First of all, I will start off with my good news: RC is sound to trot!
Finally! After two weeks off, his feet have finally grown enough for him to be comfortable at the trot. The bute that I’ve been giving him is probably helping… But that boy needs to start working before he destroys the barn. We don’t want to be “That Boarder”. Shudder.
Since RC is prone to annoying bossy behavior of his jerky stud-cold alter ego, Red Fury, when giving any considerable time off, we’ve been spending our time doing about an hour of showmanship or in hand work. Mostly things like stopping when I stop (without having to bump the lead rope), backing when I ask (without having to bump the lead rope), pivoting on his hind quarters to both directions and generally not running me over. We were actually doing pretty well after a few days of practice. RC is always so proud of himself when he knows the answer to the questions I’m asking.
On Friday, I brought carrots for both of the ponies. A little treat for being good, as it were. Delight worked hard, and pretty well, so she got her carrots in her stall after working. RC, nearly frantic that HE was never going to eat again at the sound of Delight crunching away on carrots, got too pushy. So it was off to the arena for some groundwork. I decided to break up two carrots into little pieces to reward him got his groundwork efforts. As it would turn out, a little food reward makes RC very very attentive. He would stop and back without any pressure. His pivots were approaching reining velocity. That is, until his lack of coordination caught up with him.
I was asking him to do a little pattern using the ground poles that were lying all over (as always). We walked over the first three poles, pivoted to the right 270 degrees, walked over three more poles, halt, pivot 90 degrees and set up. We didn’t make it to the set up stage. I tried (silly me) to give RC a treat as I was asking him to pivot the 90 degrees. His body started moving faster than his legs, which got twisted up under him like a pretzel. He hit the ground with a THUD.
What kind of horse falls down in showmanship?
Obviously RC cannot walk and chew at the same time, much less cross his legs while chewing. I should have known better…
Of course, there were witnesses to RC’s moment of grace. Lesson kids on their ponies were staring at him wide eyed as he finished chewing before lumbering to his feet, ready for another carrot piece. What a doofer. Good thing I have Deli, so it looks like I actually do know how to work with horses…
Also… I have a surprise for everyone! Pictures to come….