Project #2: The Small Spotted Gelding

His owner has already blogged yesterday’s session here, so go read that and I’ll give you my two cents as well.

The Small Spotted Gelding (hereafter SSG on this blog) is an interesting little creature – created by poor fencing and a mustang owner who did not seem to realize stallions have this urge to breed and will go through poor fencing to do so. The mare, or in this case, filly owner had no idea her filly was old enough to get pregnant – and honestly, I wouldn’t have thought so either. Filly was a yearling. The full story is here. Anyway, the end result was Ditto – who is half mustang, half some-sort-of-PMU-spotted-drafty-critter. Ditto is now three and it’s time for him to do something for a living. His owner has done a good job with groundwork so progressing to actual riding shouldn’t be that hard…but since he’s a 13.3 pony, she asked me to do it. The goal here is not any specific discipline – just to create a career for a cute, but grade, gelding so that he will have a good home for life.

Now, the SSG is far more my comfort zone in terms of size. However, he has approximately 40x the energy level of the VLC, and a wicked spook on him. I was watching him blast around the arena yesterday and thinking it is time to invest in a pair of schooling chaps to stick my ass to the saddle! Or what are those things you all talk about, the Kerrits sit tight breeches? Ha ha, what’s next, a seat belt? At least I can laugh at myself…

After watching him move, I no longer think hunter pony. Honestly, he’s got the neck set of a saddle horse, he’s a hot potato with high movement and he’s very quick on his feet/surefooted. If there was a pony jumper market out there, we might be in business. As it stands, I think he screams gaming pony – which would be just fine. There’s a good market for that in these parts. While I’ve done a bit of gaming on my old polo ponies (I used to have this amazing Truly Truckle mare that could go to a barrel race and place against the “real” barrel horses no problem), I’ve never started a horse specifically for that. Then again, aren’t the first 30 days about the same for anything? It’s all about just developing balance and consistency at a walk and trot.

As his owner pointed out, he is very good in the roundpen and I think we will do session 2 there. He does not want to bend to the right and in the arena, is one of those horses who tries to run out of the longeing circle when he’s not next to a wall and does so by running backward. I did the usual corrections – got myself behind his hip, moving him forward, but we had a bit of a battle on it before he gave up and went a few times around without successfully shooting into reverse. (Lesson for the day: Don’t try to longe difficult greenie with huge mud boots on. Nearly took a header several times as I dashed to get behind his hip and correct his behavior.)

The good part is that he truly couldn’t care less about being leaned over. He stood quietly next to the mounting block while I laid all of my weight over him on both sides. From watching him, I do not think he will be a bucker – it’s the spooks I’m going to have to watch out for, and perhaps the backing-as-resistance, but the VLC already got me warmed up on that. I think I’ll be on him by the end of the week, but tonight will be devoted to the VLC and the VLG that we just saved (see other blog post here).

Published in: on May 7, 2008 at 3:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

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