Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dawn Struts Her Stuff and Drifter Says He's Lonely, and Norman!

Pie had a well-deserved day off today.  It rained on and off for most of the morning, but in the afternoon it decided to stop for a while - before it starts up again tonight into tomorrow.  I'm surprised we're not all growing mushrooms, it's so damp.

I had p.m. feeding duty this afternoon - our p.m. lady is on a well-deserved vacation.  I brought Dawn in first and groomed and rode her in the arena. It was wet and somewhat soupy, but not deep or slippery (thanks to the long-suffering husband's dragging effort earlier in the week).  Dawn was in the sidepull again, and her softening work at the walk and trot was much better.  We worked on getting some bend to the right - some progress but not a lot on that - I think dental and/or chiro will be required before she can do that well - and also on our walk/trot/walk transitions.  She did very well and was relaxed and soft.

Drifter got a work session after I brought all the horses in and fed.  Sugar was in the ring as we finished our lungeing work - some trotting with lots of changes of direction.  He was very focussed on the mares today - they're all either in heat or coming into heat.  I mounted up and he was very forward.  Sugar was trotting, and then she did some cantering - he thought it might be a good idea to gallop after her, but I told him that wasn't what I wanted - we did a lot of small circles and serpentines to convince him.  Eventually he was able to stand on a loose rein and just watch her go around.

And then she left the arena and went out on a trail ride - horrors!  He was alone, bereft.  Much screaming ensued, and many small circles and serpentines as I showed him he didn't have to have a complete meltdown.  After she was completely out of sight we were able to do some decent walk work, with lengthening and shortening of stride, and also a bit of trotting.  He was still very tense and never really relaxed, but he learned he could survive a mare leaving his domain and still do a bit of work without losing his mind.  We did some more standing on a loose rein - he's learning to appreciate this and is more and more able to do it.  After I dismounted and haltered him, we stood around at various points in the parking lot - I'm hoping that he'll learn that he's safe with me and can just stand there no matter what else is going on, and I think we're making some progress on that.  Relaxing is still hard for him, but I was proud of him for coping and being able to do some work.  When I brought him inside the barn, what did he do but nicker to all the mares?  Clearly a lady's man.

And here's a happy Norman pony trotting through the pasture down at Paradigm Farms - I do believe he's actually chewing as he trots:


Every pony should get such a grand retirement!

6 comments:

  1. Norman looks to be in pony heaven!

    Drifter is quite the character and very immature. He still has trouble focusing on the job at hand...kind of like a high school sophomore boy...you're lucky you have only one of him to deal with instead of a whole classroom!! (Especially with girls included.) *lol*

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  2. Was Drifter ever used as a stallion? Have you checked to see if he is "proud cut?" It might explain his attention to mares.

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  3. Drifter reminds me of a certain ottb i know ;)
    Time, and more time, and more time..these boys at heart need a lot of constant reminding dont they! I find it VERY interesting to read what u do w/ Drifter b/c it helps me out.

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  4. Shirley - as far as I know, he was gelded at an appropriate age and was never used as a stallion. He is quite interested in the mares and does some "stallionish" things - like nickering and staying close to the mares' fenceline, but he also nickers to geldings.

    He also doesn't look like a stallion - not cresty and his jaw isn't overly large - but that can be deceiving. He also is manageable around mares - I can ride around them and handle him on the ground - and never drops even when a mare is close by. At his prior home he was turned out with two mares without any issues. But again, he could have some excess testosterone - I haven't had him tested because of the expense of the test - it's about $200.

    Or it could be that he just prefers mares, since he's spent more time with them - I suspect he was at a show barn on limited turnout before his last owner. So far I'm not too worried about it as it seems to be manageable.

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  5. Norman looks like he's having a wonderful retirement.

    Drifter sounds like he's starting to pay attention to you more. The mares are a distraction and he may never get over it. We have Donnie alias Don Juan who loves the Dusty and even Blue sometimes believe it or not gets a little studly. I guess it's in the genes even if they were gelded at an appropriate age.

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  6. i've always wanted a "chocolate and vanilla" pony! i'd be tempted to dress him up in pink...

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