Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Winter antics

Lena hadn't gotten much exercise in a couple days, and it had been four for Bar, so it was definitely hitting critical mass tonight. Weeknights don't offer enough time to ride both horses, but they really needed OUT, so we headed to the round pen.

The first thing each of them did--after being blanketed for several days--was roll. It's not that they don't lay down while in their protective gear, but rolling is really a treat for them this time of year. And roll they did. Lena got both sides at least once, and Bar very thoroughly rolled twice on one side, then twice on the other, before he would even consider any exercise. Not that I blame him, of course. It would be hard to be inside the same clothes, skin and hair starting to itch, day after day after day. Bleh.

And the exercise for both was mostly productive, if only to get at least a little bit of the spit shaken out. Lena was thoroughly distracted by another boarder and her Thoroughbred, Romeo, and proceeded to raise up her tail and gallop around snorting to get his attention. Luckily, Manna is a very good rider and took it all with good humor. "It's good for him," she said, correcting Romeo's dancing. Nice to have people like that around my nutty horses--people willing to take responsibility for their own horses, and also accepting of other horses and their sometimes less-than-docile behavior. Thankfully, Lena did settle down, give me her attention, and get a decent workout.

Bar definitely wanted to stretch his legs, so he got to canter a bit more than usual, though it was peppered here and there with some trotting to get him to work on his transitions some more. And then he had to show off with some bucking when another barn-mate went by with two of his girlfriends from the big pasture. Sometimes he is such a boy. He did also settle down and relax into a nice, smooth, steady trot, listening to me talk to him and sing The Dixie Chicks like I usually do.

Both got carrot stretches, too, so were nice and limber by the time they got back to their paddocks to finish their dinner.

Winter is hard, but it invites more creativity to help keep them entertained and interested in what we're doing. Sometimes it's just a matter of tossing in one thing that's a little different, like a ladder sitting in a different place or asking them to cross an obstacle in a new way. Sometimes it's just trying to ask them for something in a way they understand.

Who exactly is training whom? You have to wonder, don't you?


Anonymous said...

I like that you sing to your horses - I'll bet they enjoy that!

terrie said...

Beautiful photo, and lovely post!