Friday, June 7, 2013

The Little Things

I was beyond tired yesterday at work after returning from San Fran, but I missed Spyder so much (and his birthday! :( June 4th and he's 6!). I knew I had to get to the barn, but I was so unmotivated. On my turn out of the work parking lot, it started raining. GREAT! I went anyway... got changed in my car while I watched it shower, and then I watched it stop. It was off an on the whole time I was getting things together, but it stayed dry for my ride.

Getting Spyder out of the field, I noticed the two newer geldings have figured out the paddock. The one is mean! He assumed it was feeding time, and was lunging at the others coming near the gate - ears back, teeth out, and ready for the kill. He even got his feet off the ground if they were getting too close. This made me so sad because Spyder knows me and gets so excited to come up to me. Since I was never around this new horse, he kept Spyder away and he was so upset he couldn't get over to me. Poor guy - at least now he's getting a taste of his control over the herd. Spyder is to the point where he's just got to put his ears back and they back away, but this horse is just plain sour and nasty!

Next up, the mustang. He came over from the barn next door and always escaped over there. He hadn't that I am aware of at this barn... until I got near the gate when he was close. I did see him following Spyder and I, but I didn't think he'd just bust through the gate! This is his "thing", apparently. He waits for you to close it, and then he puts all of his weight on it and runs. Of course this would be on a day where I was rushing to get on before the rain. Spyder is good with grass so I just let go of his lead since I knew he wouldn't go anywhere. I had to grab this horse quick, and he kept trying to kick Spyder who was near the gate eating. UGH! I was hoping this wasn't how my ride would go.

Spyder was more aware then usual which I expected for 6 days off, but he was back to lazy Spyder in 3 minutes. We rode out in the big field where we worked on "the little things." We would walk then stop, and try to move his hind end over. I slid my foot back, and it took a bit, but he got it. His biggest issue is which part to move. First he wants to move the front so I stop him, then he wants to back because he's like, "OK, next best thing", then he finally moves his butt over. This is fun, frustrating, and the biggest workout ever (not only for his butt, but mine... feel the burn). I find I have more leverage and power without my stirrup so I get to work on getting those back without reaching down to put my feet in them (a bad habit of mine). We worked on moving the hind end over a few times in each direction with a loose trot circle in between for some mind clearing.

Mind clearing was a must because my leg was hurting and Spyder was furstrated. Whenever we try something new, he takes a little bit to figure out what you want, and once he figures it out, he's good to go. Soon we'll have those "buttons", but for now, we have moving somewhere on command. The one time he was backing he decided to rear on command (so it seemed) and another time, he moved into my leg. Oh wow, Spyder... get it together! It was just a few inches off the ground, but let's hope that was his kicking out habit that will come to an end. He only did it once so I think we're good, and I didn't ride long because he was listening and doing so well after that incident.

I got back to the barn, untacked, and gave him a little extra grain and hay because I missed him and he deserved it. I have no idea why Spyder does this (assuming his age and oral fixation issues?), but he licks the wall. He LOVES to taste everything that comes near his mouth, but when he is finished eating, he always licks one of two walls in his stall - this is, of course, after he licks his bucket for 5 minutes to make sure there is not even the flavor of grain. At this point, he probably licks the stall because it tastes like grain from the day prior! haha