Tuesday, November 26, 2013

November 26- ride #16

This week the weather was very unpredictable, and I mostly fed Sherlock at his paddock. I hgave him some Banamine in a bran mash when the snow arrived, and he did not show any signs of colic. He did bang his knee on something and it's been minorly swollen.

Flying off out of frame
Tuesday Grayson the husband and Luna the dog joined me at the stable. Luna provided much support in the "make the horse go" department for a bit of turnout. Sherlock was showing me a huge trot! Very impressive! Since he didn't look sore I tacked up (it was cold so I tried the rope halter sidepull). During the saddling process Stable Manager M joined his horse in the round pen and worked him with the flag- very loud flappy flag noises and clangs as the horse tested the fence a few times. Sherlock was staring at them quite a while, but once he settled I got on as planned.

Sherlock did really well at steering today, but it was hard for me to tell if he was sore so I asked for a trot and I got a "no way!" He stopped outright and threw his head up twice- told me that if I continued to squeeze him with my legs, we would rear up. So I ceased and desisted that and we walked a bit more, then I asked for the trot again and he trotted for me a few strides, but I stopped him right away as he was certainly lame at the trot.

 Still, gaining in the steering department and a nice whoa. Maybe a trail walk next time as his knee heals.  Really impressed with his handling of the very spook-worthy stuff going on in the round pen. I need to remember we are building a shared language and it should include ways for either party to say no. I'd prefer the word for "no" not be to rear- and we didn't have to get that extreme today. I love that Sherlock is so sensitive and that he came right back and tried again when I understood his complaint and complied. He also didn't seem to mind being followed by the dog while riding.

I suspect many trainers would think Sherlock shouldn't be telling me what to do. And I say they can get themselves flipped over on, but I'm going to listen to my horse. I'm going to trust that he has a point. I can always be a little more gentle, more patient. He doesn't need strong aids, and he will understand what I'm saying as we continue on.

Grayson took lots of photos for me and hauled tack and played the "feed the horse" mini-game. This game involves the person trying to get the feed into the horse and the horse trying to throw the feed on the ground. Sherlock starts out just pushing the feed around in the pan, then he tries to shovel it out the sides, then he tries to pull the pan out of your hands by grabbing the handle, then he looks around and dribbles the feed all over, then we wants to scratch his face on the outside of the pan and bring his head up under it to knock it away. I think Grayson got a great score on this game. Enjoy the pictures and Happy Thankgiving to all!

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