Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A Day in the Life of an Arabian Horse Breeder - Part 2

Part 1

After the Arabian mare had been hand walked long enough to quit her huffing and puffing, I threw a cooler over the horse and tied her in her stall to dry. Next I wanted to work the horses who would be most likely to heat up and require some time to dry as well. Waiting on horses to dry once the work is done is not a good use of my time.

Storm and Reflection can get pretty buzzed so they needed to be next on my list.That meant I needed to make my way to the Arabian horses in the back of the barn in a separate area where the stallions are kept.

I feel bad for the stallions back there, they can hardly see each other, let alone what's going on in the barn. It seems to me they must be socially deprived and without much stimulation.

The three horses do have their own paddocks though. They can go out side by side where they can see each other and play when the weather permits. Storm and Reflection are fine right next to one another. I put up a six foot buffer using electic fence that keeps them from warring over the fence. They have been going out that way ever since I first separated them a few years back. They are happy that way.

The problem is Storm and Legs are side by side as well. After their confrontation which I blogged about in Twins Saga Delayed for Life Turns with Arabian Horses and Stallions there is no way those two horses can be turned out side by side that way. So Legs doesn't get to go out in his paddock often. The way the weather has been lately, no one is getting out anyway.

Storm was the next target of my attentions. He is a six year old chestnut stallion. Like all redheads he's a little hotter than the over horses. Actually fiery would be a the word for him. When this horse hasn't been worked for a while, he gets a bit stressed. I swear he can work up a sweat just looking at him.

I walked to the stall and Storm was greeting me at the door. I stepped into the stall and clucked. The horse backed up out of my way keeping his eye on me. I began taking his blanket off, he tried to grab it as it went over his head. But the horse jumped back thinking he was going to get in trouble before I actually got the blanket clear. Standing in the corner with the blanket hanging over his face, he snorted and pawed waiting for me to free him.

This time he stood quietly as I removed the blanket. Then he stepped up and waited for me to get his halter. I think he was actually happy to put his face into the thing. He just wanted to get out of that stall and get to work.

But leaving the stall the horse decided to take a slight diversion towards Legs's stall. But I was ready for him, I just poked him sharply with my finger right in the muzzle and he turned his attention back to me.

Once in the arena, the horse took off like the devil was after him. I strongly believe in not just letting horses run on the lunge line. I want them doing it my way. Speed, direction, gait, it all needs to be on my terms.

To get control of this horse, I had to walk over towards the wall and block his circle. That forced the horse into the wall to a stop. Once he stopped and looked at me, I opened up the area by the wall so he could again move on through.

The stallion took the first few strides in a nice controlled manner. Then he was off and racing again. So again I lunged him right into the wall. After four of five times of being run into that wall, the horse gave a deep sigh and loped off the way he should.

It would have been nice if that had been the end of it. But, of course, life is never that easy. Next the horse began cross firing just because he knew he shouldn't. Knowing how important it is for me to be in control of this horse's feet, even an issue like cross firing takes on new meaning. For a stallion it is just another way of saying "You can't control me!" That makes it all the more important to prove that I can.

Just like with Vee, I flipped the lunge line a bit to see if the horse would take the cue. When that didn't work, I pressed him to go faster. It's hard for horses to cross fire or be on the wrong lead and maintain that faster speed on a circle. After three of four times of pushing him forward, the horse gave up being naughty and settled in on the correct lead.

Bringing him down to the trot was another exercise in "make me." When I started to walk towards the wall again to block his path, the horse decided to submit. He broke into the lope a few times and had to be corrected. Each time he responded a little bit quicker but it was clear it wasn't over.

The second direction it all started again. First it was the racing and I had to lunge him into the wall. Then he tried swapping his leads and I had to speed him up to fix it, only to slow him down to the speed I wanted. It was a work out for both of us and the horse was a sweaty, heaving mess.

With halter schooling and four more horses to work, it was really looking like it was going to be one of those days.

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

Part 3

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  1. This is just a super photograph. What a proud horse.

  2. Wow MiKael I would have been on my knees by that time, let alone the horses LOL. You have too much energy!!!


  3. I don't think I'd have the energy to keep up.......

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog!:D

    Your horses are beautiful. My (step)daughter and I are envious.

    :- )

  5. Oh my! What a gorgeous boy! Excellent photo, too.

  6. So beautiful! I eat up your methods of training and keeping on top of these lovely hot-heads.

  7. the photo leaves me in awe, gorgeous!

    YOU are busy. I thought I had lots of energy...I think you can out-do ME anyday.

  8. I've been busy kidding out goats the last couple of days or so, had to come play catch up.

    I love a little spunk, but not when I'm trying to get them to work lol.

  9. abraham, lori helped clean it up. I just have a point and shoot camera so this wasn't as clear as this.

    lori, I don't know about energy. I have to drag my butt home. lol

    callie, like I said to lori, I don't think it's energy. I am exhausted sometimes before I start. lol

    waintingonyou2, thanks for visiting. glad you like my horses. They're pretty special to me.

    dj, he really is a gorgeous boy, this photo does not do him justice. He is really sweet too, despite all the fire.

    molly, I'm glad the training stuff helps. It seems to be it makes more sense in how it's actually put to use, even though it's just little pieces at a time.

    barn goddess, You must be feeling better. I'm glad to see that. I was worried about you.