Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Taste of Spring

As many of you may know, Spring is my favorite time of year. The ground is starting to thaw, birds are migrating back and singing their songs, geese are flying over low and the horses are starting to shed out their thick winter coats.

Speaking of which, those horses are extremely frisky after a cold winter. AJ has taken to racing from the arena to the paddock in a full gallop. That boy can move! I watched him this morning and he did not have much buck going as he was running, his tail was popping but his butt was not getting near as much air as it had been earlier in the week. Cora was even a bit playful this morning, saw a half rear and a couple of kicks at AJ to keep him out of her space.

AJ, earlier this week was having his springtime brain farts. Last Sunday he acted up and got worked. I had time again Friday after work to do some more with him. Haltered him up and worked some in the paddock where the footing was good. He was soft and listened to all the cues.

Took him out to the chute where he had acted up on Sunday and he tried nipping my sweatshirt. I whirled around and smacked him with the lead rope and backed him up about 20 ft. We then moved back to the open area and went to trotting and loping in circles, listening to what I was asking. No temper tantrums there and he was light on his feet, moving and doing everything that I was asking.

We then meandered out to the arena. There is still a big patch of mud/water/ice so we started there and I had him pick his way though there a couple of times.

After that, we moved over to a flat spot in the middle where the footing was good and things had started to dry out.

Sent him off in a trot around me, he was going good and then slipped. That put him in a bucking fit. I didn’t like that he had a slight inward aim with one hind leg so he got stopped immediately and backed up about 50 feet across the arena. When he was sent off again, he did not try any more antics and had started to lick and chew, listening to what I was asking.

I changed direction and asked him to lope again, he wasn’t sure of the footing and would pick up the lope and then drop back down to a trot. We ended things on a good note and headed back to the barn.

On the way back, we worked on stopping when I stopped and following my lead. If I stopped and backed up, he stopped and backed up with me. If I turned, he turned with me. I was very happy with him after that 45 minutes.

Had to pull out the wool cooler since he had lathered himself up and I didn’t really want him to get chilled as the sun was going down. Put him in the stall with some hay and headed to the house to get the dogs fed and ready to go out for supper with hubby.

Planning to work with him again this weekend and if things look right, will ride him in the arena. I know that he just needs that consistency brought back and to remind him that he’s a riding horse, not a bronc.

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