Saturday, February 9, 2008

A Day in the Life of an Arabian Horse Breeder - Part 6

Part 1

You would think with the next Arabian horse I was going to work being Dandy, the eighteen year old gelding, that I could count on a little sanity from him. But just like the rest of the horses in my herd, the minute I count on something I am going to get the exact opposite. This was certainly the case with Dandy.

Normally I ground tie this horse (without a halter even) and he stands quietly for everything. I can take his blanket and hood off, groom and put leg wraps on and even tack this horse up with nothing more than one single whoa. That was not to be the case this day however.

Maybe he thought the rest of those horses had such a good time, he was going to have one too.The horse didn't want to stand still to get his clothes off. He kept sticking his head up against the door and slamming it open trying to escape. When he figured out I wasn't going to let him do that, then he was reaching out trying to steal food. Another thing I didn't want him to do.

I had to push the horse clear to the back of his stall to even get his attention. Each time I moved a step away to put down his blanket and hood or grab for a brush, he tried to bolt for the door again. I worked up a sweat before I ever got the horse out of the stall and that was with a halter and lead rope on him.

When I did have the horse ready to go out and lunge, he tried to charge out the door past me and drag me down the barn aisle. He was acting like some horse I had never seen before.

The horse and I have had a long standing agreement about lunging. He hates it so I usually only do it if he has been naughty. There is the occasional exception like this when he has been standing in a stall but usually the horse is dead at the other end of the lunge line. I have to work harder at keeping him moving than the horse ever works.

That was not the case on this day, however. I found myself with a snorting, blowing, tail thrown over the back almost lunatic. He was tossing his head and cavorting like some kind of spring chicken which obviously he hasn't been in years.

The bad part was he was doing a lot of slipping and sliding and I was really worried the horse was going to fall. I had about had my fill of falling for the day. The darn horse was kicking out at me and tossing his head as he'd pull a sliding stop and change directions. The message was clear the horse had no intentions of doing this on my terms.

I had to lunge the horse into the wall, just like I had to do to slow Storm down and get his attention. I even had to flick my whip at him like a barrier to get him to quit trying to change directions. The whole thing was really odd.

Using such tactics on Dandy just isn't something I've ever had to do. The horse was certainly feeling his oats. It took me longer to get him under control than it had to get the young stallion listening to me. And like the other horses before him, Dandy was a sweat, heaving mess when we were through.

Once the horse was done, however, he was done. He didn't even want to walk another step. I think he would like to have just laid right down there in the arena and taken a nap. Five down and only one more to go!

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

Part 7

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  1. I think your babies are just letting you know how much they missed you coming out to play with them. Dandy is such a fine gentleman.

  2. lol... i think somebody switched horses on you or something. Or maybe somebody thought it would be funny to feed them 1 lb of corn before you came out! Hopefully they all calm down before too long.

  3. Sure wish I understood horse terminology.. lunge? Yep a city slicker here.

  4. You don't really make the case for non-Arabian lovers who prefer "level headed horses". LOL.

    Actually one horse I have had the most fun on because of her intelligence level was a very well bred Arab/Thorobred. She totally changed my perspective of Arabians.

  5. BTW, I forgot to tell you, I am going to limit my visiting of other blogs (and therefore commenting) to Sundays now. Jeremiah is feeling neglected. Just don't think I have forgotten you this coming week :)

  6. Are you really sure there is not a monster under the mounting block? Better check.

  7. molly, yes, I'm sure that you are right. They want to make darn sure I don't do that again. And if I do, to know that I will pay! LOL

    lovelee, I'm with you, it was so unlike him. If I hadn't bred this horse and raised him his entire life, I would not have recognized him from his behavior. He was a real goofball! lol

    bonnie, lunge it to be a horse a about a thirth foot rope and exercise them in a circle. The handler stands in the center of the circle and directs the horse to work at all three gaits (walk, trot and canter) around her/him. I was a city slicker once. lol

    scary, I know, this doesn't look good. Lots of people think Arabians always act like this! LOL But I promise, they don't.

    Blogging can take up lots of time and commenting even more. Your comments are appreciated, we'll take them when we can get them. lol

    grey horse matters, I am beginning to wonder........

  8. Tracey tagged you and me and others, (The Bucket List) so I came to see your site. I wanted to know what kind of company I've been connected to.

    Excellent, as far as I can tell. You are a great writer. Rider, too, I assume.

    Great blog.

  9. Wow - if longeing was this exciting with my horses maybe I'd do it more!

    Isn't it funny when the middle-agers revert to spring chickens? I love seeing Keil Bay get a little wild now and then.

  10. That is all very interesting BUT I would love to see some pics and update on your Arabian twins!!! :) Or did I miss it? :(

  11. I just LOVE it that your horses have attitude!
    Good for them.
    Definately bought a smile to my face.
    I say yea to giving you a hard time for not being around, lol!!!!!!

    Watching tv last night and a horse was being lunged in the background. I explained to Mrs K the technical term (which you explained to me a few weeks ago) and she looked at me like "how do you know that?" Ah hah.. MiKael's blog!