Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Break

After my last ride on Steen I guess I was feeling a little unmotivated to get back out there and deal with all his new-found energy. He's been back-sliding a bit this spring, and I know it's because I've been lazy with the ground-work all winter and we've gotten to be quite buddy-buddy. Which is fine to a point but when the pendulum swings too far in that direction, it need to come back a little with the message, "Yes, we're friends but also, I'm the boss."

So, between that and knowing Steen's whole world is going to change so soon, and some other things going on in my life, I took two weeks off from the barn. This wasn't really intentional. It just happened. And by the end of those two weeks I wasn't feeling daunted by the task of going out there and putting in my time any more. I was missing Steen.

I knew the farrier was scheduled to come today, and I didn't want to risk the embarrassment of possible poor behavior on Steen's part (last time he was just verging on not great), so yesterday afternoon I drove out to the barn for some manners refreshing. Steen saw me coming from the far side of the pasture and started walking in my direction, which was encouraging. Then I just took him inside and we did some ground work. He definitely has picked up a couple little defiant habits lately, like when I tell him to back or change direction when he's circling, he tosses his head and sometimes when I let him stop, he yawns in a way that I suspect is disrespectful. So, we worked on reminding him that I make the decisions, and I think it went pretty well. He was a little antsy and prone to distraction when I first tied him up and groomed him and fly-sprayed him, but after the groundwork he was extremely calm, so that was good.

This morning I went to the barn again and the farrier came and did everyone's feet. I did just a little bit of groundwork with Steen before it was his turn for a trim, and he was a doll for the farrier, though not as good about the wormer I gave him afterward. Still, all in all it was a good day and I'm thinking I'm going to go out there again tomorrow and actually ride.


  1. Heh, I think that's both the good and bad about my boarding situation. I somewhat feel like I HAVE to get out there at least 3 times a week to give the horses a chance to get out and run around. Even when I don't want to go, I still drag myself out there at least 3 times a week...although I don't always ride. For the most part, once I get out there I'm glad I went (and I often ride even when I wasn't planning too). Of course on the days I'm really busy or just REALLY don't want to, I don't go. However most the time I've found it's just the getting motivated to go out there that's the hardest part.

    Grats on Steen behaving for the farrier...we're still working on that one.

  2. Yeah, the fact that Steen's life is pretty glorious whether I show up regularly or not definitely keeps me from feeling guilty if I don't make it out to see him. Still, this is the first time I've gone more than a week without seeing him (except for vacations) since I got him, and I think the time off did help re-motivate me. On the other hand, knowing he's content without me does sometimes help me choose the easy "oh, I'll just stay home today" route perhaps a little more often than I would otherwise, which isn't always a good thing...

  3. I think going out to the barn frequently is pretty critical to my physical and emotional well-being these days. So, it's actually works in my favor more often than not.

    Sometimes one does just need time off tho, so it's nice that you have that option. In reality, my guys would probably be fine (if maybe a bit hyper) if I didn't go out, so it's not that huge of a deal.


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