Saturday, December 8, 2012

Trigger Again

I went out to the barn again today.  The trainer is giving me the pasture board price, but still bringing Trigger in to the barn on colder nights, which SHOULD cost me quite a bit more in board each month, so I went to help out with chores.  She was riding in a barrel race, so when I showed up the place was empty.  After checking a couple wheelbarrows, I found one that didn't seem to be for food, and a rake, and went to town on the stalls.  I spent an hour and a half picking stalls, though a few of them had already been done.  Just as I was doing the last one, the trainer's son showed up.  I guess he (and his brothers and dad) had been in the house the whole time, but hadn't seen me drive up.  He was worried that by cleaning the stalls, he would get in trouble for NOT cleaning the stalls.  Oh well.  :-)

At some point, I noticed their stud was napping.  He was snoring, and though his eyelids and ears twitched by instinct, I don't think he actually noticed my presence.  His muscles wanted to relax and lie all the way down, but his instincts kept kicking in, and he would prop his nose on the ground while still snoring.  Too funny!


So tempting to just lay down, but then I won't be able to watch for predators! 

(And if anyone is concerned, he was standing up again the next time I saw him--it was just a catnap.)

After I finished mucking stalls, I took Trigger out.  First, I cross-tied him and brushed the dried mud off his neck.  He LOVED the scrubbing with the soft-fingered brush/curry thingie.  Then I took him out to the large outdoor arena and turned him loose to get the wiggles out.  He GALLOPED off, happy as a clam.  I thought it'd be fun to get some video of him galloping, but after one gallop the length of the arena, he was apparently done.  He walked calmly over to me and put his head in the halter.  So I took him to the round pen for a little bit of controlled exercise.  However, he was NOT listening to me.  I didn't want him to work up a sweat, or to slip in the mud, so my plan was to just have him walk for a little bit, then trot some, canter a little, trot again, then finish with walking so he cooled out a bit.

But just having the lunge whip in my hand caused him to run around like a madman.  Or a mad horse.  Or whatever.  He'd gallop and kick, then slide to a stop in the mud, just short of crashing into the panels.  I tried talking him down to a walk, tried turning him and turning him (though worried about him slipping in the mud and tweaking a tendon or something), and was worried he'd quit listening to me or something.  But finally, his brain came back, and I got him changing directions and gaits on command, though it was hard to keep him in the rail in such a large roundpen, and his attendiong was on me, though his face was almost always pointed outside the round pen.  So in the end, it was a good session.  I checked, and he was warm between his font legs, but only barely damp.  I hand-grazed him for a few minutes, then was going to take him back to the barn and groom him again a bit before turning him back out, but right then, the trainer showed up with a FULL trailer after the barrel race.  So I put Trigger into his stall and offered to help her out, but she had a handle on it.

I took him back out to his paddock (large, luxurious, and DRY, though no shelter, which is why she brings him in, especially when it's cold and/or wet) and put his blanket on him, though unfortunately I forgot his treats, and I think he knew it.  Oh well, he got more scratches and rubs on his ears and face before I said goodbye.  Currently planning to go out on Tuesday--the trainer invited me out to ride one of her horses, so that'll be nice.  As I was leaving, they were bringing the curly-haired horse in.  He's so adorable!

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