09.04.04: Lazy Day

Weekends are always a little bit different. You never know what is going to end up happening, especially since you've got to worry about grabbing food somewhere along the way.
The campground has breakfast in the clubhouse on Saturday's. For $3.00 you get bacon or sausage, hashbrowns, eggs (any way you like) and pancakes. It was a really impressive spread, and saved me from having to make a trip somewhere. I finished up with breakfast and grabbed my laundry out of the dryer and headed over to the ranch to feed Storm his breakfast. He was a bit impatient with me since I was later than usual.
He finished that up and we wandered out into the playground and went through a few things that we have been working on. He is going pretty confidently into the little trailer with his front feet, now I have to motivate him to get the back feet in too. He also explored the hallway more, which was nice. We walked through the edge of the pond, and also explored the carwash. Storm was able to go through the carwash as long as I held one of the flaps out of the  way for him to see through. Otherwise he stood there looking at me like "How can I go through a solid wall!?"
He had some extra energy, so I decided to see what I could do in the round pen. The smaller 50' still had a lake in it, so I decided to go into the 75' just to see what would happened. I figured worst case scenario would be that he would go right brained and I'd just have him run until he could calm down again. I gently asked him to move away from me, and he went to the rail and walked calmly. I asked for a trot and he picked it up with ease. I asked for the canter, and he took that and kept his ear on me the entire time. I was trying to get him to slow down but he was not responding to the cues I was trying to give. I incidentally said 'whoa' once, and Storm immediately stopped and turned in and came to me. Apparently he has an off button. Now I just need to find the 'slow' button. I will have to experiment with that today.
He was nicely damp, so I hosed him off a bit, and worked with moving around the wash rack a little more so that I can scrub his tail a few more times before we leave. As I was finishing up the girls said they were ready to leave to go grab lunch and then check out the demonstration that Linda was giving in the afternoon at the Women Luv Horses event hosted by Lynn Palm. We ended up eating at the same italian restaurant that Jim and I ate the first night we were in town. We decided to just split a pizza, and it turned out to be very good. The same two girls were waiting tables on the whole place and were doing a killer job keeping up with everything. I was impessed because the restaurant doesn't look like much, but the food is really good, and their prices are very reasonable.
We left there and headed over to the Ocala Equestrian Center and got there just in time to wander for a minute and then see Linda's talk. It was a bit different than her usual talk since the crowd was not "parelli savvy" so it was nice to see a different aspect. She was working with Remmer, and demonstrated how alive he gets when she offers him a cookie as a reward for doing something correct. She showed how they were beginning to work on passage in hand in prepration for a piaffe in hand (the trotting in place manuver) and asked him to try it a few times. Rem was putting effort into it, but it was not that great of a performance. So she offers him a cookie and his whole face changed. She went to cue him again to ask for the passage, and Rem practically levetated off the ground. There was a LOT more energy and motion in his effort this time. He was practically offering her anything he could just to get the cookie. She was barely cueing him, and he was giving it to her, and when she went to ask for something else he was still trying so hard that he was over achieving even still. He looked like the dog when you shake the treat bag. Linda had several of the faculty come out and do a demonstration. Among them were two of the faculty here, so it was great to watch them just play with their horses. Avery was riding her big draft/paint mare, AKiss, and she showed everyone how she mounts by having the mare put her head down, and then straddling her head, and AKiss lifts her head up and Avery slides down onto her back, then turns around in the saddle. I am going to try to have a chat with her before I leave to learn how she did that. Kristi was also riding her mare, Moxie, and it was great to see their relationship, and see that it isn't always perfect all the time.
She finished up there and we wandered through some of the booths for a little while and then went out to look at the Mustangs that were part of the Mustang Makeover Challenge competition that was going on. Jesse Peters, an instructor that was part of the faculty when I was in Colorado a few years back was participating in the competition. He had a sweet little horse that he was working with that he named Aspire. She was really cute, compact like most mustangs are, but had a really nice build to her.
We headed back to the ranch for a little bit more horse time, which turned out to be less than we thought, we didn't realize how late it really was. We had picked up some free samples of treats, so I decided to give Storm some little pieces while asking him for some stretches. Jeffra had shown me how to ask him to stretch to the side, and then down low in order to help loosen his muscles up. We managed to accomplish that, though it took Storm a little while to figure it out because he was getting a bit excited. After i had given it to him, I was standing next to him gathering my rope getting ready to head out of the pen and I must have moved my hand incidentally in a way that he thought I had something for him, and he reached down and bit my finger. He managed to get his teeth around my knuckle, which is probably better than if he had chomped on it, and then finally let go when he realized that my hand was still attached and wasn't going anywhere. I (and I think he!) was so surprised that I didn't even have time to swat him. Swatting him would probably have only confused him anyway. I took the rope off, and headed inside to grab a bit of ice for it, and look it over. It didn't hurt too terribly bad, though I could tell it would be tender. It didn't turn black and blue right away either, so that was a bit of a relief as well. I headed back out about 5 minutes later, and we went and mosied around for a little while before coming back in since it was so late.
Shirley and I decided that we would go grab dinner before going back to the event to watch the last part of the Mustang Makeover. We stopped at Horse and Hound again, which is always good. We ended up taking longer than we thought, and so we missed the first part of the competition, which was a bummer because it figured that Jesse rode very early on. We watched the rest of the competitors and some of them were scary how they had trained the horses. But that is not surprising in the least. We stayed until the end, and in the end Jesse won. Apparently he really had worked hard, and through putting the horse first he was able to do some really amazing stuff. The competitors only had 70 days to take the mustangs and train them for the competition. Then all of the horses would be acutioned off. The whole thing was to raise awareness about how versitile the mustangs are and promote the adoptions through the BLM.
We left there a little after 9 and I headed to take Shirley home before heading home myself to crash into bed.

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