Sunday, September 16, 2012

An Interesting Weekend

Nate Longeing (April)
The weather has been just gorgeous with cooler temperatures.  I even think there are less annoying insects as a bonus.  My daughter and I had an interesting weekend riding and working with our horses:

Nate:  First candidate for a ride on Saturday was Nate.  He’s my daughter’s 17.3hh Dutch Warmblood and I consider him a little in the special category.  Once he was tacked and entered the indoor, any common sense he has pretty much flew out the window, along with his brain.  With his head up in the air, he immediately began rearing and jumping around, looking out the windows and doors.  Needless to say, he was very nervous about being in there.

He shouldn’t be.  Nate has been to numerous shows in his career and a lot of indoors.  He’s also from Holland and has ridden in airplanes on several occasions.  This horse has traveled all over Europe on trailers, planes, been ferried across the English Channel and been in more countries than I have.  Nate also spent a lot of time hacking around the Scottish countryside with my daughter.  He even used to be safe to ride out alone on trails and roads in traffic.  Yet now he’s terrified of the indoor.

She wisely decided not to ride him right away, but to let him loose to explore the indoor at his own discretion.  After some running, bucking and rearing, he decided it was okay to trot around for a while.  I was standing outside the double doors to the arena and each time he would trot towards the opening I would hold up my arms and he’d turn.  We have a longe line strung across the opening; it’s about 3’6” high.  During one of his passes, he was heading straight for me and by the look in his eye and his body language I knew he wasn’t going to stop this time.  Exit stage left,  I dove out of the way and Nate took the jump out over the longe line--magnificently, I might add.  Neck arched, legs snapped up to his chest, back rounded beautifully, his form was perfect, especially considering it's been a while since his last official jump.  He landed in the stones outside about ten feet out.  It could have been an oxer and he definitely would have cleared it.  I only wish I had a camera to record it.  Then he proceeded to canter right up the steep bank on the other side and then up the driveway, coming to stop at Dusty’s paddock to visit with her.

They stood nose-to-nose while he told her how scary it was in there and how brave he was to get out while he could.  She soothed his nerves until my daughter caught him and replaced his bridle with a halter.  Needless to say, he went back into the indoor for some easy longe work.  By the end of the session he had calmed down and was working very nicely.

I should probably mention that since Nate has respiratory issues, allergies and asthma he hasn’t really worked all summer, as the humidity makes it hard for him to breathe.  He's also been dealing from some other health issues, so has been basically retired the last few years, but seems to be doing much better lately, so we were hoping to try to get him back into some light work now that the change of weather is coming.  But it was also a bit chilly and windy Saturday morning to add to the fracas.

On Sunday, discretion was the better part of valor and he was simply longed and was much calmer.  So he’ll be longed instead of ridden for a while until he gets the used to the idea that he’s back in work and the indoor isn’t the horse eating monster he thinks it is.  And truthfully, he didn’t do himself any favors by jumping out of the arena--it just showed us that he’s still got it!

I’ll get to the rest of the horses and this past weekend in the next few post.

Until next time


Quote for Today
Been There... Jumped That!

22 comments:

  1. nate certainly is 'special' :-) and as far as i'm concerned, he's just proven he's feeling well enough to go back to work!

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  2. Nate is a character alright. I love his sense of humor and he looked absolutely perfect jumping out of the arena. I know this because I had an up close and personal view of the whole exhibition!

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  3. I think when horses have been off work for a long time, they revert to their "wild" inner selves, no matter how much previous experience they have. Sounds like Nate was having a wonderful time showing off what he can do!

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    1. I'd like to believe he was just showing off but he was really very nervous. Jumping out was his way of escaping a scary situation. Seems when he gets scared he either rears,bucks or takes off.

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  4. I wish you did have a camera. That must have been exhilarating!

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    1. I'm glad to report that my reflexes and reading body language is still decent enough that I got out of the way!

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  5. Bless Nate's heart... he is a stunning horse btw, despite his "speciality". I look forward to reading about his return to the working world!

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  6. Thanks for the compliment, we think he's stunning too. He also has a great sense of humor and has been know to give wedgies and just be a clown in general. All the horses get along with him and let him eat from their feed tubs. Just a bite here and there as he makes the rounds. He's also Dusty's best friend, she follows him around like a love sick puppy.

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  7. My gosh! He seems like quite a character, I can't wait to hear more about him. His travels alone are very impressive. I'm am glad you had your wits about you enough to step aside when he decided to flee. I bet that was quite a sight. I look forward to reading about his adventures that lay ahead. He's very beautiful.

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    1. I'm really hoping he doesn't have too many more adventures like that. Last weekend my daughter rode him in the indoor and he was nervous and turned into a bucking rearing seesaw. I truly don't know how she stays on him when he's behaving like that.

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  8. Well, that was certainly an adventure.

    Your reflexes are great. The common phrase my friends and I used to echo whenever a horse started to get out of control was, "Save yourself!" Sounds as if you are a master of following that credo.

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    1. "Save yourself!" is a credo to certainly live by when a horse is bearing down on you!

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  9. Never a dull moment with a world-wise horse who can jump the moon. Good thing Dusty was around to soothe Nate's frazzled nerves. I seem to recall another horse doing something similar (jumping out of the indoor) but not sure it was Nate.
    You certainly seem to be one fit woman to have jumped out of the way in time. Nothing like body language to speak faster than words!

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    1. d.j.,

      Not sure how fit I am but I can still get out of my own way I guess. And you're right it was Nate who jumped out of the indoor last year. He's also jumped out of the riding arena in the back field while being lunged. That's his escape mechanism...jump out or rear when he gets scared.

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  10. What a big and gorgeous boy. I look forward to learning more about him...lots of pictures please. Yes, this change in the weather is so fine!

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    1. We're loving the cooler temps too. Nate's a handsome guy, I'll have to start taking some pictures of him too.

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  11. Wow - that jump sounds both stunning and scary all at the same time! I wonder if he would be calmer if you rode Dusty in the indoor with him for a few times. Look forward to more Nate photos. :)

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  12. billie,

    Thanks for the suggestion but there's no way I'm getting on a horse in there while he's acting up. One time i was longeing Blue at the same time J. was longeing Nate (last year) and he set Blue off with his antics. That's not easy to do by the way. So he'll eventually have to come to grips with his fear of the indoor and then we can all ride together.

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  13. Nate and Bonnie have been conversing! She "thought" about jumping when I was free lunging her in our outdoor (read she galloped, bucked, farted in circles).

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    1. Horse telepathy I'm sure! Bonnie sounds like she was a handful lunging her. Good thing she's so pretty or you might have been a little annoyed right?

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  14. That Nate-o-hunk of horse! Ha, sounds like his plan to evade work Is jumping out and away ! What a horse. He is spectacular, with a cool resume .

    Good job on summing up his plans for your viewing spot! You just never know when to have the video on with him.

    Glad to hear you've gotten relief from heat and pests too.

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