Hooo boy that could mean SO many things, the prospects of where I could take this post are sinfully delightful. Fortunately for all (and perhaps my marriage) what I am coveting of my neighbors are: round pen panels! A whole big friggin stack of them sitting out in their back field, untouched for the year+ that we've been neighbors. I think I'm going to leave a note on their gate with my phone number, see if they want to trade/sell any of the panels. As my work with Sheza--and now Joey--moves forward I am jonesing for a round pen more than ever. To be sure I have an arena, which is a hands down luxury, but I just know how convenient training in a round pen can be, especially with a hot horse that needs to go around and around a few times before the brain returns. Turns out that description applies to Sheza AND Joey, though I won't say yet that Joey is "hot", per se, but he is definitely energetic and has surprising stamina for his outward physical condition.
That's right, after I finished up the mowing today, Joey (re?)learned to lunge. I'm not 100% clear on what was done with him at his previous owners, and anyway choose to approach things with a new horse as if it's a clean slate and we're learning together from Day 1. At least with a greenie as green as Joey. After his loose-blanket-strap-cinching-down-on-hind-foot-cue-blanket-ripping-half-off-and-chasing-him extravaganza that my husband rescued him from while I was away at Cuyama XP, he is more sensitive than ever to having his hind legs handled, not to mention feet being picked up. He did keep his head quite admirably for the situation and let J help him out of the crisis, and still lets me put on and remove the offending blanket without being haltered, so he really does have a good head on his shoulders. But like I say--stamina! After the initial "This is how We Lunge" discussion just on the lead rope, I followed the same progression as I did with Sheza yesterday, but he lasted quite a bit longer on the still-sensitive, send him off for more circles and repeat thing. He was stickier going to the right but did eventually lunge and stop and face me in both directions, and I called it quits after he stood quiet and let me run the dressage whip over his rump and down his hind legs without lifting either hind foot (or taking off, as previously).
He was very sweaty by the end of the 40 or so minutes in the arena and I broached the topic of hose showers with him, but in a very minor way. First just turned on the hose and let him watch the water stream and snort at the moving hose, then slowly approached him with it and he stuck his nose down in the light spray. He snorted of course, then stood and let me lightly spray his front hooves and up his front legs and I called it a day at that. He was in a good place and stood for scratches after I took his halter off. and he got another beet pulp mash since he worked so hard and isn't quite up to the weight I'd like yet.
Blaze was next and got a good workout in the arena, he was a little punky and crow hoppy but was obviously just feeling good and worked as hard as can be expected for a little horse that is deeply bored by the arena. The Specialized with his fitting cushion set up left a nice even sweat mark and I gave him a thorough hose bath afterwards. It's a treat to run through and work all the horses and end with Blaze, who is so quiet and tolerant. Definitely a good plan to start with the hot nutty ones and work my way down to Blaze who by that point looks like a saint, if he didn't already!
There is war in the Kingdom of Goat, the boarder goats are unimpressed by the subtraction of Sheza and addition of our two goats in their pasture, but there is plenty of space and grazing to be done so I'm not very worried about it. Eh, goats.
My Cuyama ride photos from Lynne Glazer should be coming home in the mail with my husband this evening! Can't wait to ogle at their splendor :-)