When I got to the barn tonight to see Ashke I found him looking like he had been soaked with a hose. Or had completely sweated up. It's easy to tell on a horse with winter hair when they get sweaty. First off, they aren't as clean in general during the winter, since it is difficult to wash them when the weather is bad. When they sweat and are dirty, especially white horses, their hair bunches into dirty brown ridges. Ashke was covered with those stiff, dirty ridges. Even after he was brushed, the hair was stiff and wavy.
I pulled him out to the grooming stall and set to work with the brushes. I saw one of the women who works at the barn and asked her if anything had happened to him. She didn't know, but quickly found Megan. Megan came over and I asked her if anything had happened today. And she said yes. That he and Cali had been out in turn out and Nicole pulled Cali from the field. Ashke went crazy. He ran himself around the pasture so much that he was soaked with sweat from his ears to his haunches. If it had been earlier during the day. They had to go pull him out of the field early, because they were afraid he would hurt himself. I would have washed him, but I didn't want him to be chilled as the evening started to cool off.
I finished grooming him and spent a bit of time rubbing his ears and playing with his mouth. He only bit at me one time today, and that was while I was getting on him. He nipped at my pants leg. Otherwise, keeping him from rubbing, nibbling or pushing at me has helped establish boundries for him.
I rode in the big arena with a bunch of other people for about an hour. Ashke mostly walked and trotted. We did some small circles and he did a couple of rounds around the arena at the canter, but mostly we trotted. Our only issue was getting him to move away from the leg pressure without accelerating. He loved watching himself walk and trot in the mirror. Cinnamon, one of the trainers, said he looked pretty relaxed. I answered that he was still a little tense and she laughed and pointed out he was an Arabian and that they are supposed to be a little tense. By the end of our ride he was walking out nicely, moving freely at the trot, and only cross cantered for a little while. He felt very much out of control at the canter. I still need a lot of work at that gait. I find it ironical that I am hesitant about cantering when it was the only gait I rode Queenie at. Maybe, when we get to the point where I know he is strong and able to maintain the gait correctly for a longer period of time, then we will ride it more.
New thing I want to work on is riding him without the martingale. Starting on Friday.