Saturday, November 20, 2010

More Nerves, More Wugs

Brian is still suffering from a sore shoulder and doesn't feel up to riding again yet, but we've had the wug we purchased for Bear sitting around for a while now and we keep forgetting to take it to the barn with us. Today we decided we really needed to go try it on him to make sure it is the right size before we actually need it.

We arrived at the barn to find everybody a bit stirred up. The barn owners have been removing a lot of dead trees on their land and probably the noise had the horses excited. We brought Bear and Steen indoors and they were both a bit antsy (Steen significantly moreso than Bear, of course). We did our normal thing - groomed them. Neither of them were being horrible, but they were a bit more mobile than usual. After grooming, I started on some groundwork with Steen and Brian tried the blanket on Bear.

Well, we definitely guessed wrong as far as the size of blanket Bear would need. Since he's two inches shorter than Steen and Steen's wug is very nearly too large for him, we reasoned one size down would do the trick. Unfortunately, we apparently did not have a true understanding of Bear's girth. The blanket actually looked hilarious on him. We should have taken a photo but didn't think of it.

So then we thought, well, Steen's blanket is almost too large for him. Maybe he can use the smaller one.


It was a little small on him too.

So, we gave up on the blanket and I hopped on Steen bareback in the indoor. He was very responsive in his old way - doing everything perfectly (including backing) as long as I didn't ask him to stop. I didn't ride for long though, because there was more heavy machinery moving around outside and although he calmed down over the course of the ride, I'm in the jittery stage after a bad fall. He felt like he just might spook at any second and I really didn't feel like dealing with that.

After I rode Steen I decided Bear also need some exercise.  I almost just worked him on the line for a while, but then I decided I should really get to know him a bit better. Brian gave me a leg up and I had my first bareback experience on Bear.


I felt good on him. He is really a sweet horse, with a good, solid foundation of training. His sort of overall feel is very different from Steen's, but he is surprisingly responsive and supple for his age and demeanor, and he was great for me. I slightly overbalanced a couple times because he actually stops when you say "woah." I'm not used to that.  :)

2 comments:

  1. I'll admit that having "work" to do at the barn is nice in some ways, because it gets you out there no matter what. Even if I really don't want to ride (for whatever reason), I still have to go spend time with my horses, and that helps me get back into the riding mindset.

    I'm actually surprised you got Bear a blanket, given how strongly against them you were awhile ago. With Steen's past weight issues, I can see getting one for him, but Bear seems to be doing good there. What made you decide to blanket Bear too?

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  2. Well, we haven't necessarily decided to blanket Bear, but after last year I don't want to be in the position of needing a blanket for a horse and not having one on hand. Also, as much as I don't think all horses need to be blanketed, this is a hard climate in that we tend to get a few ice storms each winter, during which a warm storm rolls into very cold local temps and the rain falls into the colder air below, freezing on the way down. The horses get wet even though it's way below freezing and with flat coats, they have no defense against the chill. Our pasture doesn't have an actual shelter, just a wind-block. If I know that sort of storm is coming, I'd really rather have both our horses wearing something warm.

    Bear does seem to be an easy keeper, but is also 15. He might get through the winter fine, but then again he might not. I guess it's a better safe than sorry sort of situation. :)

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