Happy One Month, Mia!
Reason #745 why I love OTTBs: they're awesome. I mean, not all of them are awesome, I'm sure, but the upside to these babies having had a job since they were 2 is that they're pretty familiar with almost everything we throw at them. Last week, all in one day, I decided to try a lot of new things with Mia and she was a perfect angel for all of them:
1. new blanket fitting? didn't care.
2. fully cross-tying for the first time? didn't move.
3. tube of dewormer down the throat? barely blinked at me.
4. lunging in bridle? zero buck, bolt, etc.
5. lateral work in hand? confused for about 30 seconds (especially from the off-side) but was soon zipping down the wall away from my aids.
She's also becoming less and less grumpy about having her ribs/stomach/girth area groomed which makes me hopeful that the AbPrazole is getting work done on her gut health. I've been bridling her a couple of days each week and messing around with asking her to drop her head and let me stick my fingers in her mouth. She's getting more comfortable with those activities every day and is no longer even the slightest bit fussy when I ask her to take the bit in her mouth!
Plus, you guys, she actually *whinnied* when I walked into the barn. It could have just been because Bess whinnied and jogged into her stall when my car pulled up but, either way, I about died.
I also tacked her up for the first time this week. I showed her each piece of tack before I put it on her but she wasn't even the tiniest bit girthy and was indifferent when I threw on the overly large breast collar that I own. We walked around the arena in-hand with tack on for about 10 minutes and resumed some of our "stand at the mounting block" work but this baby horse continues to be the consummate professional. Let's hope that continues when I start riding her :)
We're also learning about appropriate communication. The other day when I walked up to her stall, she was making the ***nastiest*** faces at me and when I reached out to give her a scratch, she spun and put her butt in my face. I have a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for horse butts being placed in my vicinity without permission. I reached out to grab a lead rope so I could smack her the next time she did a 180 but after a moment, she turned her butt back at me and just stood there. The poor kid wanted her butt scratched and didn't know how to ask nicely for that service.... I was still irritated at her method of requesting the attention but it was nicer than the alternative (aka thinking she wanted to kick me in the head).
She got her teeth done yesterday and was a surprisingly good vet patient. Aside from not being keen on getting her temperature taken (which is now on her "life skills" list), she let the vet team sedate her and made it through the entire float with only the smallest dose of sedation. They were just as impressed as I was and kept saying "what a good girl" and, my personal favorite, "she is SO cute." I was also quite happy to have had the team out because she had some sores along her cheeks thanks to those pesky adult teeth coming in. I will feel better about starting some light lunging in the bridle now that I know she's not going to be uncomfortable with a bit in her mouth.
In other news, Mia continues to be super fascinated by Cinder (and small humans and dogs in general) but has zero fear about her being in her stall or in the arena when we're doing "school." She also continues to be unfazed by new things (including a bounce house full of joyful (aka screaming) children and the wooden trail bridge in the arena). Aside from one frisky morning in the outdoor arena during which the neighbor's tractor rolled by and she started disjointedly "galloping" on the end of the line, she handles everything new with a curious but passive expression.
This has been a really fun month and I'm getting more and more excited to start some light work under saddle in the next few weeks!
Also here are some glamour shots of my OG OTTB, Bess—because she’s the best and cannot be excluded ❤️