Tuesday, April 29, 2014

How Did OTTBs Do in Rolex 2014?

This year at Rolex, there were fourteen off-the-track Thoroughbreds competing, eight completing the competition, four of which finished in the top twenty. This number goes to show how versatile OTTBs really are and how well they can perform in their careers after racing. I decided to write a brief overview of the OTTBs competing and how each one did this past week at Rolex.

Mensa G credit

 Mensa G---Michael Pollard
The OTTB that did the best at Rolex is Mensa G, a 1998 gelding ridden by Michael Pollard. For those you who are interested in Thoroughbred pedigrees, Mensa G, raced under the named Merisha G, is the son of Colonial Affair and Fire the Secretary, who is by Stop the Music. He raced 41 times on the track, winning five races and earning $92,000. After outdoing many warmbloods in dressage with a score of 49.5, he was in first place.  He placed 14th overall. A knocked down rail in show jumping cost him a better position.

Pirate---Megan O'Donoghue
 The second highest placing OTTB is the 2002 gelding, Pirate, ridden by Megan O"Donoghue, who placed 17th overall. Pirate's registered name is Pirate's Gold Star, and he raced only ten times. Pirate did exceptionally well in cross country, running the course both fast and clean and earning him the 17th position of all the many horses at Rolex.

Tsunami---Sarah Cousins
 Just behind Pirate is Tsunami, ridden by Sarah Cousins. Tsunami, a 1999 mare, is registered as Tsu Tsu Ro and is the granddaughter of Seattle Slew and Affirmed, both Triple Crown winners. she raced 24 times and earned just over $35,000. At Rolex, she too ran a fast cross country time, ending up 18th overall.

Sir Rockstar---Libby Head
Sir Rockstar, ridden by Libby Head, placed 19th overall. He raced 16 times but didn't do very well as a racehorse. He ran a fast an clean cross country course, and did very well in the show jumping phase. A clean round brought him from 28th place to his final position of 19.
Parker, by Gretchen Pelham credit

Parker---James Alliston
 Parker, ridden by James Alliston, is a 2002 gelding registered as Eastside Park. he raced ten times, earning little money, but he does well at eventing. In fact, he ran the fastest cross country time that day, placing 22nd overall.

Irish Rhythm---Rachel McDonough
 Placing 25th is Irish Rhythm, a 1999 gelding registered as Daniel Alexander. He raced 43 times, earning nearly $26,000 before finally retiring. At Rolex he ran cross country fast and clean, though he didn't do show jumping without any faults.

Ziggy---Rachel Jurgens
 Ziggy, ridden by Rachel Jurgens, is a 1996 gelding who has only raced twice, winning no races and earning no money. He is registered as Ziggy's Berry Boy, and his sire is Ziggy's Boy. His dam, Berry Blush, is the daughter of Foolish Pleasure. Like most of the other OTTBs, he ran cross country fast and clean.

Houdini---Katie Frei
 Houdini, registered as Rocky Times, is a 2004 gelding sired by Hot Rock, a descendent of Native Dancer. He raced only five times, never winning or placing. At Rolex he placed 34th.

*  *  *
 There were a few others entered, but those ones were either eliminated or withdrew halfway through. Among those are Shiraz, a 1998 ridden by Colleen Rutledge; Relentless Pursuit, a 1996 gelding ridden by Dana Widstrand; Madison Park, a 1998 gelding ridden by Kyle Carter; Collection Pass, a 2002 gelding ridden by Kate Chadderton; Here's to You, a 2000 gelding ridden by Emily Beshear; and Expedience, a 1997 mare who was injured during the competition and is ridden by Kaitlin Spurlock.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Lots of Pictures from Saturday's Eventing Show

  I have lots of great pictures from the show Sarah went to Saturday. You can read the write-up here, or look at the pictures I took of Sarah and Bohemian. The following photos are from her dressage class.


 After hanging out for several hours once the dressage was over, I watched Sarah do cross country. The pictures are a bit far away, but you can see them more clearly when you enlarge the photo.

In Bohemian's stall before cross country.
I love this one! Notice the magenta and black cross country colors people voted for  before the show.





Saturday, April 26, 2014

Fun Day at Fresno Horse Park

 Today I spent the most of the day with Sarah from Eventing in Color at the April Horse Trials in the Fresno Horse Park. She was showing not far from where I live, like she had done last year, so I came to watch and hang out with her. This time, I watched two of her classes, dressage and cross country, which was fun. We hung out and talked in between.

 I arrived just in time to watch her dressage class and part of the one before it. I took pictures in both her classes. She and Bohemian looked nice in the dressage ring. At the end, I came over to say hi. It was nice to meet her again! After the class Bohemian had a quick exam from the vet(I'll let her tell the story) and we walked to Bohemian's stall, which was in a newly painted barn nearby the show office. While she untacked, I fed Bohemian treats for being a good boy.

 In between the dressage class and the cross country several hours later, both Sarah and I talked about all kinds of horse things, including eventing and some of the shows and clinics she has been doing lately. I told her a little about the horses I ride in lessons, Reno and Ginger. We also talked about OTTBs, and how they often do well at eventing, particularly cross country. Bohemian loves cross country. Sarah's trainer trains a lot of OTTBs for eventing, and since I want to do eventing I think one of the horse's she trains would be a nice horse to have. I've been saving for a horse and Meghan thinks I'm ready to start looking. Another thing we talked about was the food Bohemian eats since we had been talking about types of hay and I was interest in what he eats in addition to hay.

 When it was almost time for cross country, I helped Sarah get Bohemian ready by brushing out his mane and tail. Sarah tacked him, and we got a picture together before the warmup and ride. By that time her trainer, Laurie, was there, so Sarah mounted and rode to the warmup ring. I followed with Laurie. I watched Sarah's warmup with Laurie, my parents, and another woman Laurie knows. The warmup area, which is not far from the four dressage rings, is huge, so there was plenty of room for people to warmup their horses. Sarah jumped him over a few fences toward the end of the warmup before she was called to the starting box. My parents and I headed to a vantage point where we could see most of the course. I took some
pictures, but I didn't get any close up ones.

 Sarah and Bohemian looked fantastic! They finished the course in good time. It was fun to watch, and Bohemian really seemed to love his job. I went over to tell Sarah that she had looked great, then went back to the Bohemian's stall with her. She untacked and brushed him, and I gave him lots of treats because he had done so well. She then took him to a nearby pad to hose him off. I got a few pictures of Bohemian when he was being washed, and even got a couple nice faceshots. He had his ears forward in one! After placing a cooler on Hemie, Sarah let me lead her horse back to his stall. She gave him a flake of hay to eat after I put him in his stall.

 My parents and I talked to Laurie a bit before we left. I am almost done with a book I've been writing that I hope to sell to earn money for a horse, in addition to doing some work with my friends. Laurie is very supportive of me and likes that I am ready to work hard for a horse. Both she and Sarah thinks it cool that I want to do eventing. Maybe someday we'll compete at the same, except in different levels. That'd be very cool. Not long after that, I wished Sarah luck for tomorrow and went home. Before leaving my parents and I stopped by one of the tack vendors to take a look at some some very fancy saddles, just for fun. Then we went home. I have lot's of pics from today and will upload some once I get them off the camera.

 The book I'm writing is nearly through the editing phase. Then I'll get a proof, have the foreword written, and it will be ready to be published! My goal is to have it out at the beginning of summer, or hopefully even sooner. It is about Triple Crown winners, suiting because I want an OTTB, though that is not the most important thing. Some of the money will go to my horse fund and some will go LOPE, a racehorse adoption center I've been following that is located in Texas. I let you know when it comes out.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Horse Rescue Work

 I didn't do much work at the rescue today. When I got to there, all the horses were out in pasture rather than in their stalls, so Patricia and I immediately began mucking stalls. They weren't very dirty, probably because the horses had likely been turned out for several days. It didn't take long to clean all of them up. Once finished, we went to the pasture to get on the horses. Ricko was in a small pen near the gait, so Patricia haltered him and brought him to the round pen. She worked with him a bit, then handed him to me to hand graze him near the small arena. Ricko doesn't like grazing out in the pasture with the other horses. Later on, Patricia brought an older, Teddy, out to hand graze him as well. After a while, we left since all the other horses were somewhere out in the pasture.

 We went to Patricia's house after that to work with her horses, Tank and Tessa. Tank is a stocky bay mustang with a large white star on his face, and Tessa is a much small horse with an blanket marking on her rump. We saddled them(I used the Australian saddle) and rode them in the round pen for a bit at the walk and trot. Later, we exited the round pen and rode them in the yard, going around several times and traveling up and down slopes. Tessa is not used to going downhill, so we focused a lot on hills. Next, we returned to the round pen, circled several more times, and put the horses away.

 This Saturday I'll be going to the Fresno Horse Park to watch sarah from Eventing in Color ride. I had met her at a show last year, so it will cool to see her again and watch her ride. I'll make sure to take pictures. Oh, and check out Hillary's contest.

Stories from off the Track: Briana and River

 For the next addition of my Stories from off the Track series, I will be featuring Brianna and River, from Equestrian Diaries. If you don't know them, go check out their blog! 

About River:
River (Jockey Club name Choptank) is an almost 9-year-old Thoroughbred who originally came off the Pimlico track in Maryland (I believe). Before that, he raced about 16 times; he only won once, but he was regularly placing in the second-third range. After coming off the track, he spent between a year and two years bouncing around to three different owners before I found him. I've been able to get in touch with two of those owners, but I haven't been able to contact the lady who originally got him off the track, so I don't know what led to his retirement in the first place. One fun thing is that even though he went to so many owners, I still have his registration papers, so I know his "real" birthday and even have documentation of his one and only win! 

How We Met:
Ok, this is going to be a bit long--first horse, you know... ;) I started looking for a horse after quitting a volunteer job riding off-track Arabians because the owner's standards and mine just didn't mesh. I'd already fallen in love with my coach's Thoroughbred mare, so I really wanted a Thoroughbred (though I was looking at other horses), and an off-track one appealed to me because I'd just finished riding the off-track Arabs. I went to look at several horses before I expanded my search distance and found an OTTB filly I liked. I called about her, but the lady who was selling her (A Pinch of Luck, <http://www.apinchofluck.com/> ) told me about a gelding she also had for sale, named Chops, that she thought I would like better. She e-mailed me pictures and a video of both horses, and I looked at Chops' (River's!) head shot and promptly fell in love and forgot all about the filly. My coach agreed that he sounded and looked like a better match, and I made the trip down to ride both horses, first just with my dad and then again with my coach. I didn't have any epiphany, but when I got off River, even though he was a slightly neurotic, very inward-focused, head-bobbing and weaving goose, I just felt right. I pretty much decided then that unless the vet check said he'd be unrideable in six months, I'd take him home. Needless to say, he passed and I brought him home! He is my first horse, my "boyfriend," and I adore him. :) 

 Our first challenge was his feet. When I bought him, even in shoes he was dealing with heel bruising and overall tenderness. When I brought him home he promptly pulled both shoes in turnout. He was a bit sore after that, but got really sore after I had someone out to trim him. It took several months (and several different trimmers) before his feet toughened up enough to go barefoot. Now he has fantastic feet though and happily goes barefoot without any problems! 

 Our second challenge, though it might seem odd, is his "try." He tries so hard to do what you ask that gets very nervous, anxious, and "shut down" if you push him too hard or don't make things clear to him. He needs me to "hold his hand" and walk him through everything, but he's also got a strong independent streak that gets rather offended and/or just shuts down if you boss him. (Don't tell, but I really think he's me in horse form!) It's still hard for me to know just how much to push him and when to back off and let him think. Also, his weight and overall muscle/body condition are always a challenge, but that's just him. ;)

What We Plan To Do:
 Rock the world with our awesomeness. ;) Okay, more realistically, jump a little bit, learn dressage, and play on the trails. Right now we're doing a lot of walking and trotting, building condition and teaching him how to carry himself. He wasn't ridden much at all in between coming off the track and when I bought him, so he still has a lot of racehorse habits that need to be un-learned!

Do you have an ex-racehorse and want him/her to be featured? Please email me at paola.pedranti@gmail.com.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Things I Want in a Horse

 Since I know that someday, even if it isn't soon, I'll be looking for a horse, I decided to make a list of things I want in horse. I think it's important to think about what you want in a horse to help you find the right one. Not only does it narrow down the list of possible horses, it keeps you from buying the wrong horse, one that is lacking in a non-negotiable trait. I of course have no experience horse shopping, so it's just me opinion. Without further ado, my list.

Non-negotiable Traits
 There are certain traits that I definitely want in my first horse, ones that I won't sacrifice. I'll divide these traits into categories, such as temperament and training level.

  •  Fairly calm temperament, probably around 4 or 5 on a on a scale of 1 to 10. 
  •  Kind, sweet personality. 
  • One I can bond with and have good partnership.
  • Forgiving
Don't want
  • A high-spirited horse
  • Spooks at everything
  • Doesn't like people
  • Is mean to other horse or people
Physical Traits
  • Honest gaits
  • Built so he can jump
Don't want:
  • Conformational flaws that inhibit his performance
  • Old injuries that inhibit performance, such as make him only suitable for flatwork.
  • Health problems
  • A good training foundation
  • Leads well
Don't want
  • Major training issues
 I would prefer a Thoroughbred, but breed is not as important as the other traits.

 When I actually do look for a horse, I will ask my trainers opinion too, of course. What traits do you like to look for when shopping for a horse?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Great Lesson

 I had a great lesson today. When I arrived, there were lots of trailers by the arena furthest from the barn because some western riders were practicing for rodeo events there. Ginger hadn't liked the commotion and was a little on on edge, so I rode Reno today instead. Reno had already had several lessons before mine because of this, so he was a little tired.

 He was in one of the small pastures behind the barn when I went to get him. I groomed him, picked his hooves, and tacked him, then head to the arena. After mounting I did walk-halt transitions around the outer edge of the arena, tracking left. Toward the end of the second time around, he began reaching his head down. It took a moment for me to realize that he was trying to eat the grass on the other side of the fence. I kept walking him so he wouldn't snag a bite.

 When I was done with me warm-up, Meghan told me to stay in the dressage court, which was portioned off from the other arena with several ground poles. Nearby each corner were orange cones to help me make a good turn through the corner. I began trotting and did several serpentines at the trot. Then I rode along the edges of the court while Meghan told me about Intro Test C(it's been a while since I have done it).

 Once I reached A, I began my test, saluting at X and continuing on to C, where I began tracking right. I made a circle at B, and then another one at A before heading across the diagonal of the arena to change directions. I made a circle at E, and then another one at A, slowing to the walk when I reached P. I then free walked from B to H, turning right toward C. I gathered me reins and trotted along the long side of the arena, turning down centerline and halting at G, between H and M. I patted Reno, then headed right to and walked to give both of us a short break.

 Next, I did the test with the canter parts included on half of the circle at A. Reno didn't canter right away when I asked, probably because he was tired from his other lessons earlier today. Other than that practicing the test seemed to go well, though I did make a small mistake of heading into the corner when doing one of the circles at A. After that I cooled Reno down, dismounted, and brought him back to the barn to untack and groom him.

I have excellent news! When Meghan was talking to my parents and I, she said that she would be on the look-out for a horse for me. She won't be searching for one, but if she comes across a good one for me she'll let us know. I'm really excited about this, even though I probably won't be getting one very soon. It's great to have a trainer to help you find a horse.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Working at the Rescue and Trying an Australian Saddle

 Today I went to the horse rescue to help out, something I've been doing weekly now. A seven-year-old boy I know named James also went because he takes lessons with Patricia, who works with the horses several times a week. After opening Patricia's trailer and unloading two horses, a bay mustang named Tank and a red roan with a blanket marking on her rump, Tessa, Patricia and I went into the pasture to get one of the horses for James to ride. We brought a bucket of grain and called the horses. I haltered one a dark bay Arabian named Chip and led him to the barn. Chip was throwing his head up in the air as I led him an started screaming when we got to far from the herd, so James didn't ride him. Instead, he rode Tank.

 He didn't ride very long so Patricia let another young boy ride Tank in the round pen and mucked a couple stalls while I watched the boy. Afterward, she tacked up Tessa and put an Australian saddle on Tank. An Australian saddle looks like a cross between a dressage saddle and a western saddle, with a horn, western stirrups, and a higher cantle than a typical dressage saddle. Patricia let me ride Tank in a small arena while she rode Tessa. Tessa is a rescue who has mostly been ponied(led my someone on another horse), so Patricia wanted the horse to follow Tank and I to gain confidence. Tank seems to be a kind, easygoing horse, just like Reno.

 We worked mostly at the walk, but did a little trotting as well. After about twenty minutes or so, we dismounted and Patricia began working with Serene. While she did that, I moved Ricko to another stall so I could muck his, then put him back. Patricia worked with putting a halter on and off Serene, then worked with picking up the young horse's hooves. When she was done, she returned the young horse to her stall.

 By that time it was late in the afternoon, so both of us put everything back and went home. It was fun being able to work around the rescue and I liked being able to ride. It was interesting riding in an Australian saddle, too. It was a good day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Review: Jane Savoie's Dressage 101

 I just finished a great book on dressage, called Jane Savoie's Dressage 101, by Jane Savoie. It was originally published as two editions, but a couple years ago the two books were published into one. It has a lot of information in it that can help jumpers, eventers, and other riders ind addition to dressage riders.

 The book begins by explaining what the purpose of dressage is and how it can benefit your horse. It also talks longeing and the importance of a good seat before teaching two fundamentals of dressage---forward and straight. Next, it covers several other important things: paces, gaits, and rhythm. It teaches how to evaluate the walk, trot, and canter, and also explains the different types of each gait(collected, working, medium, extended). Then it explains contact before teaching about basic flatwork and lateral movement. The book has loads more information in it and is definitely worth checking out. It is organized in several stages broken down into chapters so you can work on thing and later progress to the next one.

Would I Recommend It? 
 I would recommend this book to anyone, even if she doesn't plan on competing in dressage. Dressage 101 contains information on making your horse more in harmony with, and collection, for example, can be helpful for jumpers as well because it gives them more power as they take off. I learned a lot reading it. The author has a clear and interesting way of writing, too. It is a book well worth reading!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Riding Pictures 4/12/14

My leg is kind of bad in this picture...

Circling the standards near the corner across from the gate.

Riding a figure eight and heading toward the standards near the gate.

I like this picture.

Reno and I before his bath

Hosing him off with a shower spray

Having a nice roll.

After his roll.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Nice Day for a Ride

 The weather was warm today, with very few clouds in the sky. It was excellent riding weather. I wore my new smoke-blue TuffRider breeches today, which I had gotten for my birthday earlier, and rode Reno because Ginger had just had lesson with a girl named Olivia. Reno was having his turnout time in a pasture behind the barn. When I went to get him, I couldn't find his halter, so Meghan told me to use one of the other horse's halter. I led him around the barn and inside, tying him in the cross-ties before getting him ready. While I was picking his hooves, Meghan painted them with black hoof dressing. I then put his boots on, saddled him, put his bridle on, and led him to the arena. Before mounting, I tightened his girth a bit more.

 I warmed Reno up by doing walk-halt transitions and riding around the arena twice. When I was toward the end of the second lap, Meghan told me to ride toward the corner across from the gate, where a set of jump standards with a couple of trot poles between then stood. I circled it at a walking tracking right first. Then I began trotting around it. Reno wanted to go fast today and began trotting too fast, sometimes even breaking into the canter. Because of this I rode him a small circles and gradually made them wider. After doing this for a bit, I slowed to the walk and changed directions. I once more began trotting.

 After that, I once more changed directions and started a new exercise. I began trotting a figure eight, doing the first part around the standards I was already riding around, and riding the second around another set of standards, which were by the gate. I did this so I could get better at changing my posting diagonal. After a while, I started a new figure eight, riding to the right around the original set of standards before going around two adjacent sets that were near the middle of the arena.

 Finally, I began that last exercise. I started by turning left and circling the original set of standards. Then, I rode around to ones near the gate, and finally heading back to the starting point. Next, I began trotting around the set of standards I had started at. I did several steps of canter in each direction then cooled Reno down.

 I rode him out of the arena to the end of the barn closest to the trail(right side if you look at it from the parking lot), then dismounted. He was very sweaty at the end of the ride, and hot, so Meghan told me to hose him down after grooming him if I had time. After leading him into the barn and tying him in the cross-ties, I untacked him, groomed him, and picked him hooves. Then I led him onto the concrete wash area and tied him to the bar. I turned on the hose and let it run for a bit until it was cool. Then I began spraying his legs, slowly working my way up his body as he got used to the water. Once he was cool and I had sprayed his entire body, I untied and returned him to the pasture. As soon as I left the pasture, he began to roll and got himself very dusty. He looked liked he had fun rolling! At least I had bathed him to cool him down, not clean him.

 It was a fun ride. My leg was better than last time, which is good.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Horse Rescue

  Earlier today I went to help out at the horse rescue for a few hours. Before going there, I went with Patricia, who helps out often, to pick up a few salt licks for the horses in the stalls. Then we went to rescue and began working. We began by turning out Ricko and the small dark bay mare. Then brought Dante to the round pen, cleaned his stall, and I began working with him. He had dried mud caked over some parts of his body, so I curried him before brushing him off, then free longed him for a few minutes.

 Next, Patricia moved Serene to Dante's stall and we began mucking Serene's stall. Afterward, it was time to work with Serene. Because Dante was in the round pen and Serene was in Dante's stall, we had to play musical stalls for a bit, moving Serene into her own stall, then moving Dante into his stall. We finally brought Serene to the round pen where Patricia worked with her a bit. She took Serene's halter off and replaced it with another to get her used to being halter, then longed her on the longe line in both directions. We then left her to let her absorb what she had done.

 Patricia moved Ardonis, a very light palomino, to the neighboring stall so we could muck his. When we were done with that, Patricia worked with Serene a bit more, leading her over a tarp. She then picked Serene's front hooves. Serene struggled a bit before Patricia could lift each front foot. Next, she returned Serene to her stall. She brought Ardonis to his stall as well.

 Finally, we returned the two horses we had turned out back to their stalls. Before leaving, we shoveled shavings into a muddy part of Dante's stall, mixed it into the mud to absorb the moisture, then scooped it up. After that, I went home.

Teaser: I have a secret that you will see after Saturday's lesson, when I post the pictures. I'll keep you suspense until then.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

California Chrome and Kentucky Derby 2014

 This year's Kentucky Derby is fast approaching, and will occur on May 3, the first Saturday in May. As the date draws near, racing fans begin to wonder whether this will be the year we will have the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. With the recent Santa Anita Derby, a favorite had already been picked for the Derby: California Chrome.

 California Chrome is a chestnut colt sired by the 2001 Lucky Pulpit, a sprinter that won in mostly short races. His 2006 dam, Love the Chase, has names like Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector in her pedigree, and other horses that suggest she may have passed stamina onto her son. For those of you who are interested, here is his pedigree.
California Chrome credit

 California Chrome has only raced ten times, but placed first in six of those races. He broke his maiden in only his second race before running a few stakes races. In the William L. Proctor Memorial Stakes, he placed fifth. He next won the Graduation Stakes at Del Mar, placing sixth in his next two races, and ending his season with a victory at the King Glorious Stakes. This year, he has won all three of his races: the California Cup Derby, the San Felipe Stakes, and most recently, the Santa Anita Derby.

The second betting favorite is Vicar's in Trouble, whose sire is the 2005 Into Mischief, a stallion who did well as a two-year-old but was injured as a three-year-old. Nevertheless, he is becoming a successful sire. Vibrant is his 2002 dam. She raced a few times, winning a short sprints. His pedigree also includes stop the Music, Affirmed, Bold Ruler, Mr. Prospector, and Secretariat.

 Vicar's in Trouble has raced five times, winning three of then and placing third in the other two. He too broke his maiden on his second race, going on to win the LeComte Stakes in his first race this year. He came third in the Risen Star Stakes, but won his most recent race, the Louisiana Derby.

 Other Kentucky Derby prospects include Wicked Strong, Samraat, Constitution, Hoppertunity, Intense Holiday, Wild Cat Red, We Miss Artie, Chitu, Midnight Hawk, Ring Weekend, and more. I'm excited to see how this year's Derby turns out.

 Also, in other news, I got a dressage book for my birthday today, so once I am done with it, I will review it on my blog.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My Day at the Rescue

I once again volunteered at the rescue. When I arrived there, I helped a regular volunteer, Patricia, muck stalls. We started with a palomino named Ardonis, leading him to the round pen before doing his stall, which was flooded from the recent rain. After mucking in, we covered some of the mud with dirt, then returned Ardonis to his stall.

 We did the other four horse's stall's one by one, taking its occupant out and doing some work with him or her before doing the stall and returning the horse. Patricia is now able to brush Serene, the bay youngster. She did that while in the round pen, and also lunged Serene and tried putting a halter on the horse to get her used to having one put on.

 After that, we worked with Dante, a bay Arabian. I lunged him off the lungeline and groomed him in the round pen before we took him to a small arena to lunge him in figure eights around two barrels. Patricia taught me how to do it, then I tried.

 Next, we worked with Ricko, the large bay horse that looks like he could be a dressage horse. I lunged him and brushed him before Patricia tacked him up. He was likely kicked and treated roughly in the past, so he was anxious when being mounted. He pulled away several times before she successfully mounted. She had me come over and lead Ricko, who was tense the whole time. After a few minutes, she dismounted.

 Finally, we worked with the last horse, a small bay mare who had shed out most of her hair. She had recently injured her left front fetlock, so I only lunged her lightly and brushed her before putting her away.

 After that, I went home. I'm likely going to be able to come once a week to help, which is cool. I really enjoy helping out, and I am grateful the Patricia can teach me horsemanship while I am there and give m,e more experience working with horses.