your door) to metal with bolts that go through the entire door (that all snap in half)... so at this point I give up. I just loop a long string that I tied around the doorhandle all the way to the tongue of my hitch and call it a hooptie day!
When I got her, she was THE queen of the head toss, She'd about put her head in your lap every time she did it, and she did it CONSTANTLY. We got her over that, and she hasn't done it in a very long time (and I haven't needed to put anything on her except a snaffle or the hackamore), but she started to pick it up again at the last endurance ride when we spent a lot of time arguing about speed on the first loop. She does it mainly as a protest (do not want to slow down you can't make me!). The tie down is great because it is loose and has give to it, and it doesn't do anything at all unless she tosses her head. One head toss today and she went OH WOW SORRY, and didn't do it again. It's nice because she only pulls on herself, and I don't have to get into a fight with her about it. She pops herself in the nose once, and doesn't do it again. Mares.
Also, PHEW! She is also finally starting to shed. Not that she had a lot of winter coat to begin with, but it is nice to know that soon it will be gone.
Yes, she really is that shiny. Yes, that is her winter coat. Yes, winter coats are supposed to be shiny!
We also figured out that she may have some funny extra krazy kolor genes going on.... first, check out her countershading dorsal stripe! It's not a *real* dorsal stripe like a dun horse or a horse with primitive markings has, but it is a special kind of genetic switch that gets flicked on during her change of coats. I knew it was there, but it is REALLY noticeable now versus last year when I had just gotten her and she had kind of a raggedy winter coat. If you look closer, you'll see all these little white hairs all over the place, white ticking all over her body. That means she's possibly a sabino! It's really minimally expressed, and without testing we don't really know for sure what it is (and I don't care about color enough to bother testing), but it is interesting, and everyone I've shown it to that knows color is oohing and aahing over it. R also reports that her breeders thought she was sabino too!
She used to have a few white birdcatcher spots on her when I got her, but they have all vanished and haven't come back. Weird! Color genetics are really cool and way beyond me.