A field trip for Starlight

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“You can do this, Starlight. I know we’re at the big, scary Woodside HorsePark, but keep it together and don’t kill mom, O.k.?”

We’ve spent the last three weeks practicing calmly and easily loading and unloading from the horse trailer. Starlight had limited trailering experience when I bought her a month ago, and had never ridden in a straight load trailer (except when I bought her and brought her home). So she has needed some time to get used to the idea. We’ve established the inside of the trailer as home of the Magic Bucket of Joy (with delicious pellets) and Place Where You Get Lots of Pats and Carrots. It’s working.

Starlight eyes the trailer for a moment of two, weighs the pros and cons. “Gosh I really want that magic bucket…but I’ll have to get in the trailer…hmmm, I guess I should just do what mom wants and get in. She’ll be happy, and I’ll get the bucket. Sure, what the heck.” And in she goes. Yahoo.

 

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Focus, my child. Focus.

Big day today: our first field trip to another place. Having owned a horse who periodically would REFUSE to load back into the trailer (stranding me in places like the county park for hours upon end), I have a bit of trailer PTSD. But I am trusting Starlight to do the right thing. So far, so good. And I have to take the plunge at some point. Besides, Starlight and I are going to shows, trails, clinics, etc. We need to trailer places.

Starlight was very excited at the Horsepark – and who can blame her? It has wide open spaces, many arenas, lots to look at, and I wasn’t able to take another calm horse to babysit her.

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EEEK! Just so you know I don’t show you only beautiful shots. Hollow back, head in the air, not a pretty picture. Fortunately, this was a minority of the time and only at the beginning.

But once I was on her, she was willing to focus on the work and within 10 minutes I was able to do somewhat decent work with her.

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Much better here…As she sheds her bleached winter coat, her coat is becoming an interesting “tiger’s eye” color. She’s Black on her registration papers, but I’m not sure what color she’ll be when she sheds out.

Star is a SUPERSTAR and I’m very pleased with how she did in her first outing!

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Practicing our dressage in the Big Covered Arena. Garbage cans in the background.

 

6 thoughts on “A field trip for Starlight

    • I hope she thinks it’s fun 🙂 I was worried she was going to enjoy the HorsePark so much she wouldn’t want to go home (like a kid not wanting to go home from the park). How did you like my “ugly” picture? Hideous, wasn’t it? Yep, we have our really ugly moments, too, but with Star they generally are few :-). Mostly they involve me hanging on her while she tries to race around (she is VERY forward).

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      • Like you’ve stated before: Owner-trailer-trauma. She’ll train you out of it 🙂
        Didn’t think the hideous pic was as bad as perhaps it felt – she’s bracing and rushing, pulling herself along with the underneck, not show pretty of course. But for a young horse, with its new owner, in a new place, and just the beginning of the ride, I think she’s coping really well.
        I think she’s going to live up to her name and become a real Star. Love it that she is so forward! It makes for quick thinking on the riders part and sometimes a very rushed feel to everything, but I sometimes miss having the automatic “forward’ installed. It’s easy to get rusty in reflexes when riding something very steady most of the time. Bet she’d just run off with me within the first 5 minutes 😉

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      • I think you would enjoy her very much 🙂 I have had very calm horses the last few years (wanting safe and reliable more than anything), but in my desire to go further with dressage, I realized I needed more forward for the FEI levels (as well as the smooth gaits for my cranky back). You can’t be continually manufacturing the energy. But I still need safe, because I’m 56 and my reflexes just aren’t quite what they used to be (not to mention, I REALLY don’t want to fall off). Starlight seems to be forward but still safe…let’s hope it really is true. Of course, I’m cautious with her, though. I’m old and wily.

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      • Yes, yes! Forward but still safe – not overly freaked out by most things, and looking out for you, that’s the Andalusian!
        Love them!
        Oh, and I also don’t want to come off 😉 Too many times already, sigh.

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  1. Looks like she has loads of raw talent (her trot is wow), and when you develop her along a little more she’s going to be amazing!! And sounds like she behaved very well for a greenie on her first road trip with a new person! Forward but sane is the golden ticket that everyone hopes for…I think you got it! Hooray! Imagine where you’ll be in a year after you build trust together.

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