Because it sure does feel like Spring these days. Shoot- just about all winter long it has felt like Spring. There's only been two mornings with temps cold enough for there to be ice in the water tubs. Phat Boy has decided that keeping his winter woolies is over rated and has proceeded to begin dropping hair by the ton. So has Jo the Wonder Nanny Dog. Vacuuming the house is a twice daily thing, otherwise we are shin deep in hair balls. Ugh.
At least we have been getting in some terrific horse time! Phat Boy and I have been getting brave. We've moved up from just puttering around, working mostly at the walk and a nice trot, to including some lope work. We call him Mommy's Little Dump Truck for a reason- he may *look* like a pretty mover but riding him is an adventure to say the least. Light of foot the boy is not- each step lands with authority. (Which is a nice way of saying he moves like a dump truck.)
Poor Phat Boy-- back when he was a show pony, he developed a bad habit and an even worse reputation. It seems that my sweet fat feller is known all over this part of the country for making dirt darts out of folks. In fact, we had a lady say to us last weekend, "Isn't that the crazy pony? Who bucks like a rodeo horse?" I couldn't help but laugh-- sure, Phat Boy has *tried* to buck a time or two, but like a rodeo horse? Yeeeaaahhhh--- no. Not so much. THAT takes effort and effort is not something he is willing to exert. Instead, he learned that a hip move combined with a dropped shoulder can plant people quite well. Until he got here that is- the 4 or so times he has tried that move have resulted in me laughing at him. Knock on wood it seems that he has given up on trying to plant me. The other day he thought about it-- we were getting ready to lope off and his little red ears rolled back, his head came way up and he shook his neck (which made his mane actually flap in my face--- which was just *way* cool in my opinion- I've never had a horse with a mane THIS long!!) Anyways, knowing what he was thinking helped and we merely rode through his mini tantrum. Once we got going, the general consensus was he had FUN.
And if it isn't FUN, I can gauran-damn-tee you this pony won't do it!
Big Kahuna left for new adventures almost a week ago now. He came in at 850#, and left with eyes bright, coat shining, and packing a healthy 950# on his frame. It was good to see his progress and we sure hope he continues to shine.
When Kahuna left, it meant Tater came back to The Asylum. That had to be the calmest re-introduction I think I've ever seen. He came off the trailer fine, looked around, nickered at Phat Boy, wandered to the paddock and started eating. No muss, no fuss, no squealing, no running around. Tater and Phat Boy looked at each other, did the chin tip and a " 'Sup?" to each other and that was that. Works for me. Low stress is always the way to go in my book.
Since Tater has been back, he too has been getting in on the work out routine. We've been ground working and the Locust Brothers are getting pony rides on him. I've been up and down on him, but gosh it just feels so wrong. Tater did quite well while out on pasture, adding weight and blooming some, but he still lacks in actual muscle. Asking him to cart me around just feels wrong on many levels. (And honestly he still feels like the skinny side of a 2 x 4 to perch on.) He is all heart and try though.
Laura Crum put up an excellent post this week about working with young horses, which pretty much sums up why I am so cautious when working around Tater. While he may well be THE most calm, level headed 4 year old I've ever been around, he is still just that- a 4 year old. I've seen a few too many young, green horses get to feeling froggy and have a kid moment which results in injury to their human counterparts and often times themselves.
I have no desire to be injured.
Neither does Tater.
And I refuse to let him get feeling froggy and hurt the Locusts.
In Other News....
Halters have been taking off! It took a lot of frustration, but I finally sorted out how to tie the halters. You know there are really not any GOOD videos out there on how to do this? An entire weekend was devoted to digging around on the interwebz (that much time because my Google-fu is weak) watching the few that I could find. THEN--- I spent time looking at the photos Shirley at Ride A Good Horse put up when she tied not-so-little Rio's new halter. Between the few videos and Shirley's sharing, we sorted it out. Which is great because I was driving everyone in my household (animals included) nuking futs as I sorted the process out.
There is one spot of not quite right-- the cord I'm using is mighty thin. I have yet to find the perfect colors in thicker cordage. So. Instead of just using the thinner cord, I've adapted and created an overlay that goes over the crown piece (to prevent possible injury to the horse's poll) and over the noseband. Its been suggested we add cheek overlay too- have to see how that looks. All in all, it looks cool, and seems to work well.
And with that, I need to get my tush in gear and get to tying more knots. Then it's PONY TIME and a ride on Phat Boy!!
Here's hoping everyone has an awesome weekend!!!! And for those where real winter has hit, stay warm!!