Sunday, May 20, 2012

Another good day

My knee is feeling a LOT better today, though I still feel it if I put it down wrong or it twists at the wrong angle.  I put a knee brace on and headed to the barn.

I groomed Trigger some more.  I think he's finally getting close to his summer color, though he still has a bit of winter hair left on his sides.  He doesn't like the regular rubber curry comb I bought--he seems kind of thin-skinned.  So I bought a 10-dollar device with soft rubber fingers like 3/4 inch long and really close together.  It did a good job bringing the dust to the surface and removing the hair, and he liked the feeling.  But instead of the curry comb, which I can just flick the mat of hair off of, I had to comb the mat of hair out with a hairbrush.  Oh well.  It did do the trick.

I headed out to lunge him, but there were a pair of ponies in the round pen, plus some little kids riding in the arena, so I took him to the grassy area.  He tried to graze a couple of times, but I wanted to keep him in "working" mode until I said we were done, so I didn't let him graze, and he got the idea pretty quickly, and led quietly.  I lunged him for a few minutes, switching directions, and with a few minor looks in other directions, he was paying attention to me really well.  I remembered I'd wanted to lunged him tacked, but I let him graze for a while before taking him back in to tack up.  He was so polite--he knew he hadn't been allowed to graze before, so when I did let him, it took him a second to realize he was allowed, but then he started vacuuming up the grass.  :-)

Mmf Mmf Mmf Mmf...I can't hear you...I'm busy chewing.
I took him back in and tacked him up.  He still wasn't happy with the cinching up process (though he never came into contact with my elbow I kept jutted out toward him for the purpose, so it was just pissy looks, not actually trying to nip me), but the rest of the process was much faster now that I had the tack adjusted.  (Though I did realize I had no clue whether the stirrups were the right length or not, because he dumped me before my brain even went there.)

I took him to the round pen, which was now empty, and lunged him at the trot and canter (I'd only trotted him on the grass, because it was recently watered and I didn't want him to slip, plus it was a smaller circle because I'd had to use the end of the rope to make him go, whereas I'd grabbed a lunge whip this time, and therefore could use the whole rope.  Anyway, he was well-behaved again.  There was one time he turned his but toward me, but I think it was more about confusion and not knowing what I wanted from him (I'm not very coordinated with the rope and whip), and not being pissy at me.  I still smacked his butt with the whip and sent him running, to answer his confusion that THAT was definitely not what I wanted, but anyway, I don't think it was purposefully rude.  There was NO bucking or kicking or anything this time, though.  If my knee was feeling better, and I'd put on my riding bra, I might have been tempted to get on.  It's just as well I didn't, though--the only other people were at the far end of the property in the arena.  After Thursday, I'd feel better if someone was RIGHT nearby when I get on again.

I am SO not an expert, but while his head was up, it wasn't sky high and his neck wasn't completely ewed, but it looked to me like he was using his hind end fairly well.  I'll be curious to see what someone who knows better than I says.

So he got nice and sweaty, and I let him graze for a while again.  In the meantime, on one of the trips to the barn, I noticed one of the horses was COVERED in cuts.  All over both sides of his body.  They looked too small and too cleanly cut to be bite marks, but they were relatively small, and I didn't think there was much that could really be done about them.  The horse is owned by the barn manager, so I called her to see if she was already aware of them or if they were new--if they were new and being caused by either one of the neighboring horses (one of which is a stallion, but the cuts went too low to be caused by him, especially since the panels between the two are covered with solid plywood), or caused by him rubbing on something in the stall, I'd ask her if she wanted me to move him.  We played a bit of phone tag, but we finally reached each other, and she said he'd actually gotten them at her house, fighting with a miniature stallion.  Which explains why they were low and small, but that mini must have SHARP teeth, some of them looked like pretty clean cuts like would happen from metal or something!  Anyway, so she'd moved him to the barn to get him away from his tormentor, so all was as well as it could be.

I brushed Trigger a little more and fed him a couple treats.

I think we had a good combination of him learning that I'm alright, even pleasant, to be around, but also learning that I'm the boss, and when I say move, you move.  :-)

More photos:
Not the best photo, but you can see his summer coat shining through in this one.


  1. I use a similar tool for grooming. I love, love it.

    1. Yeah, I think it does a better job than the standard black curry comb, but Trigger definitely loves it more--it feels better on his sensitive skin than the prickly black one. :-)

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