Thursday, July 16, 2009

Resume

Yesterday I was sitting around kind of wasting my beautiful pre-work morning and I suddenly wondered, why am I not out riding my horse? It is funny how hard it can be to get back on track after the disruption of a pattern. My entire set of horse habits got chucked, by necessity, when we moved to the new land, and I have not yet established new ones. So, I finally decided to quit thinking of reasons going to the barn might not be all that great and just get out there and get going on adjusting.

It was a beautiful day, temperate with sun and a slight breeze. Steen was eating off a large round bale recently placed in the pasture when I arrived, and a little reluctant to leave it, but I persuaded him without difficulty. He was still wearing his fly mask, so that was good. I led him out of the pasture and past the partially built barn and he was not at all bothered by the fact that there was a whole construction crew swarming over the roof, complete with a gigantic crane and several smaller and rather strange-looking vehicles. I guess he's used to the construction, because he didn't give any of it a second look. I took him to the trailer and tied him and groomed him. Part way through our farrier showed up, so I chatted with him a bit. Then another boarder arrived, who was meeting the farrier, and I put Steen's tack on. Then I took his fly mask off, and discovered both of his eyes were draining goobers down his face.

Shoot.

Well, last year we had a runny-eye deal go around the herd, and the vet said it didn't need to be addressed unless it really persisted, so I guess I'll just keep an eye on this for now. A couple of the other horses seem to have the same problem, so I imagine it's just the same sort of thing. I cleaned off Steen's face and put his bridle on, then led him to the mowed strip between the pasture horses and the corn field, went through the gate, and mounted.

The ride was ok. There were a lot of distractions, but the biggest one was the filly. She was pretty blown away when I hopped up on Steen. I have never seen such a look of astonishment on a horse before. I guess she'd never seen a horse actually ridden. She seemed pretty agitated about the whole thing, and kept parallel with us on her side of the fence as we rode. Unfortunately, this strip of grass is long but narrow, so there was no getting away from her. When I went too far, her mom would get anxious and start calling and then sometimes run down after her and bring half the herd along.

All things considered, though, Steen was quite good. He was definitely curious about his new surroundings, and slightly prone to distraction, but he mostly did a good job staying in the gaits I told him and going where I pointed. He'd get nervous when we started to get far from the herd, so I adopted the yoyo strategy, making him go further then he wanted but then turning around and going back before we got way beyond his comfort zone. In this manner we made it down quite a long ways, almost to the end of the strip, and the last time he got a bit agitated and wanted to trot on the way back (I'll admit I wanted to run, but I need to be careful about forming bad habits right at first), but it only took a few disengages to convince him the attempts weren't worth it.

Back up by the herd, we did a fair amount of trotting, and got a compliment from the farrier on how evenly he moves. Go Steen! And that's with slightly long feet, too.

So, all in all I am satisfied with our first voyage on the new land. He was never even close to out of control or truly agitated, in spite of all the commotion and the fact he hadn't been ridden in quite a few weeks. So, I can only imagine it will get better from here.

2 comments:

  1. The runny eyes could be allergies, either from the move or the time of year, or both maybe. When Tranikla's eyes get that runny, I have the vet flush his tear ducts, but his tear ducts have been a continual problem that I'm already aware of.

    Grats on having a good ride in a new place. Moving is always "fun" with horses, but hopefully he'll settle down as he gets used to the new surroundings.

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  2. Thanks. :) Yeah, horses do seem a little prone to eye-runnies in general. Luckily Steen's seem to have already cleared up, so hopefully that's the end of it. If it comes back a tear-duct flush might be in order.

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