Public Appearance #1

April 13, 2008 at 4:06 pm 1 comment

Saturday, Klondike had his first ever public appearance, going to Frying Pan Park for an introduction to outings and baby cross country stuff.  Have to say, for a first time out, he cotinued to show what a very smart and capable boy he his.

He started his trip by loading into the trailer with no fuss at all.  He almost seemed to wonder what the fuss was, since he gots lots of scratches and pats and “good boy!!!”s after getting on.  More concerned with the hay bag than anything else, he seemed to regard the trailer as simply another opportunity to be spoiled with food. 

Once at Frying Pan, he unloaded equally well, stood tied to the trailer, and tacked up perfectly quietly.  He got to take a good look around at all sorts of new and exciting things- sheep, tractors pulling wagons full of visitors to the park, small children, and even a horse pulling a cart.  He did seem a bit concerned about the cart, as if he was maybe wondering if it was chasing the cute little horse, but he kept his worries to himself and stood perfectly still.

After exploring a little bit, and having a bit of a balk at the water jump (we were just trying to walk in- but I think these things are initially a little confusing.  Klondike is perfectly happy crossing running water and streams, but this thing was totally new- not a stream, not a puddle, and you can’t really see the bottom), Allie decided to go grab her horse out of the trailer, as she could provide a lead for the two newbies (Klondike was not the only little chestnut CANTER horse present, cute as pie Indy  (see his listing on the CANTER-owned page) joined us, to show off how fancy he has become).

While waiting for our more experienced trail partner, I hacked him around the front field a little bit, and then decided to point him at the Playskool My First Log jump, conveniently located near the trailers so he was in sight of all his good friends.  Have to say, this little guy is really smart about jumping.  He took a little look, judged the size, and jumped very well without overjumping, like so many greenbeans do.  He went both directions very easily and happily, when I made a crucial mistake.

What I probably should have done at that point was kept him busy, but I decided to reward him for being so stellar by taking a little break and walking around, which is when he realized he was kind of by himself, which was the first thing he’d found worrisome so far that day.  His solution was to go back to the trailer and find his friend, and when I thought that was not necessary, he got a little upset with me.  Which is when I made another mistake.  I have this tendency, when a horse is being slightly unpredictable or nervous, to go defensive- not quite into fetal position, but almost as useless.  I know this doesn’t work, and is in fact the exact opposite of what works, but it’s hard to resist.  The brain is a funny thing, choosing instinct over logic sometimes. 

Somehow we got over the little “wahhhh! I’m alone and don’t want to be!!!!” episode, and kept going.  Fortunately his friend soon joined us, and it was back for a water schooling session.  Klondike watched Indy go in, but was still pretty hesitant about the whole thing, wanting to back up and pretty much tuning me out (that fetal position thing? It’s a killer!).  He eventually ended up more or less getting pulled into the water (thank you, bombproof buddy horse!), at which point, he realized the water was pretty awesome, and super fun to splash around in.

After only about five more minutes in the water jump, Klondike had mastered walking in, walking out, and then going both in and out off the small drop/bank on the other side.  He also threw in several good splashes for measure.  I wasn’t sure what he’d do going down the bank- my experience there is that horses new to this (granted, I’ve only ridden a couple that were new to it, heh), sometimes take a gigantic flying leap, but Klondike is smarter than your average bear, and having been in the water already, figured that he could easily and quietly lower himself down with about as much fuss as he showed hopping in the trailer.

From then on, Klon showed he was a hacking/XC machine- we enjoyed several nice trots and a little canter where the footing allowed, and practiced several more drops.  Again, each time I was prepared for the flying leap, it never came, and he was quiet and easy as pie.  He even mastered the ditch- it wasn’t a big one, but it was filled with water, which again had me anticipating the flying leap.  And again, he could not have cared less.  Walking to the ditch, he simply put a foot down in it and walked through.  Trotting, he just took a big step and barely raised his body off the ground (he’s all about efficiency).

I’m thinking SuperKid is just eerily smart when it comes to obstacles- he judges them and decides exactly what to do from a distance, and seems to always be right about things.  He’s honest as can be- even with Fetal Monkey Girl up there he was happy to give everything a try.  And when he does something right, he knows it- holding his head high and nodding a bit because he’s so proud of himself. 

By the end of the ride, he was even moving into contact much more happily than usual 🙂  And afterwards, he acted like it was old hat to go walking through hordes of children to get hosed off at the wash racks.  Traffic, dogs, strange animals, and miniature people? No problem. 

As a side note, I feel bound to remind everyone that when the weather gets nice, it’s a good idea to use sunscreen. I sort of forgot that, and I have the worst glove lines I’ve seen in a long time. 

 

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Here’s That Cute Canter MINE MINE MINE MINE!!!

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. jessica  |  April 14, 2008 at 6:42 am

    Who knew the sun would be so strong we would end up getting sunburnt. I have some very pretty sunburn right now.

    Klondike was a star! I loved how he just calmly stepped up and down everything unlike my cute little Indy who had to show how athletic he was with a big launch 🙂 I heard the hunter pace went well too so I hope Allie will blog about that.

    Reply

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