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?
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.