|" The Unsuspecting Victims "|
We were treated to a few gorgeous fall days recently and took full advantage of them by saddling up. I might mention that the horses took advantage, too. Apparently they’ve decided they are now a wild horse band living in the badlands of the back pasture. For the past two nights, they took a group vote and made the decision there was no need to come in. Also voting as a group that they didn’t need no stinking grain or supplements; they are rough tough creampuffs living the undomesticated life.
Unfortunately for them, if they thought they were getting out of work, that scenario didn’t play out quite like they thought it might. It’s not easy to outsmart two humans intent on enjoying the day with a ride or two. Try as they might, it’s awfully hard to hide in a field when you’re fenced in. Although, Blue did his best to mosey away nonchalantly and distance himself from the grazing herd, but his paint spots gave him away.
Being the big game hunters we are, we loaded the tack into the back of the Kubota and tracked them down. Once we parked in the middle of the riding ring it wasn’t long before the nosiest members couldn’t control their curiosity and came in to check out the orange treat dispenser (the equivalent of an ice cream truck for little kids). Of course, Donnie was the first one through the gate, which led to the indignity of being free - longed. Then Nate and Dusty were tacked and ridden in the arena with most of their fan club hanging over the fence looking on and nickering to them for support.
Nate is just coming back into work, so he didn’t do much but walk and, not being able to control himself he did pick up a nice easy canter once in a while. Dusty was as good as gold; I’ve never ridden her when she listened to every aid and kept an even pace the whole time. I’m thinking staying out all night with the boys must have taken the edge off her normally enthusiastic energy level. Next up to the mounting block was Grady, who my daughter worked with; he is coming along in his re-training very nicely. And I rode Blue. Blue’s a good boy but one of the laziest horses I’ve ever known. He’s always the one to ride last because he has a tendency for killing your lower back and legs just trying to get him to move and keep him going. In all fairness to him though, he’s been out of work for over a month. He had a muscle biopsy taken and evaluated and was diagnosed with moderate pssm; he also has chronic Lyme (that comes and goes) and not the best hocks. Since this was his first day back working we mostly walked with a little trot in each direction.
The next day they were foolish enough to come up to the catch pen demanding breakfast, they promptly got locked in and taken out one by one as needed for their daily prescription of exercise/training.
Dusty was once again a little superstar. We worked on her left bending/crookedness. Circles, figure eights and serpentines at the walk and trot in patterns over cavelletti on the ground kept her focused and from getting too bored with doing the same thing repeatedly. We’ll continue to work on her suppleness in the months ahead. It’s small steps but in the end it will be worth the time it took to do it right.
Last night they were all up crowding the gates to come in by four o’clock. Rumor has it that grazing under the stars and sleeping on the hard cold ground has lost its appeal when there are warm cozy, comfy stalls waiting in the barn for them.
Until next time
Quote for Today
The wind which flows between a horse's ears is the air of heaven.
- Rolf Kopfle
- Rolf Kopfle