Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Fields of green
Today I went to work with Boomer and he was great again! I know I shouldn't count on him being good forever, he will surely have another bad week at some point. But, dang if I haven't been enjoying him lately! I groomed him and had him tied to the Blocker Tie Ring and again, no problems. I have tied him to it about 4 or 5 times now and he hasn't pulled back! He has never gone so long without pulling back. I wonder if it is because he feels like he has more freedom with the tie ring or because I spent the week before I got the ring working with him ground tied. Either way, I don't care! He is doing great! I still untied him for the fly spray- that can be scary for most horses. I took him out to the round pen and worked on transitions with him and did a few canter transitions. He did pretty well. I think a few weeks of that and he will have it down! After a few minutes in the round pen I decided to switch things up and go up the gravel road to the grassy field. He handled the gravel well and we were both surprised to see how tall the grass had gotten! We picked our way through and I longed him at the walk and trot. The walk was difficult because the grass was chest high in places and was pretty tempting! I got a few cell phone pictures of him going through the grass and he looks great!
A few of his ribs are visible in this picture but I think that is more due to his gait than his actual health. Although in the last few weeks when he was being really hyper I took his food down from 3.5 pounds to 3 pounds per day. He has lots of fresh grass and free choice hay, so he is not starving or hurting for food. I don't think he has lost any weight, maybe 5-10 pounds but not enough to worry about. Taking the extra 'fuel' away seems to have calmed him down. I read an article lately about sweet feed and training horses here that pretty much states that horses fed sweet feed while training were more difficult than horses who only had hay. Now, I do not feed sweet feed but the study didn't go in to other kinds of feed. So, largely, I made a guess and decided to decrease the amount of energy I put in to him to see if he would decrease the amount of excess energy he spit out at me. Ideally, I would work the excess energy off of him, but excessive longing is boring and creates a dull horse. As soon as riding him becomes a good source of exercise I will up his food again. So far, the decrease in usable energy has created a horse that- has less energy! So, no more bouncing off the walls! He is still quite feisty and prefers to trot while longing. Occasionally I will have to remind him that we were walking and nobody asked for the trot! He is doing really well and I am very proud of his successes!