The story so far, part 2: Summer training

I arranged to board Rhona at a stable near my house where I could visit her almost every day. The move was without incident– she loaded and hauled wth no problems.

 The first several days at “home” she was jumpy and nervous, as one would expect from a horse who’d spent her life alone in a stall. We kept her in the round pen during the day, where she could see the other horses, and in the evenings I took her on short walks. 

I learned very quickly to watch her feet! She obviously hadn’t been led much, and she didn’t know where to put her feet. After the second time she stepped on me, I bought steel-toed boots.

Within a week or so, she learned to keep her distance, and I started training her to lunge. That’s when I realized how smart she was! She picked up basic lunging in less than five minutes. Within a couple of days she was changing directions on command, and after a week I no longer needed a lunge line. She seemed to WANT to learn new things, and I was convinced I’d be riding her by the end of summer.  

Unfortunately, July and 100+ degree heat came, and it was obvious that she wasn’t handling it well. I should have expected that– she’d lived her whole life in Canada, and this was her first Texas summer. She became very listless, went off her feed, and one night she colicked due to dehydration. I started to worry that she wouldn’t make it through the summer…

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