Thursday, February 6, 2014

Horse Updates

  • I roached his mane. He pulled out the same section in the hay feeder again. Last year this triggered me to trim the whole mane months later. His bridle path that I keep buzzed is so thick and nice. The rest of his mane is a thin, scraggly mess. He seriously has the. worst. mane of any horse I've ever been around. If its short, it does well though, it seems. So I buzzed the damn thing. It started some grief on Facebook when I shared photos and mentioned it, but that's okay. My horse. My decision. By doing it now, it helps guarantee that by spring when his coat is shedding it'll really be looking good since there will be a bit of growth. I'm excited.
  • I worked both horses Tuesday for 20 minutes. Griffin was Mr. LazyPants. He was willing to do as I bid, but he was very slow moving throughout the whole workout. I really had to encourage and push him to keep him forward. This was amusing to me because he is usually Mr. SassyPants about workouts. So willing, so eager, so forward. And then he gets a little tired and he settles nicely. Tuesday? Nope. Little more tired = trying to stop constantly. I wasn't very alarmed at this atypical behavior though because his behavior for everything else was 110% normal.
  • The Tuesday workout involved work in side reins + over ground poles for a time. The first time I'd introduced ground poles to Griffin in this format (working on the lunge) he was a total goof about it. He'd skip and jump trying to figure them out. This time around he just trotted through like it was NBD. I sent him around and over them 10x in each direction. I was definitely pleased with this since he'd been so lazy about everything that evening. It was the best I could hope for!
  • Little man is getting downright punchy about the whole "receive grain when I get to the barn" ordeal. Polite on the grand scheme of things, but RUDE as far as my horses go. I will NOT tolerate it and I've told him this. As a result, he now does not get his grain unless he is standing still, not pawing, not moving toward me. He is expected to step away from me as I set his grain down, or at a minimum to yield his large head/neck away from me. Q gives a nicker, doesn't move, but waits stoically beyond her small noise for her grain and never invades my space. I expect this from Griffin, too.
  • Wednesday night when I got to the barn Griffin GALLOPED to the gate away from everyone to come in. He was cold (rain turned to snow so they were wet with snow on them + gusting wind to make it super cold!) and he wanted inside away from the wind to get his damn mash. I'm glad he's so eager to come inside, but not fooled that he likes me any more. He just loves food. Spoiled pony.

  • Making an effort to be more calm around the horses and check my emotions at the door has really helped with Q. She is so much calmer all the time now. She has her moments, but overall she is so, so good. We've had almost 2 solid months of this. Granted...its been almost 2 solid months of her *not* being in heat we'll see. But knowing how good and calm she can be will be beneficial when she begins cycling through heat cycles again in a few months. I know what her personality is without the hormones. I'm certain of it for the first time since getting her. June 1 will mark two years of owning her. We've been up and down with many things in that time, but now I really feel like I know this little horse.
  • Q's workout Tuesday night was stellar. She's such a dork about some things (and the fact that I can recognize this as just a part of who this horse is is wonderful because prior to this I'd have just been frustrated). Throughout her warm up she was booking it around me like a maniac. HUGE floaty trot. And then this super fast canter for awhile. The dogs (Kenai and the border collie youngster) would fly by near the ring and she'd snort and blow as she bounced around in her fast canter. But as soon as I quit laughing at her and asked for a trot, she listened and obliged.
  • She's definitely right-handed. Things come way easier to her when we're working to her right than her left. What takes 5, 6, 7, 8 circuits for her to figure out to the left, she figures out in 1 or 2 circuits to the right. While it is going to be a conscious effort on my part to work to strengthen her left side more, it is nice to know that she *is* capable of things and *does* understand them. She's just weaker in the one direction. I think we can handle this!
  • Keeping in mind Karen's recent post about talking to Ashke and explaining to him in English what she wanted him to try to do while riding, I did this with Q when she was working in the side reins the other night. She'd started the evening with her head high and her nose way out. Fighting, fighting, fighting the side reins. I started talking to her, telling her that if she'd reach her neck down more and tuck her nose just the tiniest bit, she'd find that it felt better. I told her how she'd have to use her back and propel herself with her booty, but it would be better. And by god, if she didn't do it! She floated along for only a stride at first before putting her head up and nose out, but I kept talking to her and she began to spend less and less time with her head and nose in the air. "Reach down, Q, tuck your nose a little bit. Goooood girrrrrl."
  • She was a complete doofus with the ground poles Tuesday night. 75% of the time she'd go through them NBD. The other 25% of the time she was bouncing, skipping, jumping, cantering. No difference in this behavior between directions; it was about equal. I think she was just feeling rather "up" about life at that point and needed to throw some excess energy around in a silly way. Just a little personality to spice up the evening. I was more amused than bothered or concerned by the behavior though. She'd been so stellar about everything that evening. A little spazztic behavior here and there was of little concern at that point.
  • When I trucked out into the field Wednesday night to get Q, I found her with her butt to the wind, standing on the otherside of the neighbors woodpile that abuts the fenceline using it as a windbreak. I got just over halfway to her when she starts her huge lofty 9-10 mph trot at me. Ears pricked, eyes on me, a whinny to her friends in the distance, but all of her body language directed with attention to me and not them. "Hey Qbee! Q Q Q. Hey hey lady." I said to her. Her trot turned into a slower prancey trot of sorts as she regarded me, approaching, then veering off a little at the last moment to continue trotting toward her friends. DORK. I think she surprised herself a little with her exuberance for me, so she had to pass it off and roll out to be with her friends. Not the first time she's been eager, then blows me off last minute in a half-assed way! I'm finally feeling like I have a handle on her personality - its only taken 20 months! Haha!
  • The introduction of a beet pulp/grain mash has her eating faster than ever! Its still slow compared to most horses, but for her? So fast! For once, she's finishing hers before Griffin. I'm happy to see this change in her because prior to mashes, she was so picky and slow about eating. The whole mash thing will make sneaking in supplements all the easier in the future! Yay for my little endurance mare.

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