According to Google, it seems to mean "bean farmer" in Italian. Which is LITERALLY the best thing I have ever heard.
But I was going for Fabio as in the model Fabio - both ironically and literally. But being a bean farmer explains his derpy-ness... haha
A good looking, model, bean farmer.....??
Anyway, just got back from our trail ride.
AND FABS DID SO WELL!!!!! We saw some strangers who, interestingly, really seemed to worry Fabs until they petted him. As soon as they touched him, he just relaxed and was a-ok with them. Silly boy!
But yeah, I asked them to pet him because I know he loves people and I want him to be ok with random people on the trail. The people were SO excited to pet him too. It was great!
I walked him down to the end of the trail and rode back. He was hard to get back on and my pants, awkwardly, completely deconstructed [luckily in a way that, if I kept my butt to him while on the ground, it was ok] themselves while trying to get on him.....but aside from being the most awkward person on the trails [which is probably always accurate anyway, if we're real], it went great!
He didn't spook at anything and, even though he wanted to trot at some points, he listened to me and kept a steady walk. He even managed to not kill us going downhill! We had to go down a really steep hill and he was clearly thinking hard about where to put his feet, but he made it down slowly and correctly! Yay!!
Haha thanks Cherri! :) Fabs is an amazing horse! He makes up for me.
Thanks, egrogan! The first solo ride is always nervewracking, I think. No matter how many miles you've traveled!
I mean, back in the day - at camp, I used to take one horse or the other out by themselves [Lacey didn't like going out alone at camp for whatever reason, so I rarely took her out alone there] and some of those horses LOST THEIR MINDS at the idea of going out alone. Not every horse can do it and that's ok - we're lucky ours can!!
On the bummer side of things, Mr. Fabs seems really sore this morning. :(
It might be just the fact that he's just starting back into work and this was the most intense, longest workout he's had...
I'm hoping that's what it is.
I'm also wondering about the way the saddle fits him. I padded it up in the middle, a few weeks ago, for his back since it was bridging pretty badly and I knew his back was going to improve [which it has]. I didn't think to check it without the shim before our ride yesterday - maybe his back has improved enough that he doesn't need it.
...or maybe he needs a different saddle.
Interesting, his loin area isn't sore at all - he's sore in front, right behind his shoulders [where his shoulders would hit in the middle of his stride], on both sides.
I thiiiiink that might have been about where the shim-pad would have hit him on the front edge of it.
In any case, I guess I'll take some saddle fit photos this evening and post them.
I do know the saddle could certainly fit him better [it's as wide as can be and, in his currently unmuscled state, it's a little tooo wide] but I hesitate to start scrambling to get him a new one when he's certainly going to change shape so much in the coming months. But I don't want to cause him pain!! Maybe I should use a thicker all over pad for a bit. I do have a wool western pad that's not as thin as the dressage pads I've been using, but still thick enough to use with an Aussie saddle...
Ha, I feel for the owners of 4 year olds. I guess I technically kind of have a 4 year old in terms of body conditioning??
Anyway, I gave him some MSM to hopefully help ease any inflammation.
And then Mr. Atti plotted a grand escape this morning -
Haha of courseeee. He has to wear tennis balls because he's such a jerk. But really. The tennis balls were implemented because I kept discovering these deep gashes on Hazel's belly from where he jabbed her while "playing." Plus, as he's aged, he's discovered that he can boss horses around by jabbing his horns at their faces = NO THANK YOU.
So tennis balls he gets. Haha
So in bravery news, I told Gman about how I used to like him. It came up pretty organically in a conversation and it wasn't really a huge deal, but I feel way better now that he knows!! He was, of course, really sweet about it.
He's the best. :) haha I'm basically like a kid who has a big brother that thy are allll about....only my "big brother" is 6 months younger than me??
I'm really impressed with Fabs! He's really started to "tune in" to me for direction. Before, he'd focus on me because he knew that was what he was supposed to do, but now he's actually focusing on me because he wants to. And that makes me so happy!!
Yesterday I gave him a good massage in the morning [and managed to get those knots out of his shoulders from our trail ride], then he tried on "the lesson saddle" for the first time.
Going on a trail ride and behaving safely was one of the last "checkpoints" before I felt comfortable thinking about asking any lesson kids if they wanted to come out and help me test him out.
Since he did exceptionally on the trail, I figure it's time.
I know he LOVES kids and he was so so careful with those disabled kids at the therapy place, so I'm not toooo terribly worried about how he'll be around kids. I just needed to get him thoroughly checked and more "ok" before exposing someone's kid to the potential risk that is Fabio. At this point, though he's still monumentally inexperienced, I feel like he's safe enough for a kid who's been riding for a while.
Anyway, the next big hurdle was/is the lesson saddle. It's a western saddle AND it has a backcinch.
From the way he behaved getting saddled up, that clearly needs some work [he "froze" and mentally went somewhere else, then, once the saddle was on, he was totallllly in my bubble and we had a discussion about how my bubble is MY bubble, but those are typical "Fabio is scared" moves]. So we'll work on that before any kids come out.
I was surprised at how unimpressed he was about the backcinch. From his nervous reaction -holding his belly up, etc- it was quite clear that he had probably never had one on before.
BUT! Instead of running from it or bucking, or any other negative behavior, he relaxed into it pretty quickly.
He did buck a few times while cantering on the lunge [unusual for him] but it was only for the first few steps of the first canter. After that, he settled right down and cantered well.
And I got to see why he didn't really unseat me when he bucked with me that time - his most effort-full bucks only got him mayyyyybe a foot off the ground. The boy's got no hops!
So I think I'll probably saddle him up again tonight and lunge him again, to give him double the good experiences to think about tomorrow as he gets the day off.
I wish that saddle were big enough for me to ride in, but it's not. It has a 13 inch seat which I thinkkkk would be a squeeze even for me.
But LOOK at how GOOD he look in a western saddle!! I'm in danger of wanting to snag him a western saddle for ME to ride in somehow, any how.
And yesterday I found, then rescued, a chickadee caught in a bird feeder!
Who knew they could do that!?
A couple things have happened - horse stuff or PMK stuff first?
I choose horse stuff first.
A couple of things have been going on with Fabs.
For one, on....Saturday morning, as I asked him to move out of his stall so I could place his food out [he tends to be territorial-ish about his food -which I assume stems from going without/with very little for who knows how many years- so I ask him to back way way off before feeding him]. And he left his stall, but the second I asked him for another step out [since he left with a "grimace" on his face AND turned his butt to me in a threatening manner while turning], he charged at me intending to bite and strike. Thankfully he hadn't realllly committed so he finished his bite/strike about 10 feet from me, but it was still SO NOT OK.
So I hopped into the tack room, grabbed the lunge whip, and shooed him back out of the stall [which he had entered right after I went into the tack room]. I just smacked the ground and waved the whip at him, but the poor guy was shaking. :(
In any case, he's back to being much more respectful of me at feeding time.
I realized that this was mostly my bad: he tried something like this on one of his first days home [though not nearly as aggressively], I chased him out of the stall, he got more respectful, I figured we were over that.
And, for the last few weeks I've been allowing him to be in the stall as I place his food out, but I was still been making him wait until he makes a "nice" face [ears forward] before he's released to eat.
For the last few days, he hasn't been making a "nice" face, but it had been seeming like ears-listening-backwards were probably ok...
So from, from now on, his only option for feeding time is OUTSIDE the stall and he MUST give me nice ears. No halfway about it.
I was figuring that, like Lacey, once was enough and he understood that feeding time was nice time. Ha. Oh geldings.
Which that's ok, at least I know that about him now.
Feeding is one of those areas I was talking about before, I think. Like where he gets all weird and not the cuddly teddy bear I know... :(
Of course, I'm certainly not giving him leeway because he's had hard life...but the things he's seen really seem to affect him in some ways.
Hopefully he'll be better one day. :) We have 30 years, or some such thing, to get it figured out!!
I rode him today and I think he REALLY liked that trail ride. He was sooooo distracted in the direction of the front gate. I'm not sure exactly what to do about that. Maybe more trail rides will help...so he realizes that inside the pasture is pretttty easy compared to outside...
In fantastic news, at the very end of our ride, I actually got him neckreining a bit! He, obviously, had no idea what we were doing, but he went in a full zig-zag AND STOP just off my legs and seat. That literally took Lacey years. They are such different horses..it's so interesting!
He didn't "get it" yet, at allll, but the foundation is there. Neckreining is SUCH a handy thing for the trail, imo.
I do a lot of going back and forth - especially when we might be going faster, I like to neckrein the trot especially because I don't think my hands are good enough to have contact AND post the trot.
Not to mention how handy neckreining just intrinsically is!
Ok, PMK time.
[or "New NG" haha...I think I like PMK better though - makes him his own person and whatnot]
We are DEFINITELY friends now.
I was talking with Gman and PMK walked past, saw me, broke into this huge grin, and kept walking. Gman, being Gman, immediately was like "OH EMILY! Look at YOU! Who was THAT?!!"
So that was hilarious.
Then it was time for our little host-meeting and one of my other friends [who is the greatest - he's married to his KINDERGARTEN sweetheart, he's a Celiac like me, AND you say his last name like "lol-er"] sat between PMK and I.
Then he was like "so, you and ___ [Gman], what's going on there? Is there something romantic happening? You guys have been talking an awful lot." To which I immediately was all "oh no no, just good friends, etc etc" After all this, I happened to glance at PMK, and he immediately looked away like he had been listening in but didn't want us to know. Hahaha So who knows.
And since when has "talking a lot" meant something was happening? If that were the case, I should have had like a bajillion boyfriends by now.
Anyway, so after this meeting, me and PMK headed upstairs...where we did a lot less hosting and a lot more standing together talking. hahaha
Turns out he is a nurse for the intestinal wing, or whatnot, at a hospital nearby so basically he does prep and aftercare on people who've had their insides messed with. Whaaaaat?
He told me some story about how he was driving yesterday, saw a field full of baby horses, and came to the conclusion that "it must be horse birthing season"
Horse birthing season? WHO SAYS THAT. Hahahaha
Then, after all that, we started talking about how it's hard to remember people's name sometimes and how it's awkward when you remember them and they don't remember you. I made some comment about how I thought I was mildly forgettable sometimes and he was all "....I'm not sure how true that is. I've never met anyone less forgettable."
But yeah. Who knows.
In any case, he's nice and he likes talking to me. So we can be friends. :)
Good job with the semi-neck reining! I'm trying to teach mine but never actually do :/ but he does it sometimes which is nice. And I think that making Fabio go outside when you feed would help a lot. Roman isn't aggressive whenever I give him grain, which isn't an everyday deal, but he might get pushy.