Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sleazy is fun to say!

I am currently washing a Sleazy hood of KAT's so I can take it to work and use it to develop a pattern for my own. KAT said I could borrow one of hers and when I went to get it I realized it was in need of a good cleaning. So partially to "pay her back" for borrowing it, partially because I think my colleague would flip if I took something that dirty into our shop, and partially because I could smell it in the car, I'm giving it a double run through the washer. Then I'll hang it to dry. She said I could dry it, but I'd feel bad if something happened to it. I didn't try it on him, but I'll do that when I bring it out, just so I can make a note if it doesn't fit him an any location and adjust my pattern as needed.

It was raining and very windy and he was being a jerk in the stall. I took the training bands out and his mane is sort of at about 30 degrees from straight up, so that's a start. The hood will help. He actually reached out and nipped me again so I yelled at him and gave him a decent wallop. He's getting worse about that and I need to make him stop. I think it's more playful than aggressive because it's not accompanied by pinned ears or anything, but it's not a behavior I will accept. Because he'd been off since Wednesday and his attitude wasn't positive I decided to just lunge him

He tried to turn a total of four times, twice he turned really quickly so I had to pull him in until he stopped and I could turn him and twice I was able to stop him right away and send him off the right way without pulling him in. It took him a while to start to listen (both directions) but there was a nice stretch of time that he did EVERYTHING I asked him to do. I had him on a nice big circle (I keep him in closer most of the time because it's easier for me to stop him if he turns), he stayed consistently on the circle, no pulling or moving in and would lope off from walk and jog, and transition all the way from lope to walk. He was really working for me, working off of voice commands to transition up or down and whip movement to transition up. Even when Rip came in with the family that leases him Jr stayed pretty focused and on the circle. I didn't check how long I lunged him, but he was damp behind the ears and between his front legs so it was at least a half hour. It's interesting to watch him when I lunge him because he goes through the same phases as he does during a ride, but I can SEE his body change and become softer. By the time I was ready to quit he was walking a HUGE circle and he was in good frame with a free flowing walk and a really lovely cadence. I guess that's what he looks like when KAT makes such flattering comments about him. He really is a lovely horse. We've got lots and lots of work to do, but we're coming up on our 6 month anniversary and I am VERY happy with him.

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