Sunday, June 13, 2010

Boring Is Good

More trotting. That's about all that happened today, but I like days like that! Maisie's left hind was a little puffy after no riding yesterday, but she was trotting sound and the swelling went down by the time we were done. We did about 15 minutes of trotting in two sets, and she was breathing fairly hard and worked up a good sweat. As usual, she revved up as we went, but was able to listen and bring herself back when I asked. Right now we're working on conditioning and regulation of pace only. Once she's more fit I can ask for her to soften and use herself properly, but there's not much point in working on that until she's fit. So lots of straight lines and large circles - no tight turns. We also did some walking over poles, some slow backing, and some steps of turn on the haunches. We'll wait for turn on the forehand, leg yields and other lateral work until she's more fit - until her stifles are muscled up we won't chance it.

There is a sweet horse at Maisie's barn called Milo. He's a big (very big - over 17 hands) Dutch Warmblood, dark bay with a little white. He's blind in his right eye but still goes well. His owner had him on the crossties while I was untacking Maisie, and she had given him a treat - he did a gesture I've never seen before. His tongue was sticking out of his mouth a little ways, and he was making a funny slurping, sucking noise with an expression of concentration - he was sucking his tongue! She says he does this whenever he gets a treat and will do it for up to a half-hour afterwards. Our Dawn and Norman both will lick - you, the wall, anything - for a long time after they have a treat - it seems to be triggered by the sugars. I've also seen horses that crib have a treat and then crib just afterwards - I guess it's a way to deal with the sugar stimulation. Does your horse have any odd gestures or behaviors like this?

14 comments:

  1. There's a horse at our barn who weaves. She weaves in her stall, in the pasture, everywhere, which is an interesting behavior, but I don't think it's because she's bored. At one point she was injured and had to be in a stall for weeks. Now she just does it out of habit. Old habits die hard I suppose. I also know a horse who kicks out at the wall with her front leg as she eats her grain. We always joke that it's because she thinks the grain isn't going in her mouth fast enough.

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  2. I agree that boring is good. It's funny, I was just commenting to Husband that I don't seem to have as much to write about these days now that most of my rides are going so well lol. But I'd much rather have boring news for everyone, "blah blah blah, another great ride" than "she bucked and bolted and..." Yeah, I'll keep the boring stories!

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  3. Sometimes boring is good, isn't it? Kind of like not getting any mail. Kind of boring, but at least no bills! The tongue sucking is so funny! The only thing mt mare will do that I think is funny looking is yawn repeatedly when being groomed or when standing still in the ring. I think she likes to get down to the business of napping at any chance and maybe the yawns are prepping her? Who knows, but it sure looks funny.

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  4. Gilly used to do this when I first got him and sometimes will still do it every once in awhile. He was a rescue colt and had been starved by his first owners. At the rescue farm when they fed him he would sigh deeply and rock back and forth, side to side as he ate. He did this a lot as a youngster and finally out grew it I guess but from time to time he will do it again. When I give him his birthday "cake" of apples, carrots, honey and oats he will sigh, half close his eyes and rock. I think it's a comfort thing, food is good.

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  5. Several of the residents here in addition to Norman will lick anything and everything for a few minutes after they've had a treat.

    My horse Lexi will start pawing terribly on the cross ties after I give her a treat so I only give them to her as we walk back out to the pasture.

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  6. I used to think, why would anyone want boring. I got it now. :) Totally understand why boring is so good!

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  7. Panama doesn't have any oral habits. He does nod his head for a treat -- I taught him to nod when I ask, "Do you want a treat?" and now if he wants one and I'm not offering, he'll nod until I get the message. :o) Much better (and cuter!) than mouthing, in my opinion!

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  8. Mosco is an over-dramatic yawner. He gapes his mouth open & wags his head all over for about 10-15 seconds with each yawn. He mostly does this after he's been worked, I think to reinforce that he is over-worked & underpaid :-). Mosco is the rare TB that has zero work ethic. He doesn't lick after treats, but he does lick affectionately (like a dog). He always makes people laugh when he starts up doing that. His last thing is that he has a nearly constantly hanging lower lip. He looks like an old man (he's 10); I think it's because 90% of the time he is so mellow & laid back (the other 10% he's a hot & spooky goofball!).

    I'm trying to think if our Paint has any funny mannerisms, but I don't think so. Maybe he makes up for it with his mischievious nature?

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  9. Interesting observation about the sugar and cribbing. I will have to watch for that a bit more wuth the one I have who cribs

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  10. Sounds too like Maisie is going well

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  11. I'm loving my boring Sorrel. We had quite a startle at a vine today. But that was it. three side steps and we were done.

    LOVE IT.

    Odd behavior. I think it's funny that Cibolo loves to put his boots on. He lifts his foot when he sees I have them.

    But for the most part, he's darn normal.

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  12. Bodhi licks/smacks his lips after a treat sometimes. He looks very content while he does it. Very cute!

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  13. LOL..Laz is very very oral. He gently tugs at my pony tail. When picking his feet, he lifts my shirt up exposing my lower back. When given a treat, he just eats it..smack smack, lick lick. He is curious with his lip, and tongue so he's always knocking things over, picking up and throwing, etc etc. I think it's hilarious! :)

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  14. If I listed all the weird habits my horses have, we'd be reading all day! But my old gelding used to stick his tongue out, fold it in half back on itself, and then bite down on it. He also bounced on the crossties. It started out with just his head, but as it progressed, his whole body started to jiggle. And Bella is also a dramatic yawner. She does it when you take her halter off to bridle her, as if she's trying to tell me she's too tired to work, and then does it again when you're done and taking the bridle off. Oh goodness, how they do amuse and entertain!

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