Smitty's ApHC papers came in the mail over the weekend, and he is now on the books (in the computer, I guess I should say) as Dakota Smith. I've had that name saved for a horse for quite a while, and Smitty is a good one to have it (with Dakota Smiths, my brother and sister-in-law, as his breeders and all).
We had a spectacular sunny Sunday, perfect for some literal "in the field" training sessions. Smitty and I used part of the yard and garden for some in-hand obstacle practice, and then we went for a very productive "obedience walk" out on the unfenced back side of the ranch. (This is where you really find out if that "whoa" you've been worked on is, indeed, in place.)
After a little hand-grazing time, we moved on to some practice at trailer-loading. Smitty has this down pat--in fact, he's as eager to get in the trailer as the dogs are to get in the truck. We went in and out several times and each time, he hopped in as eagerly as old-pro Tank used to do.
Maybe I should have named him Road Pony!
Data note: Smitty is 7 months old today. He is 13.1 hands tall, 650 lbs., and about to grow out of a size 64 blanket. In the 2 months he's been here, he's grown an inch and added almost 100 lbs.
He went up a halter size, from weanling to yearling. He's met the vet, for shots, and the farrier, hoofstand and all. He ties, and he stands nicely to be clipped.
His next big lesson will consist of learning to pony alongside another horse.
Here is yet another time when I think of and miss good old Tank. He was just the best for ponying babies, and for helping to bring them up in general.