Monday, February 11, 2008

A Day in the Life of an Arabian Horse Breeder - Part 7


Part 1

The last Arabian horse on the list was my breeding stallion, Scandalous Legacy. Some people think because a stallion is a breeding horse that he is harder to work with but I don't find this to be the case. Although the horse has always been quite forward about how he feels about being neglected by me. This time would be no exception and I was prepared.

Legs was body clipped in the fall just before I got hurt so he has all kinds of clothes to wear to keep him warm. The horse really likes his jammies except for the slinky that covers his face putting it on or off, I have to catch him first. So normally dressing and undressing him is not a problem. Notice I said normally..........

When I went to the stall door, the horse was right there to greet me. When I stepped in the horse stood his ground instead of backing away as he was asked. I clucked at him again and reached out to poke him. The horse backed away before I made contact. He's a pretty smart horse and knows just how much he can get by with before he's really in trouble. His timing was perfect to just be scolded by my voice.

As I undid the snaps for his neck warmer and his slinky, the horse tossed his head but stood still. All the while the horse was being careful not to hit me with his head. Pulling off the neck warmer was easy but the minute I reached for the slinky thing Legs took off for the back corner of the stall.

In the corner I had to block the horse to stop his exit as I began pulling that thing off his neck and over his face. The whole time the horse is pawing with the foot farthest away from me. Knowing enough to stay out of trouble but still wanting to make it clear this is not his favorite thing.

With that thing off I went for the horse's halter. He gladly shoved his nose towards it but grabbed the noseband in his teeth. Then the horse dropped his head and stood there with the halter hanging out of his mouth while I took his blanket off. I wasn't going to play his game.

Because I wouldn't participate getting the halter away from him, Legs dropped it to the ground, tossed his head again and blew. He danced a little while I undid leg straps but stood asI took his blanket off.

The minute I reached for the halter, the horse grabbed the thing again just like a dog wanting to play catch with a ball. This time shaking his head up and down and making the hardware clank. I could almost see the glee in his eye, the horse was so pleased with himself.

I did finally get the halter away from the horse and on his face where it belonged. His response was to blow at me some more. My glasses were covered in horse slim. I had to wipe them off so that I could see.

I tied Legs up so I could groom him and wrap polos on his legs. The horse pawed and fidgeted like a little kid frustrated about being tied. Legs didn't complain about the currying but tried to grab the brush. Not because he didn't want to be brushed but because he just wanted to give me a hard time. This horse has always been a character and pretty oral about expressing that personality of his.

Brushing his tail, the horse kept flipping it the opposite direction away from me. He didn't ever try to hit me with it, this was just more of his game. Getting on polo wraps was more of the same, pulling his foot at just the right time to send the wrap rolling across the stall. The horse doesn't do this often but always has perfect timing.

Before I even tried to exit the stall, I asked the horse to drop his head. He put it down just fine but it was some kind of race to get his head back up high before I had even finished my release. Walking out of the stall was a one step at a time process, just like it had been with the young stallions. I could tell the horse was going to explode as soon as we hit the arena.

As we walked through the gate I swung the horse wide, I knew he was going to rear just as soon as I turned my back to latch that darn gate. With a horse this wired there was no way I wanted to leave that gate open and yet I knew I was setting myself up turning my back on him in this mood.

I asked the horse to dro his head and back up a couple of times before I tried to attend to the gate. The horse did both readily, he was biding his time. Just as I perdicted the horse reared as soon as I started to turn twoards the gate.

As Legs went up he took a couple of steps backwards to make sure he was clear of me. Then he stood on his hind legs tossing his head and pawing the air until I hollered at him to get down.

Legs always gets this expression on his face whenever I scold him for rearing. I swear it reads loudly, "You are NO fun!" as he drops with a thud and just stands there and looks at me like I'm a really mean mother.

Longing was really the easy part. By the time I had wrestled this horse to take off his clothes, groom him and get him into the arena, I was a sweaty mess. I sent him off to longe hoping he would be pretty well behaved.

The horse frolicked a lot, happy to be out and stretching his legs. Leaping, snorting, and tossing that head around, Legs flipped the longe line to the off side where it hung down his neck and then crossed his back, so much for having control of my horse.

Normally, I'd stop a horse that managed to get the longe line over their head that way. But with Legs this isn't a fluke. The horse has figured out how to flip the longe line over his head so it's hanging off the other side. Then the horse flips it back again so I just let it be. I know the horse will flip it back and it isn't going to be a problem. It's like this dance that he does when he's all fired up. It's part of his entertainment and it's part of mine, too. Some times I swear he does it in time counting the beats as he goes.

After struggling to get through longing six Arabian horses for my first outing in a while, it was nice to just hold the end of the line. I didn't have to worry about making a horse mind. Legs went the speed I asked and the direction I asked he just played while he was doing it. I couldn't really see the point in making him stop being silly. I would much rather have a horse being playful than one trying to prove he's in charge.

It was a nice end to a long day. I still had coolers to remove, horses to curry and blanket and equipment to put away. Then I was done. I felt somewhere close to half dead but I was done. It was time to go home and take a long nap because tomorrow was another day in the life of an Arabian horse breeder.


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

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15 comments:

  1. Everyone should have your kind of patience! You have such a wonderful way of working *with* your horses.

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  2. Very nice photograph. And the post is interesting to read too.

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  3. What personalities. I have worked with the super playful horses. Once an injured Dutch Warmblood picked me up by the back of my coat. I couldn't let that slide, but I was laughing while I did it.

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  4. You made it! I'm amazed - I could never do all that in one day.

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  5. A great post - I enjoyed it a lot!

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  6. Gosh! I'm so excited! insert jumping up and down...

    I got tagged by MiKael!

    THANK YOU!!!!!

    Holly from Dogsnhorses

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  7. I'm exhausted just reading about your day!

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  8. What a playful guy! You have to keep one step ahead of him don't you?! I was tired just reading all that you do. I am planning to be on a better work out schedule this summer with my guys as hopefully I won't be injured again or Buddy! Last summer was the pits with both of us gimping around. We made a good pair!

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  9. He sounds like so much fun! I've never handles arabian horses, but if they're all like Legs then they sound very playful!

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  10. Thanks for visiting my blog! We got snow today, again. Love your pictures! Your diligence is inspiring to me.

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  11. marvel, I have to laugh whenever anyone mentions patience and me in the same breath. I do not see myself as a patient person. I have to thank some great horsemen for teaching me the skills I have.

    abraham, photographs are so challenging. I can't wait til the day comes and I get a real camera instead of a POS so I can get better clarity in my pics.

    lovelee, now that sounds scary to me. I have seen Legs pick up a kitten but he darn well better leave me on the ground. lol

    billie, I did make it and I was amazed too and sooooooo exhausted. I used to do a lot more than this and will again once I work my stamina back up. It keeps me young, I swear.

    dlyn, thanks and thanks for visiting.

    holly, I'm glad that you are pleased. Now go spread some love lol and I was exhausted living that darn day. Those turkeys wore me out!

    midlife mom, yes, I always have to be one step ahead of him. If not he gets into trouble and oh so proud of himself when he is.

    I hate that when the warm weather finally comes and then something happens and screws up riding reason. I hope you guys are both well this year.

    gecko, most of the Arabians I have been around have playful personalities. It's part of what makes them so much fun. I hope you get to met one someday.

    Netherfieldmom, snow again! wow, I'm glad it is warming up here. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  12. Legs is just such a good boy. :-D

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  13. Sounds like he has a wonderful play drive. What a character!

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  14. What a fun horse! I liked him the best - what a character!
    How do you make time to do all that and still write these great stories?

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  15. Hi your pics are really great. I enjoyed it a lot.....:)

    sponsorahorse.org

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