Monday, August 22, 2011

mad man

Last week I did a couple shorter rides, one where Major and his friend Friday were pretty silly. Then I left for the weekend, which I hadn't really done all summer. A couple days of vacation on a lake, reading, relaxing, being fed good food. Kind-of like a horse at a boarding stable.

So today I arrived at the stable and hadn't seen Major since Thursday. He came over and I took off his flymask and rubbed his sweaty face. He is good about that, and I haltered him and we walked to the hitching area. He forgot his manners a bit, and dove for some grass (even though he just left his own paddock with grass) but a quick correction was ok. He was dirty and sweaty, so a good grooming took awhile. He loves this plastic flower-shaped curry, good and scratchy. I need another one, it is easy to hold and does a great job. I decided to just walk up the road today, I'll ride tomorrow.

Walking up the road Major needed reminding to not barge ahead, to not snatch the lead rope from my hands, to not crowd. So a little training on the road session commenced. After about 10 minutes he was listening quite well, attentive and staying out of my space. I trotted him in hand to see if things would stick. For the most part, but I could tell he was full of it.

So we went into the arena. I don't spend much time in there, and don't often free longe Major. I let him go and he went to eat weeds. Nope, not the plan. I swung my lead rope around. He wasn't quite convinced. I picked up the lunge whip and pointed. And he took off like a rocket! I didn't even use it, just stood near a jump and pointed. And he ran around like a mad man! His best King of the Wind impression, but with more huge trot. It is amazing to really see him move out. I don't know/think when I ride that he goes that fast, but it is lovely, floating above the sand.

After a few minutes he stops, snorts, and turns to me. Nope, stay out there. A few minutes later he asks again. I whistle and he trots to me, all prancy and snorty and wild-eyed. I pet his sweaty shoulder, asking him to quiet. And walk off, while he follows, walks where I walk, stops when I stop, follows my turns. He is being so good, but it is time to go back, and there has been enough running. So I open his paddock gate (one side borders the arena) and ask him to walk through. He looks at the gate, and I swear deliberately looks at me, and takes off across the arena.

So there was a bit more running around. Romantic notions dashed. I don't mind, he's just a horse, having fun, ignoring me a bit. He knew when time was really up, came to me, and quietly led back to his paddock. Released, he still stood with me, a contained spirit, and I again scratched his head. "Ok, let's go," I waved, and he thundered up the hill, wild again.

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