Saturday, May 14, 2011

Spring......... and Colts........

What is it with boys and springtime? They don't even have to get close enough to a mare to smell her to know that something is up. I swear the sun just needs to come out for the colts, and some bigger boys too, to be acting ridiculous. Screaming, rearing, striking, all kinds of boy play abounds in the springtime, like it or not. This just might be the reason I consider myself to be a mare person.

Today was a beautiful almost warm spring day. After the wet, cold spring we've had, temperatures in the lower 60s felt warm. For the first time I was able to shed my long underwear when doing something outside. I actually got down to real short sleeves for the first time this year. I couldn't believe it.

I decided to take advantage of the dry day by working colts. I've been trying to up the number of horses I work each day but Mother Nature has just not cooperated at all so I figured I better not let this nice day slip by without beginning some kind of work routine with these boys. Heaven knows they need to have their brains exercised if they're going to be manageable.

Considering this winter and spring had not been conducive to work time for any of them, I knew I would have testosterone boiling out all over the place. Since even the slightest disruptions can cause the boys to loose their brains, I figured the best line of defense was to be prepared. That meant I used a chain on each of the little buggers when normally that's not something I do.

I started off with Andy who unfortunately has been on the short side of the kind of work I normally do with my colts by the time they reach his age. The lawsuit last year and the nationals campaign the year before but he and his brother on the back burner. Now, I am paying for that because he's near mature size and very full of himself. His playful antics aren't that cute in a big horse.

I have to give Andy credit. The horse is smart. That chain under his chin speaks directly to his brain. The colt just couldn't help himself but rear when the geldings lined up along the fence line to view the show but the minute that chain rattled at him, Andy was back to work and being mostly a good boy. Of course he couldn't completely resist a few ground slapping strikes as he resumed working but it could have been so much worse. I was pleased with his behavior considering........

Then getting him back to his stall, he was good until he spied Legs and thought maybe he should challenge his dad. After all, the broodmares were all out in the back field and mom's not shaking her head THAT BAD! Oh...........boys...........

I lunged each of them until they began to break a sweat. Depending on their level of excitement over the sunshine, mares outside and gelding gallery, that was anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. Then I hosed them off before putting them away.

Each had at least one incident standing on hind legs and pawing the air trying to convince me that they had better things to do than listen to me. Nothing was particularly aggressive towards me, just more a show of how " See how big and strong, I am, mom!" They always come down with a stern word from me and most don't like seeing me shake my head knowing it means they're in trouble.........or silly.........which is equally embarrassing when you're trying to show off for the girls.

I worked six colts before the weather changed. After Andy, there was Patriot who has been equally neglected and was equally rebellious just in a different way. Then the ones with more handling who were all a bit naughty too. Rhet came out of his stall like a star then tried to run past me through the door. When he had to do it over three times to get it right, you'd think he'd have figured out rushing me wasn't going to work BUT he was full of himself so he had to try. Suede surprised me with a little rearing too. He's normally pretty laid back but that springtime air just got to him. The older, supposedly wiser, Reflection was pretty animated until he figured out it was about work. Once the geldings lined up to watch his humiliation, he was working like a western horse about out of steam. Storm made up for Reflections lack of enthusiasm but used it all to scream what I think he believes are love calls to the girls..........who just couldn't be bothered.

When it was all said and done, I was exhausted and so were the colts. I took a short break to recharge before I put Legs on the lunge line. I figured he'd appreciate the chance to stretch too but before I could get back out there, thunder storms moved in. The rain is currently beating down and the lightning strikes are telling me I shouldn't be on the computer so I guess that Legs is going to have to wait for a break in the weather tomorrow to get his time and I'm going to shut down my computer before Mother Nature teaches me a lesson I don't want to learn. Hopefully, it won't be another month before I get to work with these boys again. Heaven knows they need it regularly.........


  1. Sounds like a productive day - one here too, working on clearing more property. Boys boys boys....see I LOVE my boys, my first being a boy too. But they both had their brain surgeries so I think that helps. :) Ive known mares but have never had the same connection to them. The future might provide the right one, who knows. But for now I love my goofy geldings. :)

  2. Yikes! 6 young fellas araound! The testosterone must be suffocating! lol.I know with 2 adult stallions here the mare are like cats! EVERYBODY is sweet talking everybody else

  3. am glad to hear you got out in short sleeves to enjoy some spring warmth. Isn't it funny how you get to shed thermals and today I ended up in them. Our weather is also in that in between thunder stormy rainy downpour mode. Tonight it turned southerly and I put the horses in the shed for a breather but then turned them out again in a more sheltered spot. I have acrazy work week and cant spare a moment to muck out loose boxes so the horses are in the best out door place possible with good rugs on and dealing with it all. Hope your weasther improves and you get somemore quality time with your boys. They sounds like a handful a good way of course.Gota love a boy in the spring for sure!!!!!

  4. I'm exhausted just reading about all that work with those horses.

    Enjoy watching those boys show off but stay safe.

  5. PHM, brain surgery definitely helps and as much as I consider myself to be a mare person, I have grown to love stallions even with their brains between their legs. LOL

    Fern, you're right about the testosterone. It can get suffocating but most times they are good citizens even with all the sweet talking. The mares are definitely fickle. They will talk to anything that moves when they're in. It's so much easier to manage when everyone is bred. LOL But won't be seeing that happening anytime soon.

    sally, sorry to hear you're already needing thermals. That really sucks. It equally sucks I'm back in mine today. Hope your work week goes smoothly and isn't as bad as you're thinking. If my place was big enough, I'd be having some living outside too. It would be so much easier than mucking stalls in this soup we've currently got running. From yesterday to today so much rain has fallen our creek is again flooding. Very weird srping.

    FV, They are definitely fancy when they're strutting their stuff. As for safety, if they weren't behaving most all of the time, they'd be geldings for sure. Safety is number one here. I have no complaints about how quickly each responded to correction. They were all good boys.

  6. You did have a busy but productive day with the boys. This year's weather has been a pain and nothing much has gotten done here either. Hope you see some sunshine soon.

  7. I prefer the boys, intact or not. I've just never had a mare that got to me in the same way a boy has. I am more distrustful of mares than I am of boys in general.

  8. I understand your comment about not having mares bred anytime soon. Sad market. It does appear to be picking up but not much and doubtful it ever will recover to where it was just a few years ago. If the youth are not brought along into responsible horse ownership and showing, then soon all of the classes will be adult 40 and over and 55 and over and no lol here! I recently bought a half Arabian westrn pleasure horse , 6 years old, had been with a BNT one of the BIGGEST BNT in TX…this particular mare did not settle in at the shows away from home so owner moved on to a national quality horse, she had paid $25,000 for this mare as a 3 year old, plus the last few years of training and show fees…. now at 6 years old I just paid $2,600 for this mare.
    I mentor a youth and help her show her Half Arabian hunter. She recently bought another one to show costume in and we are heading to Regionals in July! That gives me 2 more horses boarded, and she is loving every moment of it! She THOUGHT she wanted a TB since that’s all she had taken lessons on. Then she happened on my barn looking for a lease offered by a boarder…she leased the Half Arab reluctantly, I took her to Arab shows, she showed JTR at A shows, not the schooling shows all her pals were doing on lesson TB’s…. she won and was hooked….all of us in our own breeds need to do this!!!!! It sells horses, promotes responsible ownership, and entries in shows increase, costs go down, we all win!

  9. Seems you weren't the only one dealing with a testosterone overload on Saturday. Ours was epic and we skipped the show on Sunday because of it.

    Boys will be boys.... *sigh*