Sunday, September 11, 2016

Decisions, Decisions

What's interesting about this whole 'trial' business is how it goes heart to head to heart to head.  If I hadn't had such a long trial period, I would have bought the damn horse already.  But the longer the trial, the more I waffle because my head says "maybe you could find one with NO problems".  Then I laugh hysterically because...well, it's a horse.  And a living being.  And ain't we ALL got some problems, it's just a matter of finding someone who's baggage goes with ours.  At least that's what the Mister always tells me.  Course he also tells me "I loved you yesterday and I loved you today and I'll probably love you tomorrow."  Probably.  Thanks, husband.

Though I'm a TERRIBLE commenter (meaning I hardly ever do it), I've been reading horse blogs for years.  And I don't think I've read ONE SINGLE BLOG where they said "my horse is perfect and has been from day one and narry a problem in the last 15 years."  Maybe there's one out there, but it's pretty rare.

Instead, there is the bumpy transition of getting to know one another.  Of finding out if they leave the toilet seat up or down.  Can I sleep with that snoring?  Just like with people, this can take some time.  It may be a year before I know what's really lurking under the adorable face of my trial pony.

Anyways, for those of you who ARE decent commenters, I'd love to hear stories (or just put links back to your blogs!) of what you went through with your new horse as you got to know them.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

A little Less Magic - A little More Dust

The beautiful thing about an actual trial period, is that it gives both you and your new partner a chance to settle in to each other.  The first few days were magical.  We were both on our best behavior and neither one was asking much of the other.  Much like the early days of dating.

"Do you want Thai food or steak?"

"Oh, either.  I'm just happy to spend time with you."

"Do you want to watch Harry Potter for the umpteenth billion time?"  (this, by the way, is me.  I don't know why but I've watched the first three HP movies a ridiculous amount)

"Oh, sure."

Fast forward to a few dates down the line....

"Do you want Thai food or steak?"

"Actually, I want Italian food.  In my pajamas.  Pizza.  I want pizza.  I don't need to shower do I?"

"Do you want to watch Harry Potter for the umpteenth billion time?"


So, the pony and I have been politely asking questions.  Until three days ago when he decided to bring out his inner Jersey Shore personality.

"Yo, yo.  There's food over there. I don't care that it's an empty grain pan OUTSIDE my turnout, I need to get there now.  Get outta my way lady!  Seriously, lady, get outta my way!"

As I had already taken his halter almost all the way off and had mistakenly thought that we were 'together', he was free to rear up, spin around and run to the corner where he could lovingly stare at the grain pan.

Then yesterday we were out for a ride.  I thought we should take a left.  He thought the direction of his stall sounded better.  There was some circling and backing and even a mini tantrum involving front feet leaving the ground for a moment.  Basically, the problem was that he was trying mansplain to me which direction we should go and I was trying to gently and kindly explain that I didn't need a man to give me directions.  Yeah, like that ever works.  So - now that we've realized that - I've stopped trying to treat him like Enzo and started to deal with the horse I have.  The stubborn "I want to be in charge" horse.  I've added "Yo, Vinnie.  Knock it off!" to my vocabulary.

Though this may seem like bad news, it's actually great.  I wanted to see what the real pony was like, not pony on his best behavior.  Now that I know what I'm dealing with, I can create better boundaries for him.  And though my long term goal is to get to a place of passive leadership with him, I need to create safety for both of us first and that may require more of a dominant attitude for a while.

Vet came out today and did his teeth (he had sharp points and mouth ulcers..poor kid) and so he's going to rest from that for a day or two.  He was also back sore, but that may be from being ridden in a frame without using his body properly.  He holds his ribcage *perfectly still*.  My acupuncture/chirporactor is coming out Monday to take a look.  Otherwise, he now has a super clean sheath (yeah for sedation!) and a clean set of hock x-rays.

I have a few more weeks and plan on putting him in some serious work to see how we gel.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Magical Unicorn Dust

There's nothing like the nerves of bringing a new horse home...even if it's just on trial.  Add to that a barn that is new to us and yesterday I was a bundle of anxiety.

Pony arrived in the midst of Armageddon.  The barn is replacing their old outdoor arena with a brand new, full size dressage arena.  Yeah!  But in the meantime, the scene looked like this (but worse, so much worse).

Please note:  semi truck coming down the road.  Crane on right side is smashing concrete to bits.  All three roller/bulldozer things going at once.  Total.  Chaos.
So - there's so much noise we're having to yell to talk to each other.  Pony steps off the trailer.  We have to walk past all of this to get to his paddock.  He looks hard with his ears pricked.  And then walks on.  The end.  Drama over.

Pony settled in perfectly with just a few laps around the paddock.  This morning was quiet as can be.  Walked past the mayhem again.  I wish I had a better picture of where the round pen is, but it's basically right behind that tree on the left hand side.  Pony wasn't worried at all and did walk/trot/canter without even looking at the machinery.  In fact, the horses in their turnouts were more interesting to him and only for a hot minute.

Basically, so far, this pony has been sprinkled in magical unicorn dust.  And trainer #1 came out and gave him the thumbs up.  Next up on our trial list is to ride him in the big field and take him on the busy trail.  The trail should be interesting since it's a paved trail with bikes, rollerbladers, strollers and pedestrians.  However, considering how he handled the bulldozers and cranes and semi trucks I have high hopes for how he handles the trails.  And of course, we'll continue to perfect our selfies.