Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Baby Boomer Dreams of Arabian Horses - Rhythm's Story - Part 6

Part One of the Baby Boomer Series

Rhythm's Story starts here

During this time, Rhythm was still being turned out with both of his brothers, Chase and Chance. Unlike a lot of breeders, I like to keep my colts together as long as possible. The interactions with other horses make them happier healthier horses. Heck, Legs went out with geldings for years until finally an older gelding decided to beat him up.

Chase, Rhythm and Chance were like the equine version of the Three Musketeers. They were quite a threesome. They could get into more trouble together out there in the field, just like a group of little boys.

Rhythm, or course, was the leader. Right from the beginning the other two colts knew that he was in charge. All three horses would run and play their mock battles for hours on end. Rearing and striking and lots of hock biting, typical practice for one day taking over a herd. Not that running a herd was going to be in any of their futures, but that's not what their instincts told them.

Nothing ever serious happened even right after Chase and Chance were gelded. All three Arabian horses still continued to played well together. As long as there was a clear difference in power, there was no reason to be concerned. The problems come when one horse thinks it can stand up to another instead of being subservient OR when horses get together and gang up on the low man.

That is what happened to break up those three musketeers of mine. One day Rhythm and Chase took off after poor Chance. I heard the commotion and had to go and retrieve him from the field. They didn't hurt him, just scared the poor guy half to death. He was shaking and sweating profusely. That was the last day all three Arabian horses went out in the same field.

Chase always seemed to be a bit insecure so I figured that he and Rhythm would continue to do well together. But the little monster did get up the courage to go after Rhythm. It was probably another eight months after the incident with Chance before Chase decided the time was right. I heard this blood curdling scream and looked out just in time to see Chase flying at Rhythm with ears flattened to his head and teeth bared.

The red colt was shocked! At first Rhythm just stood there like he just couldn't believe it. Then he had to high tail it and run! He had used up the time needed to take up a counter stance staring in disbelief. To this day, I still can't believe that Chase went after Rhythm that day, but he did and that was the end of that. No more turnouts together for Rhythm and Chase, although I was able to but Chase back in with Chance. Sometimes herd behaviors are just, well......unexplainable.

That was the last time that Rhythm was turned out in the same field with another horse. Rhythm was just to valuable as a stallion to be taking any chances that he might get hurt. I always hate when that day comes because horses are such social creatures. Separating them just doesn't seem fair.

But at least having started off putting them together, I have horses that can be turned out side by side. They still get to do their face boxing over the top of the fence and nobody can get really hurt so they don't lose all social interaction. It makes them much happier stallions.

I continued to work on getting Rhythm ready to show. He really was a fun horse to ride. Sometimes he would shake his head at me expressing his displeasure at me being on his back. Occasionally he would swap his leads behind at the lope. But on the whole, he was a good boy.

It wasn't long at all and the horse was doing the most beautiful and slow true jog you can ever imagine. Almost so slow, you'd think he was jogging in place. But it was a true two beat jog, no walking in front or behind like those horses that are slowed down mechanically or don't have the talent to jog that slow in the first place.

The same was true of his lope. As he learned to round up on cue, he just got slower and slower and softer and softer. I don't think you'll ever see a more beautiful three beat lope. The horse was so fluid and smooth and he had gotten there so quickly, I just couldn't believe my luck. The horse was really turning out to be everything I had imagined. I could hardly wait for show season.

To be continued...............

Rhythm's Story - Part 7

This picture is Rhythm bitted up in the round pen. He is in the midst of a lope departure. You can see how deeply underneath himself this horse gets.

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  1. See your blog has number 1 ranking!

    And I cant wait to hear how you got on in show season; win any rosettes?

  2. group dynamics, no matter if they are adults, kids, horses or dogs are always fluid. They are always subject to change with any given cirumstance. I find behavior fascinating to watch....when there are no injuries!

  3. Hi

    Congrats on my pay it forward blog.
    Please email me privately with your snail mail so I can send your prize! is my email. No time limit on your pay it forward I just think it is a cool way to keep goodness going!

  4. Three is a bad number, always there are two willing to gang up on the third. Fascinating story.

  5. kahless, yes on blog village thanks to some tenacious readers of mine!

    I'm giving no clues about ribbons but suffice it to say I am known for my cliff hangers and they rarely turn out as people expected.

    My life makes fiction look like fact.

    holly, that is so the truth. You never know when something is going to shift that balance.

    trail riding cowgirl, yes, we'll see how it goes., yupe, that is definitely true with horses and kids and even cats, I've noticed.

    katie, glad you like it. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Rainbow, you are on my favourites to read list. Adore horses but Arabs especially so. Rhythm is a handsome boy, looks like he's a great forward going, fluid, 'springy' ride, lovely & reminds me a tiny bit of my horse, she's a pure bred New Forest supposedly but I have high suspicions as to whether she has some Arab in her or whether her Sire is who they thought he was. She is very 'Arabby' at times!

    So true about herd dynamics, I had my mare with two Miniature Shetland geldings & they were all happy as happy. I slowly introduced a miniature spotted horse mare to them & the Shetlands had no problem & neither did my mare at first then all of a sudden she flew at her & just would not back off. If we hadn't have separated them I'm sure she would have chased her to death, it was not a nice sight & just shows that if they don't get on, they really don't get on.

    Great blog :o)

  7. Your posts and training are so in-depth. Makes me realize what a slacker I am.

    Nice to see how a professional does it. Beautiful horse.

  8. Looking forward to hear about the show season with Rhythm. He is so handsome!

  9. I am in the middle of this dilemma myself, the three two year old studs are still getting on fortunately but I know it is just a matter of time. I am hoping that Stan will be able to take Eb soon because he is pretty much the bottom feeder in the group of 3. Blaze would already have been gelded but his one testicle hasnt dropped!!! and Dream Larry wants to keep as a stud and breed mares to him this year. He also wants to breed Blue (the four year old - Blaze's daddy) to a few mares this year because I AM GOING TO GELD HIM. Since gelding Dosie he is such a happy horse.

  10. Beautiful! I love chestnuts! They look like they're on fire!