Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mirrors

There are mirrors along the long wall of the indoor arena. Additionally, there are mirrors on the corners at the end of the arena, away from the club house. These mirrors are to help the rider see what your horse looks like as you are riding, and what you look like on your horse as you ride by.

They are a source of deep interest to Ashke.

He can stand and stare at himself for hours, if I were to let him. Last night we walked over to the rail and let him gaze at himself. He looked at the white horse in the mirror. Then he looked at the human in the mirror standing next to the white horse. Then he turned and looked at me. Then he turned back to the human in the mirror. Then he watched the 17.1 hand warmblood cantering in the arena behind him in the mirror. Then he turned and looked at said warmblood. Then he turned back to the mirror.

Smoke began to trickle out of his ears.

Just kidding. He was, however, trying really hard to figure out what was going on with the mirrors. Thankfully, he is no longer shying at them. Now he is studying them.

I worked him on the lunge line for half an hour or so. Until he was warmed up but not sweaty. He finally settled into movement that seemed comfortable without favoring his right hamstring. It takes a while. He wasn't real excited about lunging. He reared a couple of times in protest, but I just ignored him and kept asking him to move out. It was much easier once J brought me the lunge line and a carriage whip. I didn't have to run as much.

When I put him back in his stall, he nickered really soft to me until I brought the mash and carrots for him. His feed bin was full of hay. Still. I might need to cut back on the amount of grass hay he is getting, but for now, I want him to have plenty to eat.

I can see the muscle moving under his skin on his shoulders and butt and back as he moves on the lunge line. It is gratifying.

As far as the biting goes, he is no longer allowed to push or rub me with his head. He is no longer allowed to reach out with his muzzle to us. If he tries, the lead rope gets shook. Not yanked on. Just shook so he knows to back off. His treats are no longer hand fed. I will let him lick my hand, but it is at my initiation. I think he knows I'm serious about him no longer behaving this way, because his attempts have tapered off.

He and Cali have quite the love affair. She is very sweet to him when Nicole is not around. Every once in a while she squeels like she needs to remind him that she is a mare. I will be happy when their co-dependency is a little less and he stops calling for her every five minutes. At least he is somewhat focused when being asked to work.

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