Friday, August 07, 2009


Yesterday morning I went to the barn. It was a bit of a struggle to get out there. For one, I'll admit it, I'm sick of the added complication and inconvenience of keeping all my stuff in my trunk,

and as the barn is really nearing completion,

there is a part of me that would be content to minimize trips between now and then simply out of laziness. Beyond that, a certain horse,

was something of a pill the last time I rode, so I knew this visit would require some going over of manners. Brian helped convince me to go, though, so I got in the car. It was a lovely morning, and I was again surprised by the shortness of the drive. I pulled Steen out of the pasture and saw immediately he was a little wound up. I tacked him up, but decided to put in a solid effort at ground-work before riding. We did that, for about 40 minutes. At first, he was super energetic, trotting in circles instead of walking. I still think the combination of lots and lots of grass plus some nerves are to blame for his less than perfect behavior lately, so we worked on calm. I let him trot whenever he wanted, but didn't let him stop moving until he walked voluntarily. We also worked on standing and letting me swish him with the rope, not crowding me when I told him to come in for pets, and after a while he was significantly more relaxed. I thought about riding but chose not to, thinking he'd already had a pretty long session and keeping things simple for a visit or two never hurts. Plus, he's got a sunburn on his nose and his face seemed tender.

So, I took him back to his pasture,

where his herd of Cal, Stella and Nadir (the flea-bitten Arabian who's name I now finally know) has increased by one to include Tommy. I'm hoping Tommy, who's a big American Showhorse, will supersede Steen in his place of authority. A possibly promising sign, I think, is when I turned Steen loose this time,

he did eventually trot back to the herd.

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