Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Toad and slugs

I am losing my garden battle with slugs when it comes to my lettuce.  Or I guess now I should say I've lost because the lettuce starts are all gone.  I tried putting copper tape around the top of the raised beds and used coffee grounds around the plants and that didn't help with the lettuce.  It kept them away from my pumpkin starts though and now those are huge plants.  I'm going to have to do some more research to come up with more ammunition against those damn things.

My daughter had her riding lesson in the morning and although I spent half of it sitting on the mounting block with my head in my hands rubbing my face around where my sinuses are, I did watch the other half of it. Especially the part where she cantered on the lunge line for the first time even though she was very scared! I was so proud of her and Trainer K. really gave her the courage to do it! She looked really good to - sitting up straight and balanced.

Then I had Toad training and she did well.  I felt so sick and not-myself I didn't want to ride her but Trainer K. said I need to start being the one who rides her every training now because it's been a year, she's gotten a lot better and she needs to become more my horse under saddle - right now she is Trainer K.'s horse under saddle because she's the main one riding her and now it's time to change that.  So, three times a week now I'm going to be riding her in training and hopefully within a couple months I'll be riding her without supervision too.  It's a challenge for me to ride a young high-strung sorta spooky horse! And it will improve my riding ability dramatically I'm sure over time. What's great is that I'm learning what to do when she starts to get scared and once I've had plenty of practice and that becomes second nature I will be a lot safer on any horse.

I did tell Trainer K. yesterday I needed to be "babysat" though. I just wasn't up to thinking on my feet and handling anything between lack-of-sleep, nasty cold and that buzzing cold medicine feeling.  But we did well.  I rode her without a dressage whip again and she actually listened to my other aids and to my leg.  The big problem we run into that I've had to resort to a tap with the dressage whip to get her attention is starting out either at a walk or moving into a trot, and not going into the middle.  We didn't trot yesterday because I wasn't up for it but she did walk on just fine every time I asked.  And a couple times she decided that she was just going to walk right into the middle instead of staying on the rail and I was able to correct her without the dressage whip.  And a couple times I don't know what she was thinking, I think she just wanted to go crawl into Trainer K's lap because she went straight toward her and I was able to correct her without the dressage whip, just by steering. Six months ago she would not listen to steering and I'd have to tap her with the whip before she'd finally listen to move back on the rail (or not run over Trainer K).

We did have one close call when Trainer J. was bringing a stallion down the aisle on her side and he freaked out and started dancing right next to the arena door and Trainer J. was yelling at him and he was banging around.  Trainer K. told me to stop and turn Toad so she could see what was going on and shorten the reins and then she came over and stood next to us to hold onto the reins also.  Right before Trainer K. got there Toad was starting to shuffle her feet in fear and throw her head and I wasn't feeling well so I was glad Trainer K. was right there.  It bothered me though that once we got across the arena Toad didn't want to leave Trainer K.'s side.  Of course she feels safer with her because she's so much more confident and experienced, but it reminded me that I need to keep working hard to build my confidence and to form that bond with her too where I make her feel safe.

We're definitely getting there on the ground, just not under saddle yet.   When she freaks out when I'm leading her on our walks and tries to run off and spins and rears I've gotten to the point where I am calm and just firmly and gently work to get her behind me and to stand still enough so I can get her calmed down.  We're starting to understand and trust each other.  I know when she's doing that she is aware of where I am and is not as likely to run me over but more likely to run away from me (although I do stay constantly aware to get out of her way just in case) and she does come down off her panic and reconnect with me as opposed to just staying off in panicky-la-la-land.

1 comment:

  1. Try ground up egg shells around your plants and make sure they are isolated and not touching other plants or walls that act as a bridge. The shells cut up their underbellies. Worked for my basil! Of course beer traps work awesome but are absolutely disgusting to clean out.