Tuesday, January 25, 2011

And we are hand walking.

I thought I'd use this title in case anyone thought this might actually be an interesting post. HA! On this day, day 2 of rehab, we made 4 loops of the road around the outside of the arena. For the most part we walked, got excited, stopped, backed up, stepped sideways, walked again. On the far end of the arena, on the opposite side, are pastured horses. They saw Jasper coming and ran to the fence. THIS was very exciting to him. Then they proceeded to run down the fence line. It was more than he could take. However, he really only got in big trouble twice. I don't mind a few prancing steps or a few small leaps, but threatening to rear is a big no-no. I gave a few very hard yanks on the rope halter, a smack on the chest, backed him up, and told him to knock it off. The first time didn't seem to have much effect but the second time did. On the last loop he HELD IT TOGETHER the entire length of the arena (in a bug eyed quivering kind of way) while horses galloped, bucked, and snorted up and down the fence line next to him. I was floored. I really thought this was outside the realm of possibilities for this horse.

I think I may have hurt his feelings. He truly wasn't doing it out of defiance. He's been in a stall for 3 weeks. He's the horse that looks for any excuse to run and play, and when he runs he runs hard. Many times he doesn't need an excuse, he'll just be out there running. But he feeds off of other horses, and if there are horses in a pasture 2 fields away that are playing he feels it's his duty to join in. In his own way. I feel bad for him, I wish he could function in a group turnout.

The funny thing was that he THOUGHT about doing naughty things more than he actually did them. We would be walking along (at a brisk pace mind you), and all the sudden he would stop and throw his head in the air. In anticipation. Even though he didn't do anything. I ignored him and kept walking while muttering endearing things like "dopehead" under my breath.

Wow. That was a lot of writing about a 10 minute walk.


Anonymous said...

Rehab is boring - when it isn't scary! Have you thought about a touch of Ace to keep both of you safe while you walk?

Barbara said...

When TBs puff themselves up to about 19 hands and forget you are there....I call it 'velociraptor on a leash'

achieve1dream said...

Poor guy! I hate when horses have to be on stall rest. They must be so miserable. At least it sounds like he was still listening . . . in the end at least. I think hurt feelings is better than hurt human. :) I'm glad he settled down some at the end of the walk.

Albigears said...

I was open to needing to use Ace. In fact the vet and I discussed giving him that sedative that lasts a month for when he was stall bound. Happily I don't think he's going to need any of it. He was never really out of control and I didn't feel unsafe at any moment.

Still laughing at "velociraptor on a leash". Even a half hour later. Yep. It is now part of my vocabulary.

Stall rest really is the worst. His feelings may have been hurt but he learned a good lesson that day. One of the baby steps to learning more about self control.

Anonymous said...

Thoroughbreds always make things more interesting. They are so much fun :)