Monday, 23 May 2011

Groundwork 101

Heather came to my rescue today, and now Felix wears tack, has started long lining, and leads reasonably well.  There was little reaction to the saddle - with only a little confusion about the girth being tightened.  Bridle was also not a big problem. He's not thrilled, but not bad either.  He got pretty mad with the long lining but by the end he was starting to submit - but we were kicked out of the arena for a lesson, so we just worked on leading and stopping for another half hour or so.

I'm getting my confidence back, which is good.  Felix was bought right around 1 year after I sold my last horse, Dottie. She and I were not a good match really, so I've been more or less out of the tack for close to 1 1/2 years.

Also, the barn owner had a chance to take a crack at his feet being trimmed.  Only his fronts are done, and they are a little long, but it is progress none the less.  He was bad with the backs, I'll have to work on this.

As it turns out, I have a week or so at home to work with him, not just the 2 days I had planned.  With Heather's help we'll have him going well in no time.

Shauna was out today, and so there are finally another batch of pictures. They are somewhat blurry, but you get the idea! (that's Heather on the long lines, me in the purple sweater).

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Back to work

I'm back in Canada again, and glad to have my barn time even if Felix is still a rude little sucker.  I'm taking him out of his stall to tie in the isle now for grooming  -  mostly because a huge acomplishment has been made: the barn owners were able to get him turned out with a herd last week!  We finally have a happy arrangement. It's the broodmares, who look to have been teaching him manners. He's a bit scraped up, but I knew that would happen. 

According to the barn workers he is insisting on "playing stallion" with his new herd, fortunately they own the broodmares, and are not worried about it.  This should stop once his hormones calm down (he's been infertile since 3 days after the surgery, so no worres of unexpected fugly part-fjord's).  The girls are quite funny. They are very excited to get him back after he's come in for his grooming session.

I've decided that he needs to have the traditional fjord mane trim.  His mane is over 2" wide at the base, and will be next to impossible to pull - so step one is going to be clipping it right off.  He's pretty sure the clippers are going to eat him though, so we're going to have to work on some desensitization.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Definitely might have made a mistake...

Not much to report this last week, partially because I've been out of town working.  I got back today only to find that the barn had attemped to turn Felix out with my friend Heather's fairly dominant horse.  It did not go well, Felix chewed up Monty pretty badly. Probably not the best idea on their part, as this horse was supposed to go to a new home, now he stays untill the damage heals (just superficial fortunately).

I did try to lead him over to the arena for a run around yesterday, it did NOT go well. He ran around me in circles like a mad idiot.  Needs some work on his ground manners quite badly, but to be honest he scares me when he's like this. 

He's doing fairly well with being moved from stall to stall, and I am going in for grooming regularly.  Working on picking up his 9 months overdue for a trim feet so the farrier (also the barn owner) is willing to work on them.  First time I tried he bit me, so now I am sporting a nice pony-teeth shaped bruise just below my bra strap. Now I know not to trust investigating pony lips!  The front feet are pretty good to pick up though - will get to trying the backs another day once he starts calming down.

His incisions from surgery are healing normally, although his sheath is pretty swollen.  This looks normal according to the vet and the farm workers, and it shrinks every day.  I'll be going away again for 10 days or so for work again, so Felix will just get a bunch of settle-in time without any harassment from me.