Yes, what's next? Well, our neighbors were kind enough to lend us a roundpen, which we set up in the arena. I am so grateful because this is going to make my life a lot easier and safer.
And I guess the answer to the above is that I'm going to continue training Sage until she gets really pregnant. It's hard not knowing what month she was bred, but at the same time, our training schedule is not what you would call rigorous. So, I'm going to keep riding her. This will be (at most) once a week, and (at most) just walk-trot. We're also going to keep working on trailering, just in case we need to take her or the foal to the vet, and I've been having lots of people come meet her and pet her belly. She's been very good.
Today I got to use the roundpen for the first time, which was pretty exciting. I tended to shy away from roundpens because my image was always of some trainer running a horse into the ground--but I can fully appreciate the utility of one. I still say that a lot of people use them wrong, but I have been trying to teach her to move away and have free forward motion while listening to me, which is pretty much impossible on a lunge line or in a large arena.
In the pen today, I tried using just the lunge whip at first, but I couldn't get her to trot. She is lazy and not afraid of anything! She'll move off at a walk and listen, but she won't go any faster. Finally I tied a feed bag on the end of the whip and we got the message across. Not that she's afraid of the feed bag, either...actually, she tried to take it on with a snort...but the crinkling does get her a little more excited. After a few minutes of trotting, whoa, and turning around on cue, she knew what I wanted and I was able to just use the lunge whip. It's so exciting to see her trotting. She rarely moves quickly, and when she does it's just galloping across the pasture. I can't wait to get on her back again! Unfortunately, school likes to have other ideas...like midterms! So I hope the next ride is going to be Wednesday or Friday, but it's hard to say right now.
Sage also got her feet done tonight. As usual she's a bit nervous with my farrier, but he likes to scratch their bellies and udders and none of my horses really like that. He just laughs about it, and it IS really good for her. She was obviously a little bit annoyed, but you could tell she was trying not to enjoy it. And she never offered to do anything bad. He even wiggled her belly up and down to get the foal to move, which it definitely did. It's certainly an active little bugger. There's a mustang in there, that's for sure!!