Sunday, April 22, 2012

Round & Round

..and round we went! Joey was first up this morning and it felt stifling hot already at 9 am. It topped out in the high 80s today and it's been quite an adjustment. Lots of sunscreen and beverages and hosing myself and any nearby horses off.

Joey wore his pretty new yellow rope halter. I can finally return the halter he came in to his previous owner..

Joey didn't believe me that I wanted him to stop and change directions first few circuits around the pen and instead of yielding to my upraised hand as he has been doing, he charged for the gap between me stepping to forward to block his intended path and the panels, and took a Lipizzaner leap at the pen itself, crashing into it. It was lightning fast, loud, and dramatic. One round pen panel bent and the whole pen pushed out a good 10 feet. He scraped his left front and cut his left hind, but not badly, not ouchy, and so we worked. And worked.

He clearly doesn't believe in me as a leader yet, he'll square up but won't hook on, and will often square up once and then turn his butt on the next transitions for a few minutes before he even acknowledges me again. He keeps an ear on me but his eye often isn't, and I see his other ear and attention sometimes on the other horses away up the hill from the round pen. It was so hot and I wanted to check his leg so when I got two square ups in a row I called it.

Oh, are you tired? Yeah, me too. Oy. Arabs.

I picked out his left front hoof and rubbed his right front leg. You can see by his ears how stoked he was about that:

We both needed a hosing off. Fortunately this is one thing that Joey actually enjoys. This, and food.

Today he put his lips around the hose and really sucked it down, you can see the water dripping out of his mouth if you squint:

I put Trail-Rite's Magical Ointment on the scraped front leg and cleaned and sprayed Vetericyn on the small cut on his hind. He also got fly spray all over which he was fine with.

Looking mighty fine after the bath!

I'm taking Blaze for a lake ride on Tuesday so I wanted to get him out and set the Specialized up for him so I was ready. It was really interesting, he is generally very responsive on the lunge line and always stops, squares up, backs off the rope jiggle, etc. Today was his first time in the round pen and he COMPLETELY checked out when he got in there, turning his butt on every transition for 40 minutes straight, trotting with his head high and a sort of glazed eye. I had to wonder if he hadn't been round penned endlessly (and purposelessly?) in his past, because I've never seen Blaze check out like that in any situation. I finally put a line on him and reminded him of that contact and he was instantly responsive. It was really weird! He was being used for beginner lessons when I bought him and was really sour on the canter and as a rule doesn't get very excited about arena work. But the round pen was something different. Hmm...

He totally looks like a little chunky pony to me here:

So he's missing a head and tail and some feet but I love the body and saddle shot:

And with a few more crucial body parts:

Then a brief spin in the arena and a canter up the hill outside the arena so we could end on some fun.

It was really warm by this time so we loaded up in the Polaris Ranger and headed down to the creek to cool off, swim the dogs, and go for a half hearted attempt at gold mining. High 80s, direct sunlight, working on the chain gang for gold..more like swimming hole, a few half-assed prospecting pans, and back home for root beer floats!

Me and my ma, cool cats at the river:

When we got home everyone pretty much felt like this and there may have been some snoring going on from multiple sources and locations on the property...


  1. oh, the yellow halter is so pretty! But what an idiot, running INTO the roundpen fence? Guess that is why you're doing lots of groundwork with him!

    And Blaze isn't chunky, he's just coming out of hibernation!

    1. I love the halter! I had rings put on it too which will be useful later.

      Yeaahhh that Lipizzaner moment wasn't Joey's best. I was really surprised because so far he has shown himself to be pretty sensible, stopping and waiting for help etc, I haven't seen him blindly panic like that before. I'm not completely understanding him yet and have a good trainer friend coming to visit tomorrow, I will really have to pick her brain. Maybe I can coax her into round penning him and seeing what she feels from him, she's got 20 years on me and is very intuitive. He isn't connecting with the human element completely but he isn't afraid/abused, just not completely trusting, attention often far away on the other horses.

      Blaze is Blaze! He never looks thin, even at best race weight top 10'ing LDs consistently last year.

  2. Sounds & looks to me like you are a "workaholic"! :-) Love the photos - what kind of saddle is that? Horses look Great!

    1. Thanks! :) The saddle is a Specialized Eurolight, I've had it since January and am really loving it. Very comfortable and fully adjusts to fit all the differently shaped horses.