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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

June 16, 2011

One more to go

Journey was integrated with Phebes today.  The expectation was some squealing and flying hooves.  We are talking about Phebes after all, so Phebes is brought into the front paddock with Journey and released.  She put her head down to eat grass, and they've been grazing together all afternoon.  That was it!  No running, no squealing, no farting or bucking, no kicking.  Just, hey!  Let's eat grass, and so they did.  That was easy. One down and one more to go (Big Cree who wears a wife-beater t-shirt and hangs a cigarette out the corner of his mouth, while crushing beer cans and tossing them in the corner).
This photo was taken after our first attempted solo ride away from the house.  She was still kind of sweaty.  She went down the road fine, a bit high headed, but forward and sane enough.   I pointed her down a logging road that leads to a large sandbar where there is a creek crossing (if the water is low, but today it was running pretty deep).  The farther we from the road the more she wanted to kind of jig and pick up a trot.  Then a big deer or something made splashing sounds in the creek.   Journey screamed for the horses at home, and wanted to turn around.  I didn't let her.  When I didn't let her, she wanted to rear, so I made her move forward instead, so she tried to buck, so I then one-reined her in to the left and held until she was willing to stop her feet.  Thank you God for one-rein stops.  We were down on the sand bar which is a wash area where when the creek is flooded it pushes sand up onto the curve of the creek bank.  I decided we weren't going home until she could stand there quietly all four feet stock still and her nose at least below her topline.  We had the attempted rearing two or three more times, and I found that if I try to one-rein her to the right she gets her nose up and threatens to tip over especially with that deep footing, so I'd push her forward, rein her to the left in tight turn, go back across, and reverse, over, and over, and over...for about forty minutes.  She was sweated up by then (though not really worn out) and thinking that jumping around down there wasn't a whole lot of fun as opposed to standing still with your nose on the ground.  Eventually I had to head her back to home, which in reality was the last blasted thing I wanted to do but we'd spent a lot of time pulling through that sand.  So I pointed her home.  Jig, jig, jig,  one rein stop, one rein stop, one rein stop, and we continued doing this until she could actually walk every step home.  She could walk fast, that was fine, but not break out of the walk.  I had the radio in my pocket so I asked LSEGH if he'd have the paddock gate open for me because I was going to ride her some more.  She wasn't automatically going to hurry home and get the saddle off and eat grass.  So we worked bending patterns around logs I have on the ground, and I was able to get a creaky left leg side pass (still no right leg side pass), but she is starting to soften to and respect the S-Hack enough that I feel pretty okay about using it.

Next up was a photo session as I needed pictorial evidence of her Appaloosa markings.

She is very close in size to Phebes but narrower in the chest and around the girth.  I think exercise and chow will fill her out nicely, she's just soft right now.

The journey with Journey looks like a little longer path than I had hoped for, but that is okay...the year is shot anyhow, and if I can get Phebes riding, surely I can get this mare going good.  If I find I can't overcome the barn sour issue, I know a good trainer, and off she will go.  But for now, we are doing okay (as long as I don't fall off).  Her acting up is challenging but not nearly as volatile as Phebes.  Journey goes off like a lit up sparkler that gradually fizzles out. If you can just keep your head, you can stay on.  Phebes went off like an atomic bomb, the explosion was HUGE, dangerous, and usually involved my eating some dirt.  So looks like I'm in it for a long haul again.  We were going to join some folks for a parade next weekend, but ummmm.....nope.  I'd take her out on the trail, but I'd want all the gears working to put her in a crowd of people.  Too much risk there of someone else getting hurt.  I still maintain this mare is super smart and she learns quick, so once she figures out the fits are more work than just moving forward, we should have it whipped.    Another approach I could take is to just go ahead and let her turn and go home and work the heck out of her at home, take her out and repeat until walking away seems easy compared to rushing back and trotting circles.  I need a cooler day if I'm going to do that because it could take a few hours.  I need to think on it.  This one sure ticks different than Phebes. ~E.G.


  1. Well, like you say sounds like you have work to do but compared to your description of Phebes, sounds like you can handle it. Journey sure is a cute and very unique looking girl!

  2. Yeah, i think it's so important to win those first couple of fights. You've definitely got the skills. Sounds like you'll do fine with her!

  3. She sure is a looker and certainly sounds like her very own version of fun. Looks like you've got a pretty good idea of what directions you want to go though and if this year is a wash in your prior plans you can always make new plans that include getting Journey up to speed. Good luck!

  4. She is super cute! I can see why you were taken in by her.