It is HARD being 2. Ok, two weeks shy of your second birthday is rough!
Today, I went and decided to work with Neuf for 10-15 minutes or so. It ended up being 35 minutes or so, because life is really, really hard as a baby horse when the distractions make you ignore your person.
The plan was to add the surcingle to his attire. Nothing attached to it, but wearing it.
Pull Neuf out of the stall, put him in the second set of cross ties, start currying, he backs up, stop currying, go move him forward, start currying, he backs up, rinse repeat about 3 times, then I said ENOUGH, and insisted on not moving.
Move to the vacuum set of cross ties, less fidgeting, and stood well for the vacuum (ah, smart baby horse!).
Put on the surcingle, with dressage pad & extra fleece under the top part, fasten it. No reaction (good baby horse!).
Put on gloves & helmet, grab dressage whip (smart human decisions were made today), go to the small 50’x55′ paddock, just set gate on the post, but no latching. Start with the good direction after we do a few walk/halts in hand. This means he’s going left, I’m to his right. Walk, trot, walk, trot. (this is going nicely, I’ll be done in 3 minutes!) All on the nice 10′ lead, then we go the other way…
Walk, halt, walk, trot…hell to the no says Neuf…and he proceeds to canter. I walk a big circle a bit, but at some point he turned his butt a bit too far my way and got it popped, I let go, because I’m not getting kicked and he can’t go far. He canters around a bit, getting annoyed with the lead between his legs, a bit of bucking, I go pick it up and go back to the walk to the right…rinse repeat, ask Doug to go grab me a longer line, as the pen is small enough to not need to let go if I have more rope.
Doug hands me the longer, cotton rope, and Neuf is just not having this walk trot business today, and then, he turns and has to buck, and I make him turn back and OMG, it was TERRIBLE, he had to keep paying attention to the person! There were horses being ridden, the neighbor’s horse screaming, and dogs and chickens and noises, and he didn’t WANT TO.
He wanted to do this, be a feral horse!
So, at one point, he’s in the corner (downside to corners), and chests the gate…the gate that is not latched. Ooops.
He canters out, right towards Doug. Last second direction change and then canters around the slightly larger paddock (I had closed that gate too), and he is full of his bad self. Walk over, retrieve him, back to the little paddock, latch the gate this time.
Look at what a lovely, uphill canter he has! (pictures from last weekend)
Walk is ALL I want now. Finally, we get a lovely 2 circles with good attention, he is able to walk/trot going left, so we call it success.
Next, he has to go to the wash stall, he’s not a fan.
The sound of running water is TERRIFYING!!!!!!! So, I get a bucket & sponge, and leave the water running. We spend 10 minutes yo-yo-ing in and out of the watch stall, water running out of the sponge is almost as terrifying as the hose! OMG OMG OMG. I sponged him with the water running from the hose. Then I moved the hose some… OMG OMG OMG!!!!
Finally, Suzy is done riding Romeo & ready to rinse Romeo off. Neuf watches as Romeo gets sprayed with that hose, and OMG, overspray hit him! But, he was calmed down, and so it was back to his stall.
What do wet horses need to do? Roll. Dumb babies sometimes roll too close to the wall…and get cast.
I had just pulled Tanq out, and look over to see Neuf’s legs scrambling up his wall…egads baby horse!
Put Tanq back in his stall, and watch panicking Neuf for a moment. He stops scrambling, and is still enough that I go in his stall, leaving the door open in case I need to get out of his way again. I’m pondering how I’m going to use lead ropes to help him roll over and realize that he’s managed to push himself a bit away from the wall, so after he stopped panicking and thought about it, he was able to get his legs tucked in enough to get up. Whew!
He was filthy…he’s a bit of a pig so when I stripped the barn to powerwash, I gave him all the older bedding until it is gone. And he was soaked, so he looked pretty disgusting, but there was no missing skin or blood in evidence so it was back to Tanq.
It was just a terrible day to be 2. And I was wondering why I got a baby horse?
This picture of Tanq should have been Neuf, because this was Neuf’s attitude today!