This weekend I didn’t have anything going on really, so K and I planned to do horse things on Saturday morning. I like introducing Joey to new things when she’s around because a) it helps should thing go awry and I need an outside opinion and b) media!
I was particularly glad to have her along Saturday because I wanted to use one of the last warm days to introduce Joey to crossing water. The creek is on the far opposite side of the farm, and while I turned Copper and Highness out in that pasture, I didn’t think they were going to give Joey the confidence boost that he hadn’t gone to another world where horses don’t exist. I shouldn’t have worried though because he didn’t care at all that we were walking him away from friends alone. He walked with more energy like he was excited to see new things, but since I often have to drag him along in his field, that was a welcome change.
Before we went out in the big pasture, I gave him and the other colt their breakfast in the stalls in the barn while I rode Paige out in their field. I wanted an educated eye to tell me how she seemed. I walked her for longer than usual to warm her up, and she felt good in the trot work. I did use my western tack this time, so half of me is starting to wonder if the dressage saddle doesn’t fit her right and is making her track weird. Regardless, Paige got started on her MSM this weekend. Once she’s demolished that, I’ll likely buy a better supplement with MSM, glucosamine, and chondroitin to make sure I’m covering more bases. K did say that she seems stiff at the lope and I asked her to video, because what she was describing sounds kind of like Paige’s normal lope. After seeing the video, I feel like she’s more stiff now than she used to be, so hopefully the supplements will get her feeling less stiff. She’s always been hollow in her back at strung out when she lopes from lack of fitness/lack of being loped under saddle, hopefully once I get the stiffness resolved we can start working on that. K does think that Paige has a little bit of arthritis, so I’m planning on giving her a little bute on Thursday prior to our big trail ride…that I haven’t mentioned on here until now…
Back to Joey- when I pulled the colts out of the stalls and went out into the pasture, I was planning on showing K how Joey has been doing trotting over poles, but they came out of the barn HOT. Chunk was loose and running around like a looney tune and Joey found the behavior contagious and was full of himself as well for a few minutes. I put him on the end of the lead rope and lunged him around to see if I could get the bouncing to subside. This was good because it meant I was lunging Joey in front of K and she could give me some pointers on what I need to be working on. I think I would’ve noticed these things if I were someone else’s outside perspective, but since I was inside of the situation, I didn’t see it. Basically I need to start expecting more of Joey and ask him to give to the lunge line and be softer. She took over for a minute and demonstrated what she thought I should do and he started to pick up on it quickly and was pulling on the lunge line less.
After getting his brain reinstalled (conveniently the other colt had simmered down as well) I trotted him over the poles and took him over the bridge. K then helped me work on teaching him to pivot on his hind end and we headed up to the top of the hill to the big field. Chunk came loping up and neighing behind when he realized we were leaving, but Joey didn’t care and he just walked on out like this was what we do daily. The biggest thing he did was he kept stopping to try to graze. In his defense, the grass in this field is more lush than any he’s seen in his life, so the temptation was strong.
We made a bee line for the creek. He wasn’t scared of it for a second (as usual), but didn’t want to get his feet muddy, so it took a little bit of convincing to get him to follow me in, but once he got past the mud and into the water, it was no big deal. Once on the opposite side of the creek I let him indulge in some very lush grass, then we crossed it again, but stopped half way for a photo op.
The little turd did dunk his nose in the mud and smear it on my back, but otherwise, a great introduction to water. We then started to walk up the hill to show him a cow across the fence. As he got closer and spotted the cow, he started to trot in hand without being asked and neighed to the cow. K and I had been casually talking, but when we looked over at him we both busted out laughing.
After this we walked back up the giant hill back to the barn. I imagine that he took a long nap Saturday afternoon after all of the shenanigans. I know his body was tired after that hill! I see many more field walks out there for the two of us this winter, especially now that I know how quiet he is out there. It seems like as long as Joey has me, he’ll go along without questioning anything. Here’s to hoping this carries over to riding life one day. 😉