I pulled the gray horse out yesterday, intending to get my daughter up on him. I really have neglected teaching my own kids to ride, and this one wants to learn. Part of it is never having a sound-headed or sound-footed horse for them - or an enclosed round pen or arena but part of it was not putting in the time.
I thought if I could get her up on him on a lunge line, it would kill two birds with one stone. He is learning to lunge, a little, to the left, but on his blind side, it is still pretty much a no go. He is not a bucker, just a duck and skitter type, so if I had him on a lunge with her on him, he'd have a better idea of going in a circle instead of always trying to come to me.
That was the idea, anyway. I found out that he really does not want any one coming near him but me. I can stand next to him and jump up and down and yell, "Boo!" and he's gotten the idea that he will not be moving away from that, at all. But as soon as even she gets near the stirrup, he's skittering off sideways. Every time he did it, I just kept him going in that sideways circle until he and I were pretty darned tired and finally he got to the point where she could jump up and down and hang on the stirrup. I ran the rope around a pole and through the fence and wrapped it around the saddle horn so that every time he decided he'd pull back he actually got pulled forward and she could finally mount and be led around in a small area.
I need a round pen. This horse has been frightened and hurt and he's half blind in the right eye, which makes everything more difficult. I had a feeling he'd be a one woman horse, and so far I am right. He can tolerate me and will even come to me at the gate and blow in my hair, but he's not a trusting or trustworthy horse.
On the other hand, I got a lot of digging done today - it's a good thing. A few seedlings are popping up - mostly the collards and bok choy, a little bit of dill, and three cucumbers. I weeded and dug up a part of the garden I hadn't gotten to, yet, and cleaned stalls and animal pens. I have lentil and collard soup cooking in the crock pot and am about to head on down to pressure cook some beans for the week ahead.
It's so nice, though - a perfect day (very rare this year), so maybe I can roust the family to go hiking at the Volcano National Park instead. I still will need to cook the beans, boil the eggs and pay the bills, but I'd hate to waste the one rare beautiful day that is actually happening on a weekend when I am home.