The horses have been sick so I haven't had really the ability to work with them in quite awhile, aside from just generally handling the, leading, walking, etc (no riding, nothing to get their heart rate up, etc).
I went out yesterday, since they are getting better- and decided to do some light work with each of them as a refresher. They are still a little under the weather, but I would say 99% there. Fully cleared by the vet to get back into regular working schedule. This is just my little rant, my little ***** fest. I just don't particularly have people around (horsey people) that get these kinda things.
My mare… total and complete *&^^%$& to catch. This isn't abnormal… If I go any period of time not actually working with her, she seems to get po'd with me. Once she's caught, she's just dandy, but she likes to punish me for not working her. Even with regular catching, grooming, etc. If I don't actually WORK her, she just gets her panties in a wad.
I set up my panels as a round pen, and revisited that (I haven't had a round pen in awhile). She did fine, but she was acting hesitant toward me (not so far as doing what I said, but she seemed conflicted when it came to coming up to me and such. I'd try to draw her in, she'd take a few steps then get wary and back off. This isn't incredibly off for her- she always gets this way when there's time off. She almost seems to get jealous when my time isn't spent with her. She's always been "testy" so to speak- she's a prima donna.
Then Egan, the foster. He had been doing soooo well, until yesterday that is. He didn't want to move, kept coming at me- and not the fearful behavior before, just downright obstinate. Just being a brat, like we've never done anything before in his life. Like a 2 year old throwing a temper tantrum (my vet says he's closer to 3 rather than closer to 2) He was fine still with being handled (Ive been handling him every day) but all the "yes ma'am" got exchanged for " *** you" when there's any get-up-and-go involved. I mean, don't get me wrong, he wasn't TERRIBLE and he wasn't being downright dangerous (in comparison to what he was), he'd turn in toward me with his ears pinned (he got promptly corrected when any attitude showed), run around with nose tucked in the air, prancing, kicking out... That attitude was on hyper overdrive, and it was just exhausting. It's incredibly frustrating to get so far and then get set so back.
The good news is that since he got sick, he's starting to become more personable and such to people and the other horses. He's started "being himself" and lightening up… but this may contribute to this attitude thing. He seems to feel much more comfortable- although I think this is leading to his challenging behavior. Also kinda proves that he's not the kinda guy who you can let "sit" for awhile. I still hold the fact that he's got a lot of potential to be a good all around horse … just irksome these detours. SOOOOOOO…. Back to basics, I guess. Until further notice. Maybe we'll be back on tract shortly, I dunno.
I left the the day just completely frustrated, aside from my mare. She did well, but she's expected to, and is always willing with me. She was even doing well giving up her front end and pivoting on her back leg (challenging for her- but she acted like she'd been doing it all her life!). With Egan, I didn't get much of anywhere with it seemed… I mean, we did- I'm over exaggerating the worse parts- he did start actually paying attention and turning the attitude off and doing as-told, lowering his head, ears forward- but took forever it seemed. Just one of those off days.
I'm thinking this is just him feeling himself and testing his limits. Before he was fearful, but he's not acting that way AT ALL now (I can tell the difference) Just like a "Oh yea? What you going to do about it?" Just got keep up with it. He's definitely a challenge (the smartest horse I have ever met, hands down, top that off with a troubled past and willful nature, you got yourself a challenge).
But, I remind myself that the rewards outweigh the cost, having come so far with him already. I KNEW this relapse was coming, I had that "feeling" (which is why I decided set up the round pen, aside from other reasons) He was just doing "too good to be true" and I didn't think he was 100% "there" so to speak, even if he was (technically) getting it. He was respectful about it all (not yesterday, but with all the work we did before), but with no umph, borderline. I had a feeling this stuff would "pop up" when he started getting comfortable (which was part of the reason I was very hesitant to move him under saddle, even though he previously acted outwardly "ready", I didn't think he was).
Still doesn't make it any less frustrating.
I'm working with them today, again. And tomorrow… and on and on the trucking goes. Getting back on my horsey schedule. Back to get up and work horses at 6 am, before going to work all day. It sucks during the winter, but a dawn schedule is a blessing when it gets to triple digits.
This is, of course, assuming I don't slam my head into a brick wall first. Though, I have a feeling that would be over all counter-productive course of action.
It looks like I'm going to have the 10 acres next door, in addition to my 10 acres. This means it is going to be time to start outlining plans for my "facility" set up. (I want to do boarding for extra $- inexpensive, pasture board that covers hay, with options for full care for more cost, but not 5 million people, just a small thing, enough extra cash to cover expenses for my creatures). And planning out an obstacle course. Around here, it seems like alot of the less expensive boarding options around come at a cost- with neglect to horses and shady people just looking for $$$. (I know people with horror stories) Not all of them, of course, though they usually don't have spaces available. Since I'm close to town, I figure would be a good market to explore, though I know I have alot of work to do beforehand- aside from actual physical work, there's also legalities (contracts, etc). I was thinking of having a base price that includes hay/pasture, worming and feet trims- then having a higher rate for feeding, work, care for wounds if injured, etc; and a release for emergency vet care, if owner can't be reached. ... Lots of things going on in my brain.
Oh well. I will end this now. Get my day rollin rollin'
Thanks for listening!