Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Weather-induced Thoroughbred antics or ?

Looking for that perfect spot..
Calabar and I have a routine. He likes our routine, it soothes his OCD-like tendencies. I like it because it can help me see trouble before it starts.

Can does not equal always.

It's simple, really. We go down to the round pen and if he's saddled, (better for him to carry it than me, right?) I remove the saddle so he can roll while I make a pit stop. His trot, though it's improving, is murder without having to contend with full bladder. He either rolls while I'm in the bathroom, or he waits until I come back so I can watch over him. Sometimes both. Sometimes he doesn't appear to roll at all--usually when it's a nice day out and he's not blanketed and has had the chance to lay in the dirt in his paddock.

Aahhh, that's it
After that, I let him warm up without the saddle for a few minutes, then saddle and warm him up a tiny bit more (you know, until the cinch actually fits right), then get on and ride. If this seems like a long time, it's usually not, and it lets me see where his head is on any given evening.

The operative word in that last sentence is "usually."

The other day, the wind was blowing cold in front of a storm front and all the horses were a little on the wild side. But not Bar, nope. He went with me calmly and we got all the way through the routine to the re-saddling part. I sent him out to warm up and he decided that was the time to roll. With the saddle on. Which he hasn't tried in, I don't know, years?

"What are you doing?!" I may have sounded vaguely exasperated.

Snort, squeal, buck, spin. Paw, paw, paw, round back, knees bend.. "NO!"

I kept him moving, changing directions, until he stopped trying to maim my saddle and calmed down enough to come to me. I admit it, I took off the saddle and checked the pad--we were trying a new one--and he went right over and rolled. Then came right back to me and let me saddle him again and proceeded to be quite well-behaved.

That is likely not the best training I could have done but it was how it played out and he hasn't tried it since. Maybe it was the pad, maybe it was just him being weird. And maybe it was just his answer to the universe at that particular second.

Life with horses--full of constant enigmas to unravel and new twists to the story. I can only imagine what might be next!

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