First, I pulled up and once again, he wasn't in the pasture. The barn manager was just leaving, and the barn owner was there, too, and they said they'd put another horse out with him, and wanted to bring both horses in together, so that's why they brought hm in. I mean, I totally understand the logic, but I though I had pretty good reasons for wanting to bring him in myself: I can see he's been out--though the mud droplets on his face (from drinking out of the pond?) made it pretty clear, since his paddock is a dust bowl; they can't charge me, since apparently they charge per TRIP, not per day like they originally said, and so I ca see my boy frolicking in the pasture. Is that wrong of me to want that?
Anyway, he was munching on his hay but also quite happily put his face into the halter to come with me. What a good boy!
I tied him to the tree, and he stood there quietly while I pulled all the rubber bands out of his mane. Well, he did twitch a couple of times, but I would have been far worse. I took a photo before I combed it out:
And after. He kind of had a fro thing going on, so I fluffed it up as well as I could for the photo:
Oh, and is it me, or do his lips look green? Another sign he really did go out to pasture. :-)
|Hey, what'choo lookin' at?|
|Oh, do I have a grass mustache? Yeah, it was pretty yummy out there.|
I tacked him up. He glared and nipped in my general direction. Not a good boy. I walked him to the round pen, and he didn't even try to graze. What a good boy! I sent him off in a circle at a walk. He walked in said circle. What a good boy. I asked him to turn, and he did. What a good boy! I asked him to trot. He would NOT trot. No amount of body language, flinging the end of the rope around in circles, or even swinging it so it actually hit his butt motivated him to trot. Not a good boy. I tied him to the round pen panels, and after a couple failed attempts at following me, and a couple of loud AA-AA noises, he stood still while I went and fetched my lunge whip. What a good boy!
NOW he lunged in circles, walking, trotting, and doing a bit of canter exactly as asked. And he was paying attention to me the whole time. What a good boy! We also did a little on the ground work. He backed okay, but not stellar. He walked and halted in time with me wonderfully. He did NOT understand me asking him to move his shoulders over, but moved his haunches like a champ. Maybe TOO well (spinning instead of stepping slowly as I asked). Then I remembered to actually push his head away from me while asking for him to move his shoulder away, and he yielded his shoulders PERFECTLY. What a good boy!
Walked, trotted, and cantered a bit more, then took him back to the barn to untack. He did try to sneak one nibble, but was mostly good about walking across the grass. Untacked him, and poked his previously sore spots again some more. He flinched a tiny bit, but I think more from annoyance at me poking at the same old spots rather than actual pain.
I took him back to his paddock and piled all the hay back into his paddock. I think he is pulling a bite out of the bucket, holding it off to the side, and spilling a good chunk of it, then between his nose and feet, pushing a good portion of it out under the panels. :-/ Oh well, as long as I'm checking on him daily, it doesn't matter, 'cause I'll give it back to him, but it makes the buckets (which I was using so he wasn't eating right off the dusty ground) pointless. And also means I need to get some sand clear ASAP.
Between feeling some flies myself, and seeing some GINORMOUS welts on Trigger's neighbor horse, I remembered the fly repelling bands I'd ordered. They stunk up my cubicle to high heaven when they arrived--the citronella smell seeped through the packaging they came in AND the packaging they were mailed in, and I'd put them in my trunk. Then it promptly got cold for a few days, so I kind of forgot about them. But I went and got them (and put my tack away), and went ahead and tried them on Trigger. I wasn't sure how he'd feel about both the sensation and the smell of them. I wrapped the first one around a hind leg, and snapped it (they use actual snaps, not velcro like I assumed they would), and other than assuming I wanted him to lift his leg up, he did fine. I did the other three, then grabbed the neck collar. He didn't even bat an eye when I put it on. I stood and watched him for a bit, and he continued eating. Oh, were you expecting that I was building up to some sort of climax in the plot of this little story? Well, he did sniff at his front legs a few times, then go back to eating. Yeah, wild pony right there. What a good boy! I also grabbed his fly mask and fly spray, and left them in plain sight near his paddock, wrote a note in "the book," and texted the barn manager to please use them when turning him out. Will she? We'll see...
Tomorrow? A rider shall mount. I hope.