Thursday, November 1, 2007

Rio's A Big Girl Now!

It's hard to believe but Rio is already six months old and getting to be a "big girl". We moved her up to the main barn about a month after she was weaned. She is at the opposite end of the barn in regards to where her mama is stalled but they see each other daily. Tia occasionally nickers to her but for the most part it seems the mother/daughter bond has waned. We are careful not to put them out together or in adjacent pastures. Next year they'll be trailered together to horse shows so it will be interesting to see how that goes.

I've started teaching Rio how to be lunged. So far she knows "Whoa", "Walk" and "Trot". The little stinker also knows where the gate is in the ring and when she's had enough of a workout she stops or acts up when she is in line with the gate. She gets a little reminder at that point that she's not done working until I say she's done. I am careful not to lunge her for more than 15 minutes every other day since her little legs are still growing. After she is done lunging I hand walk her over some trail obstacles (bridge, water box, raised pole) to build her confidence. This way she will also be familar with these objects when she is trained for riding. When we are done in the ring I tie her in her stall for approximately 15-20 minutes. This helps her to learn patience, which she'll need plenty of to deal with long show days when she is older. I have high hopes for Rio and I am looking forward to seeing how she matures over the next 12 to 24 months.