Sunday, February 23, 2014

New Fellow

This week we got a new fellow, Rolo, he's an 11 year old Kentucky Mountain horse. I saw his ad and was instantly excited about him. I just love our gaited horses - Riddler & Spice have been our best lesson horses, and Shawna is half mountain horse and is amazing too. I always keep my eye out for this lovely breed.

I went to see him on the weekend, we went for a trail ride down the road and onto some snowmobile trails. He was a real trooper, very calm and very easy. There were even some snowmobiles that weren't very considerate so they went zooming past faster than they should have and he was still a calm and easy guy - I think I jumped more than him!

He's a bit smaller than I wanted, only about 14.2H but with such a fantastic temperament I know he'll be a great addition to PHH and will work well in our summer camp. I brought him home and this weekend we took him out for a trail.

What's interesting is he was hard to catch, it took me about 5-10min to catch him. It's something I always take for granted that our horses literally all walk over to you in the paddock and some will actually try to take the halter from you! Our horses love to come play and love to be 'caught'. When we get a new horse and they are hard to catch, it makes me remember that this isn't the case for everyone.

The first thing I did when I finally did catch him and bring him out was give him some dinner - we always have to remember that something has to be in it for the horse, or why would they want to be caught? The answer is usually food.... it takes a while to develop a partnership where the horse wants to come see you because they find you interesting and enjoy playing - until you have that it's easiest to include some food, rest breaks, and/or good scratches to help give your horse something they enjoy.

He was fantastic on the trail, just easy on a loose rein. We did some nice canters and he was so great. He did a mix of trotting and gaiting depending on what I was asking for. He's a pretty easy ride. Allure was acting a bit frisky so I swapped horses part way through with Danica and she got to enjoy him and found him wonderful.... despite riding in my long stirrups.

I'm sure once he realizes that we're committed to trying to be fair, kind, and giving him some rewards that he'll become easy to catch too. It will be fun to see the transition over the next couple weeks.

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