Today I went out to the barn after getting a new tarp (9 by 12 feet) and a piece of PVC tubing. And hay, which is about $7 a bale. Up about $1.50 from last summer. So, I get out there and start grooming Boomer and I noticed a rubbed spot on his neck, it looked like the fence was the culprit. I tried to touch it but he freaked and pulled back, rearing. Big surprise! So I calmed him down and relaxed him, only to realize that he has now frayed his rope almost into two pieces! I have never had a horse break a lead rope EVER before and now this guy is on his third and needs a NEW one already!!! Thats an expense I hadn't planned for! Anyway, I took him out to longe (no tack today) and let him trot both directions at liberty before I hooked the longe line on. This is the first time I have longed with a rope since I realized he didn't know how to go right. He was a dream. Seriously a dream. He obeyed commands for the walk, trot, canter, and woah. He even changed directions calmly at a walk when I signaled with my hand! It was the first time I really felt like longing was doing more than working out kinks and reinforcing respect. I really felt like we could focus and stay calm enough to get a real workout! That was very exciting!
When I was waiting for John to come out I decided to put on the belly rope and sack him out to the PVC pipe. He didn't even bat an eye, so I started tapping his back legs. He scooted over but the stood calmly with his leg held up. I tried the other side and got the same results. This left me with mixed feelings. He obviously isn't freaked out about having his legs touched, but he doesn't want to give them up to have them worked on. I am glad he seems to be fearless about having things knocking into his legs, but I was hoping the 'poling' would help his leg situation. The next step seems to be to have the belly rope on and then have John wrap the cotton lead rope around his ankle and pull it up. Other than that, I don't know what to do. Unfortunately, this is a bit more urgent than I had hoped. Boomer came with bad feet. Well, his feet in and of themselves are great- strong, round, cupped; but they hadn't been trimmed in a year and are flaring out and cracking. Today his front left hoof chipped pretty badly. I had hoped that his previous owner would have had that done but I should have asked. I have been putting it off for the past two weeks because he is so difficult when it comes to his feet and I don't want a farrier who 'just wants to get the job done' to spook him or make him worse. Tomorrow I will call around and see if I can get one out to do his front feet and maybe help me with his back feet OR who will just come back in a few weeks for his back feet.
Other than that ordeal, we hosed him off again with little fuss and put out the big tarp. I'm sure he will figure it out on his own but he didn't show any interest in his grain bucket because he also had a few bales of hay to munch on.