Thursday, July 31, 2014

Red Insists

Red is a very intelligent and social horse who likes to interact with people and other horses.  He told me today that he was feeling neglected.  In fact, he insisted - very persistently - that he was being neglected.

Usually, my afternoon routine is that I groom Pie, put him back in his stall, and then groom Red and do something with him - ride, ground work, something.  For several days now, I've been putting Red's ice boot on when I get to the barn, then grooming and saddling Pie, putting Pie back in his stall, taking Red out, grooming him, removing his ice boot and slathering on the Taumeel ointment, then putting him back in the stall, figuring he's been getting enough exercise for the the injured ankle already.

But no . . .  Red begs to disagree.  Today he practically had a tantrum.  When I had Pie in the aisle grooming, Red was nickering, and pawing - at least he didn't kick off his ice boot.  When I put Pie away after saddling him, and brought Red out to groom, Red seemed happy but restless.  When I put him back in his stall, he started nickering and pawing again.  When I took Pie out to ride, Red screamed, and screamed, and someone who was in the barn aisle said he was pawing and even banging on his stall door.

He was still at the stall door, demanding attention, when I brought Pie back from his ride.

So Red and I took a hand walk into the arena - when I put his halter on he practically stuffed his head into it.  We did a little walking around - just a little - and then we just stood together in the middle, watching the couple of other horses being ridden.  He was very clearly satisfied.  He stood there without fidgeting, relaxed and happy.  After a while, we went back to his stall and he happily dug into his hay.

Guess he needs a bit more attention, and to feel like he's doing something with me, even if it isn't much . . .

5 comments:

  1. I think he just enjoys your company and feels secure with you. I always have thought, from your descriptions, that he sounds a lot like my horse, who's also a big red horse. He always had a hard time calming down once he got upset about something. I would have to take charge and calm him down with transitions, change of directions, anything that would get his mind on what he was doing and not what upset him. It seemed like he would "lean" on me whenever he needed to calm down, because he knew I could do it and he couldn't.

    Maybe Red is going through something like that. He hasn't felt right for a long time, he must have a lot of frustration built up, and he knows when he's with you, he feels better. That's probably the biggest compliment you can get.

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  2. redhorse - you may have it, exactly. When I got Red, he was a worried horse desperately trying to be in charge because he wanted but didn't have a safe, reliable leader. I guess he considers that to be my job now, and it's certainly a compliment. You have a nice way of putting it.

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  3. Have you considered ponying him from Pie? You do have a Western saddle for Pie don't you? Then Red could have your company, and Pie's, and he could learn how to be a gentleman while being ponied.

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  4. How wonderful that he's able to communicate with you like that... and that you listen! Bravo Red x

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  5. what a sweet horse, and proof they are truly happier with a job, even an easy one

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