Thee Ashke was in a mood last night. I know being in the stall is good for him, because he is putting on weight at a rapid pace. I really thought it would take longer, you know? Anyway, I think that although he is doing well in the stall, he is so curious about the world that he really wants to be outside looking around. When J and I got there last night, he walked right up to me, stuck his head in the halter, and then waited for me to lead him out. Outside, at the end of the barn where he is, is a small courtyard between two sets of horse pens with some dirt and some grass. He wanted to go out there. Not to eat, but because he wanted to look around and sniff some horse nose.
(Horses sniff noses. Dogs sniff butts. The horse sniffing is much nicer in my opinion.)
We walked around the circle and sniffed horses. Then we walked back to the barn and he didn't want to go inside. I don't really blame him, since the night was beautiful and there were things he hasn't had the opportunity to investigate. After some convincing, I got him to walk into the barn. And then he wasn't interested in stepping into the grooming stall (complete with crossties so he can't swing away from me.) Instead of fighting with him, I crosstied him in the aisle and began to groom him there (tricksy owner). He did great. I was able to groom his belly with very little protest and he had no problem with his ears at all. I was able to get a lot of the long, long hair (think Angora rabbit) from behind his ears and from between his back legs.
After the grooming, we walked out to the round pen and I released him. He stood there and watched me run across the pen. He watched me walk back. He waited until I was close and then walked up to me and tried to put the halter on himself. I buckled it up (he needs help with that.) As I was pulling him out of the round pen he started snorting softly at me and pulled toward the outdoor arena. I walked him to the outdoor arena, then released him. He immediately took off for the far end, running dead out, while kicking and bucking and throwing his head about. He stopped at the far end of the arena and blew out loudly, staring at the cows in their pen across the walkway. I waited. He stared into space. I waited. He waited. I finally walked down the arena (without the halter) to see what he was up to. When I got close he turned, gave me snuggles, then turned and followed me back down the arena. About half way down the arena there was a pile of horse manure, which he had to stop and sniff. I continued down the arena to grab the halter. When I picked up the halter and turned I could see him watching me still pretending to sniff the manure.
As I got within a couple of steps, Ashke flipped up his nose and tore away, squeeling, kicking, bucking and tossing his head. Laughing, I walked down the arena toward him. I wondered if he would continue to play or if he was done. He walked toward the fence and pretended to sniff a wooden box that was secured to the rails. I asked him if he was done and he swung toward me and shoved his nose into the halter. Calmly, we walked back to the gate and then back to the stall.
I have to say, he has to be one of the sweetest horses I've ever been around. I am thinking he needs some work to keep his mind engaged. Tonight we learn to lunge.