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Monday, April 26, 2010

Big Sister Gramarye?

I had been looking forward to this past weekend for quite some time for two reasons: 1. the arrival of Zion on Saturday morning 2. a night out with Paige, Jen, Orrie, Mandy and Andi AKA Dressage Queen in the city!

First Zion... Zion is like an annoying little brother in every way. He is cute, so he gets attention. He gets away with things because he is cute, and has a face that is hard to get mad at plus he runs to mommy every time he get scared. When he was growing up I felt bad for poor Gram. Zion would bite at her, annoy her while eating, always wanting to play. When she would tell him enough, Olivia would come in to the rescue and protect Zion from his well deserved butt kick by Gram. So Gram really didn't like him all that much. Now Zion has entered the next phase of his life, he is learning to be a real dressage horse for a couple of months. Saturday marked the 4 time he had ever left the place he was born (AKA Momma and Papa Leon's house!) The first time was when he was weaned, but that was walking distance so it really doesn't count. The second time was to be broke (4 months). The third time was to get broke again (4 months), since he was immature and got held back from kindergarten. Now this 4th time, first time in a trailer for that long. He had some issues remembering how to get on the trailer, but Pat Ford, the young horse trainer extraordinaire was patient and got him on after about 45 minutes. So now we fast forward three and a half hours to his arrival at Legacy USA. He got off the trailer, started walking to the barn... SCARY, he stopped and it took come coaxing to get him into the barn, then it took some coaxing to get him into the stall- those darn stable monsters waiting to attack him. We left him in the stall to figure things out for a bit, drink some water and just settle. After a little bit, we went on a walk, first in the indoor... again scary stable monsters were sure to attack, thankfully they didn't :). Zion is funny. When he is afraid, he stops. That is it, just stops; No bolting, no jumping, he just Freezes. After the indoor was not really an issue, then we went for a walk outside and he was completely fine. So back to the stall to eat.

Saturday night was DQ night. We had a blast, talked about horses, people we all knew. Andi saw her first transvestite, Orrie was getting hit on a lot, we got rained on, but were still able to bar hop in Wrigleyville.

Sunday was the day of truth. I was a little tired from that festivities of DQ night, but had to make it out to the barn to ride both horses. I went with every intention of riding Gram first, however when I got to the barn I discovered that Zion was left in his stall, because he refused to let anyone put his halter on, so he pulled the annoying little brother move this time with people. Everyone else cooperated and were outside. Little boy was left screaming in his stall all alone with the scary stable monsters. So I went straight to his stall, got him and took him up to an empty paddock which was right next to Gram. I was a little worried at first, because she didn't like him. When I walked him passed her stall the day before she opened her mouth and lunged forward at him. But little baby Zion was freaked out and big siter Gram came to the rescue. It was almost as if, she leaned over the fence and said, "Don't worry, you will be just fine. I know it is scary but I am here for you little guy." Zion walked up to her smacking his lips saying "I Scared, I scared!" She then rested her head on his whithers, and he calmed down. Then is started to rain, so everyone was being brought back to the stalls. So he got out for a grand total of 10 minutes. I thought I had better just saddle him up and roll the dice...

I took him into the baby cross-ties, then ones in a stall, so if he got crazy I could always just close the door and let him figure everything out. Thankfully after a few times of SCREAMing in my ears, I was able to connect the cross ties and walk away. First just a few steps, then all the way to the tack room, then into the tack room and out of sight. He was fine- he actually handled it like a champ. I told myself, I would just lunge him and let him check the arena out while I wasn't on his back. The lunging was uneventful, including when it starting really raining, and the doors needed to be closed. No reaction from him (which made my jaw drop!) So then I decided to just hop on to walk him out.... again nothing. So I thought, lets try some trot... nothing. Ok let's try canter... nothing. Then we walked out and called it a day. I was shocked at how much he has grown up. Of course there was screaming at first. But by the end of our 45 minutes in the arena, no more screaming, relaxed and calm like he had been into the barn before. I was impressed. Now I am excited to go back. Gram got an easy day. She was so good to him, I thought she deserved a little gallop and then just about 5 minutes of actual work.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to take any pictures because Donnie was in Vegas... I should be able to get some later this week!

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