Monday, November 23, 2009

Turkey chasing mud ball.

What? You don't see my gleaming show horse, my exceptional event prospect, his beautifully clipped head and bridle path and perfectly fitting shiny leather halter?

It's there somewhere, I swear.

Yesterday it snowed, then sleeted, then rained, then snowed again. Serena and I were going to go for a ride, but by the time we got to the barn everything was soaked including my horses. For some reason they were out in the field, soaked to the skin, and shivering in the wind. When I called Alexandre's name he came trotting over. I don't know why they weren't hanging out with all the other horses where there is shelter, but they both got their winter blankets on yesterday and last night.

Today they were dry and hanging out with the herd again, so who knows. I had a great time with Jasper today. The ground was slippery in a few places but OK in others, so I decided to go on our first solo trail ride down the gravel driveway and up a trail to a field. How many four-year-olds do you know that you can just saddle up and head down the trail on? Especially that haven't been ridden consistently for months. On a light/loose rein to boot. We walked up the trail to the field and there were wild turkeys EVERYWHERE. I even got him to trot after a flock of them- he was a little unsure about the whole thing but obediently trotted after them until they really started running through the field and got kind of scary. We saw lots of deer and a HUGE 3-point buck in the field as well. Trotted through the field up a looong hill and into the forest to another field, where we turned around because it had been tilled and was gooey and slippery. It wasn't a long ride but a very successful one. He self-regulated and walked and trotted on a loose or light rein. He took everything in stride. Gave some hard looks at some things but kept his cool. When we got back to the barn he walked through a big puddle without much fuss and stopped when I asked him to so I could dismount. Other than that I didn't work on stopping today, I wanted to have a really positive, successful day and I was also thankful when he stood tied without pawing, kicking, or pulling back.

I think he's finally starting to settle in and relax. He still needs to gain weight, but he's holding his own and not losing weight either. Now that the stressful part is over and he has all-you-can-eat grass hay, plus his supplements, I have hopes he'll maintain. Once it stays below freezing I'll probably leave his winter blanket on as well. Right now the temperature fluctuates so much it's impossible to leave it on.

He is such a good turkey-chasing baby.



BritnieAnn said...

AWESOME report! It sounds like you def had a blast, good boy Jasper!! LOL at chasing turkeys, you should have brought a shotgun, it is almost thanksgiving you know!! ;) (trying to imagine what Jasper would think of you shooting a shotgun on top of, scary! lol)

Kate said...

Your Jasper sounds like a star! How nice to have a ride like that!

Michelle said...

Sounds like great fun and lots of wildlife viewing! I'm pretty sure my horse would NEVER chase turkeys, so I'm duly impressed with Jasper's bravery! Glad that you had a good ride and the boys are settling in well.

Albigears said...

Strangely enough there IS a target shooting range very nearby. You can totally hear the gunshots when people are up there, they practically echo through the valley. Free de-sensitization, right? Alexandre is terrified of gunshots or lunge whip snapping sounds. It will be good for him.

The amazing thing was there were turkeys on both sides of the trail in the woods- on the downhill side and the uphill side. Jasper saw them but chose not to really react. When they all came running up to the trail in a big flock he watched and then followed them. Maybe he is just 'at one' with turkeys. It would explain a lot.

BritnieAnn said...

"Maybe he is just 'at one' with turkeys. It would explain a lot."