Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Laredo Arrives

Since we were out of town all weekend, we had to wait until Monday for our horse delivery. We've decided to call him Laredo.

We headed out to the barn right after work, mostly to distract ourselves from the excitement. We rode on the strip. Brian read an article about using a cut-out pad backwards to relieve pressure on the lower back, so he borrowed my new pad to give this a try on Bear. I used his pad. I didn't honestly think this would make any difference until I got mounted and asked Steen for a whirlygig to the left. He did not want to step under behind, he just kept pivoting on his back feet. This hasn't happened with me and Steen in months and months. Even last ride, when I was asking for whirlygigs for the first time in a long while, he never hesitated with them.

As the ride continued, Steen seemed off in other ways as well. He was more nervous than he's been lately, and when I asked him to lope down the strip, he was definitely not moving out in any way that felt normal. In fact he started to get kinda crunchy, like he was thinking about a crow-hop. He was also then stiff on stopping from the lope, and seemed agitated walking back up the strip.

There was another factor that might have had something to do with his behavior. A planter was going around and around in the field next to us, and at times it got close. It was massive and loud. Steen is not a fan of gigantic machinery. So he was a little distracted by that, but still I don't think it fully explains things. I have had nothing but awesome rides on him lately, and today he just felt like he wasn't moving quite right.

Bear, on the other hand, was moving smoother than we've seen in weeks. He was executing bends and short serpentines with no issues at all. He's still not fully recovered, but he's definitely improving. It seems light work and stretches and a new saddle pad might get him back to normal pretty soon.

We'd been riding for about an hour when the breeder called to say he was 15 minutes away. We untacked and turned the guys out in the airlock. A few minutes later, Laredo arrived. He stepped off the trailer without a fuss, and was happy to stand quietly while we talked. He again struck me as curious but not at all reactive.

We turned him out with Steen and Bear and everyone pranced around for a while, but there wasn't a single squeal or kick to be seen.

We released them into the larger pasture and pretty soon Laredo was frolicking around trying to get everyone else to play. We have a somewhat "mature" herd at the moment. Steen is the next youngest horse out there, and he'll be turning twelve in a few weeks.

Laredo seems fast to make friends, anyway.

He was also pretty willing to explore on his own, though you could tell he didn't want to get too far from the herd. One of the reasons we picked him is he seemed to have a bit of an independent streak. We'll see how our expectations mesh with the reality as we get to know him better.

Ride Time: 1:00
Horseback hours YTD: 49:35

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