Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Taking him away from freshly thrown hay is never a good way to improve his attitude, but sometimes I just have to. IF the feeders were more consistent with time, this would happen less. Sometimes (like today) he got hay about 2:30. Some days it's 4:00. I know it takes a LONG time to muck hay, grain, and water that many horses, so it doesn't really upset me. I would like to think that varying the routine a little helps him not be overly timing oriented, but maybe it's actually worse to vary it. When I was feeding 30 horses I was informed very clearly when I was behind schedule. You want to see 30 pissed off ponies? Sleep in for an hour and walk slowly.

He's not that bad when I tie him with food in his stall, but he did nip my thigh today which was not appreciated and I told him so.

Last time I was out was on Sunday. I turned him out and he tried to find grass for a while and then suddenly started to gallop around and buck. I was standing in the middle of the turn-out with a friend and Jr ran RIGHT past us twice. It made me nervous because I don't know if he would bump into me or throw a playful kick my way. Either way, I don't think I'll let him get that close again. He got his legs a little muddy so when I brought him in I wiped the big chunks off and picked his feet.

One thing was odd today: his left front hoof, pastern, and ankle was warm to the touch. ALL his other hooves were cold. I didn't notice until I took my gloves off. I cleaned his hooves and inspected the hoof. I didn't see anything out of the ordinary, and he didn't react to pressure anywhere. I walked him out of the stall and down the aisle. He seemed to be walking normally. I finished grooming him, put his saddle on and waited for KAT to finish with the horse she was schooling. She said if he was moving normally to go ahead and ride him, saying that he may have stepped on a rock or strained something during his play time on Sunday and just got a little sore in the stall. He lunged fine with low energy. We've been improving again on his quick-change-artist antics. Now when he spins around I pull hard on the line so he turns back to me and then I position my body to send him off again the proper direction. He rode fairly well, quite well at the lope, actually. I didn't notice anything with his gait, so I assumed he was fine. Walking back in KAT said he seemed to be walking fine so probably not anything to stress over. Unfortunately I forgot to check his feet when I was done, but I think if I didn't remember when I picked his feet they must've all felt the same.

We're still working on ground tying in the aisle and he did really well today. A few steps that needed to be corrected, but he fairly quietly for un-tacking and grooming. To have him go into his stall I moved to the stall door and called him, telling him to go into his stall. He did! I followed him in and told him to "whoa" and he did! I slipped the bridle off and let him have his grain.

I put a set of training bands in his mane today. I REALLY hope I don't have a bald horse tomorrow! He ate hay while I did the bands so I'm not worried about him pulling them out when he stretches down, but I've never done banding or braiding except for single french braids and we could only leave that in for our few classes and then it had to come out. I know people band and do individual braids and leave them overnight and sometimes for whole weekend shows, so I hope he won't rub on them. We'll see. He looked pretty funny. The mane is only about 4" long and isn't pulled so the little pony-tails stuck out to the side instead of down, but we're starting with baby steps.

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