Saturday, October 4, 2008

Mr. Curiosity

Junior got two days off because I was busy. I had some pangs of guilt when I realized I had too much work to do to go to the barn, but then I remembered the catching incident. I figured if he was content to play with the other boys he probably didn't miss me at all. That made me sad for a moment that he could care less about my presence, but that would be far too much anthropomorphizing. I know he doesn't think that way. He appreciates me presence in that horsey way, and that's good enough.

I went out last night and felt like a bad owner because he's so filthy. Not filthy like a neglected horse or anything, not in the least. It's just that since he's been getting nice turn-out time each day he's been rolling a lot in the dirt and he was even out in the rain for a bit so he actually had chunks of mud on his back. I spent some time digging in with my rubber curry, which he actually seemed to enjoy. I prefer going to the barn when I don't have to get tacked up on a timeline. He's more relaxed that way. With two days off I figured I should let him on the lunge for a minute to see if he needed to get anything out. He didn't. I suppose with the turn-out time he's getting plenty of free movement. Instead he just kept turning and looking at me as if to say "no, really, this is not at all necessary." I agreed and got on. He was a little frisky, wanting to trot right away, but I made him walk for a bit, doing the bending exercises KAT taught me. KAT came in with a horse, too so we had company. Junior's more relaxed with another horse in the arena, but he also gets himself in trouble trying to watch the other horse. When he's alone he seems to worry that there's no one there and he calls out or wants to stop at the doors and look out into the barns. He's SOOOOO interested in other horses, it's pretty funny. He tries SO hard to get near another horse when one comes into the arena. Or if he hears someone call his head cranks in that direction, listening so intently. So cute.

He did pretty well overall. His right lead is pretty nice. His left lead is inconsistent. He's good in circles and if I can get him on a consistent bend he does well, but if I try to use the rail, it's hard to get him in a straight line, and then if I do, it's hard to get him back in the left bend to turn. It finally clicked in my head that all the really rough trips he's taken were on the left lead, and usually when we've left a wall, are turning left and JUST about to bend left again. I've been a little hesitant to lope him when we're alone or when the arena is busy because I'm afraid he'll fall or run into someone. It was nice to have KAT there so we were able to talk about it. Looks like what he's doing is leaning in heavily and dropping the inside shoulder. When I finally get him on the straight and then ask him for a slight bend he DROPS the inside shoulder, and that's usually when he stumbles. So we have to work on that. *I* have to work on that. But I feel a little more confident to work on it on my own. I should go do that today. But I have to get a jump on my list of work to do. So off I go.

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