Love is in the air…

Or at least lust. Every mare on the property seemed to be in heat tonight and all of the boys had definitely noticed!

I started off with Honey. Honey was in raging heat and this had the side effect of rendering her obnoxiously herd bound. Oh my heavens, what was I thinking trying to take her away from her friends? She screamed and pranced and generally acted like a particularly rank youngster in the post parade.

“You are EIGHT YEARS OLD,” I reminded her. “Walk like a lady!”

I put her in the round pen, where she bucked and farted and ran around while I finished my chores. She was still on the alert when I came out. You know that Thoroughbred mare mood where they are just ridiculously twitchy all over? Antsy, twitchy, peeing, pooping (how does that much poop come out of one horse? She just kept doing the nervous pooping tonight.) , couldn’t stand. Got an elbow in the ribs more than once as I brushed her up and she forgot I was there and barged over. She didn’t seem to notice.

(This mare would make a great polo pony. Truly. Karen, any interest in polo? ‘Cause I’m telling you, that is Honey’s niche. I can just see her bumping. Would not faze her a bit! )

Tacked her up and did a little work teaching the backup on the ground to start. She catches on really quickly. Then I let her trot around loose and do her signature move where she throws her head and neck all over like she is a real bad ass, had her canter a bit til I was sure the edge was off and then climbed on. She was really very good. I was expecting worse given her overall mood, but once on, she was about the same as usual. We continued to work on bending to the right (the left bend, unsurprisingly, is fine) and halting and backing a few steps. I saw the first hints of a really free back a time or two tonight, but she’s still resistant. She will get it. She is just figuring it out.

I had started turning her toward the wall to start teaching the pivot last time and this time she really caught on and started doing a true rollback at the walk. I was really surprised and pleased and she got major petting and praise for that. This mare is so light on her feet when she wants to be. When we get the cues installed, she is going to be a sports car to ride. The other really nice thing about her is she has no problem at all walking on a loose, dropped rein. Sometimes that is a real challenge for OTTB’s but this one gets that a loose rein means just relax and walk with your head low, and that is exactly what she does. What a good girl!

Hosed her off, put her back out with the girls (she still had enough energy that I had to growl at her to walk back to the other mares) and grabbed the VLC. I figured it would be a valuable learning experience as there were mares in heat behind another fence not ten feet from the round pen. Time to see if Mr. VLC can think with the upstairs head!

Tonight I just ended up doing ground work with him. I put a little different bit on him – a copper mouth D ring that’s quite a bit thicker than the loose ring snaffle I was riding him in. He definitely preferred that and there was a lot less of the “OMG you are killing me” face. (I have a friend who is going to loan me her happy mouth french link so I am betting he will really like that!) I knotted the reins loosely to the horn so that the only time they made contact is when he tried to trot with his nose on the ground – his usual reaction to riding in a bit. I let him trot around and figure out that the only place his head couldn’t be was lower than his knees.

I’ve mentioned before that our round pen is a little deep. Not dangerously so, but deep enough that it’s a pretty good workout for them. He wanted to talk to the girls, truly he did, but after the second round, he realized he didn’t have the wind to both whinny and trot, and Mean Mom was going to make him keep jogging. He gave up. He completely ignored them after that, and I mean, one of them was backed up butt first to the fenceline. What a good VLC! I’m guessing that pasture full of conveniently located slutty ex-broodmares is going to be one of the best training tools ever.

Ran out of time and energy and did not address the SSBG (new name. Now he’s the Small Spotted Bucking Gelding) tonight but we’ll get to that later this week. My hand’s still healing up and I think I might want to have both of them in working order for the next ride!

Funniest part of the evening: I have been turning my ancient mare, Clover, out in the “hallway” between our two lines of pastures overnight so she can gum some grass and enjoy some freedom. Tonight, we heard major squealing coming from the direction of the “boy” pasture (mixed stallions and geldings). Josie thought a stallion was flirting with Clover, and headed off to check it out. Nope. It was her Appy gelding, and yes…he was in loooove. The two of them mooned at each other over the fence line for quite some time before she gave up and headed off in search of more grass. I am sure he was heartbroken.

Sorry about the lack of pictures. I know, it’s become a boring blog. Going to try to get more soon!

Published in: on July 1, 2008 at 4:59 am  Leave a Comment  

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