Monday, October 12, 2009

The One I Forgot to Title

On Wednesday I returned to the barn and had a short solo ride. The good news is Brian and I now have a tack locker! For our tack! Meaning I don't have a saddle, two bridles, two halters and a million other accouterments in my trunk anymore! This is a welcome change. I got my trunk mostly emptied out and went to fetch Steen. He was muddy, and since I haven't had anywhere to tie him for quite a long time, I took advantage of being inside with a tether-area to leave him tied for a while and turn my attention to the detail areas I've been skipping a little. Mainly, I brushed all the way through his tail and scrubbed all the mud off his lower legs and ankles. He was very good, but the downside was I lost track of time a little, so by the time I hopped on his back, the watch on my saddle told me I only had ten minutes to ride. Oops.

And they weren't the greatest ten minutes. Steen was stubborn and didn't want to go away from the barn, and I didn't have time to really work through anything with him, so I got a little irritated, which made him worse, of course, and I got off thinking I probably shouldn't have gotten on at all. But he looked very pretty, all shiny with his mane and tail free of tangles. His winter coat is coming in, too, so he's darkened a few shades.

Yesterday after a weekend in Chicago, Brian and I stopped off at the barn on our way home. We took some grain to the pasture since it has become apparent catching Cal will be a more positive experience for everyone involved if we bribe her. Of course, Steen wanted treats too, and his level of obsession with my dirty orange barn vest went up a couple notches when he smelled goodies in the pockets.

Our ride yesterday was better on the ground and not quite as good under saddle than the last time Brian and I rode together. Steen was better than Wednesday, but still stubborn at times and spooked hugely at one point when the new puppy tried to go through the wire fence and got a shock. Steen is very scared of the sound wire fences make when they vibrate since his accident (go figure). He spun and bolted. I didn't fall off, thankfully, and Cal's spook was only in response to Steen's and rather milder, so that was a good thing to know.

The other good news is Steen's leg. The crusty, uneven scab with all the proud flesh has fallen off, leaving a solid, smooth scab that is probably 1/3 the size of the original wound. I intended to take a photo but my camera ran out of batteries while I was taking photos of Brian on Cal.

Brian did well, though Cal showed a slight increase in her tendency towards unresponsiveness. She seemed to give him some steering problems at the walk, though at the trot she was pretty good. So we decided he'll just trot her a fair bit and eventually she'll get the picture that being lazy won't get her out of working.

So, upon leaving the barn yesterday I concluded that I just need to put time in on Steen's back. I just need to ride ride ride. I think he's really close to being over the hump and becoming more solid than unpredictable, but he's really just not there yet. But he's awesome on the ground. Way better than Cal. Because of all the makeshift tying situations this summer, he's learned that when I say "stand" it means he should stand still while I walk all around him, grooming, tacking, holding his lead rope loosely. He'll just stay put and let me do whatever I want to him - including mess with his leg-wound. That's something, I suppose. Now I just need to transfer some of that patience and pliability to how he acts when I'm on his back.


  1. Heh, Tranikla sometimes neck-reins better at a trot than a walk too. Dunno exactly why that is, but I also find trotting for a bit helps the steering for any future walking.

    I think "just riding" is what most horses need. Just putting miles and miles under their cinch (or...something else if it's bare-back) seems to be the best thing for them in a lot of cases.

  2. Yeah, they can get used to anything. Just like us, I suppose. Over time nothing remains remarkable.


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