Being on my summer schedule, riding before work, means that my barn time is a little more limited. I have a meeting every day at 8, so I have to be in my chair and ready to work (ie hopefully not still wearing sweaty barn clothes) by then. Yet, it isn’t actually light enough to ride until about 6:15. Plus I have Presto to account for now, too, not just Henry. This has led to some experimentation with how to fit everything in and still get to work on time/manage to get adequate sleep.

grooming one and sneakily supervising the other

For the most part I don’t do a whole lot with Presto on a day to day basis. Most of the time I just bring him into the crossties, groom him, and put him back out. I try to pony him once a week, though, and I’m trying to give him a least a couple of longer tying sessions per week, plus a couple of short groundwork sessions per week. He went a wee bit feral while I was gone to Tennessee and on Tuesday, his first “session” in 8 days, he swore he’d never seen crossties or fly spray in his life. While it only took about 15 minutes to remind him, clearly benign neglect is not the best method for this horse. So, at least 5-6 days a week, he comes out and does something.

whut dis wind macheen?

All I’ve really had time for this week was a quick grooming, but this morning I decided to set up some pole exercises for Henry in the little arena (because the ground out in the field is already getting too hard for my liking) and figured it was a good opportunity to “school” both boys at once.

So I brought Henry into the crossties, then went and got Presto and tied him in the aisle while I groomed Henry and tacked up. It’s good for Presto to have to come in the barn and then be ignored. It ain’t always about him. Then I took both of them out to the arena. I tied Presto over to the side and left Henry with him while I set up my poles, then went and retrieved Henry, got on, and left Presto tied to his spot while we rode around him.


Presto was not really thrilled about this.

There was some pacing, and there was some pawing, but for the most part I think his time on the Tree of Knowledge a couple weeks ago kind of took a lot of the wind out of his protest sails. He wasn’t happy about it, but he seemed to know that he was stuck there no matter what. Henry and I rode around, blissfully ignoring him, and steadily working our way closer and closer to him. Eventually we were cantering right past him. We jumped the little vertical a few times, the first time of which caused Presto to prop a leg on each corner and stare at Henry like he’d sprouted another head. After that it was old hat.

Our weird-ass poles to vertical exercise. Presto’s butt is just out of the frame on the left wall of the arena.

I only rode for about 30 minutes, then hopped off and left Henry standing in the middle while I went to retrieve Presto from the rail and do a little bit of in-hand work with moving his body and feet. I wanted to make sure his attention was back on me.

Henry in park while I work with Presto

Then we went back into the barn and I again tied Presto in the aisle and ignored him while I untacked Henry and took him over for a bath. Once Henry was squared away in front of the fan, I went over and groomed Presto. He gets attention when I decide he gets attention, and for now he’s #2 on this hierarchy. Poor kid, having to learn that the world doesn’t revolve around him. Life is hard.

I liked how today went, and I felt like I was able to “work” both of them at the same time, really optimizing the little bit of time that I have in the mornings. I wasn’t rushing through either one of them to make sure I could get to the other, and I got everything done with each of them that I wanted to get done.Β This little arrangement might happen more often.

Henry using someone’s box as a foot rest, because sure?

It sure is fun to start the day with my boys.

10 thoughts on “Juggling

  1. I’m impressed with how you make this work. My horses are at home and yet I’m not nearly as successful at managing to work more than one per day. I have decided that I need to work one on the ground every weekday after I ride one, though. The ground work is NEVER bad, but it also reminds me to get Samson (my pony) into the mix. I’ve also started working on my esposo to get my arena lights done so I can use my time better in the mornings now in the evenings in the fall winter. He bought the arena lights like 4 years ago………


    1. Ha! Yeah lights would help. We don’t really have those either (there are a couple under the covered part, mostly useless unless you’re using the round pen, which I never do). Time is hard to come by sometimes.


  2. if anyone can make having two horses and limited time work it is you! I am SO glad Presto is with Henry now so much easier than going to two places. Also Presto is growing (Again) he doesnt look like a baby much at all anymore πŸ™‚ I cant wait to see him/meet him in July!! And give Henry cookies!


  3. Super impressive to get all that done with two! Now that I’m getting ready to start riding again, I’m looking at how I’m going to make things happen. I can push back my arrival to work a few times a week to 9am, so I should ideally be able to ride before work maybe twice a week, once after, lesson Saturday. Ideally this would give me time to work out in the evenings to keep up with said horse, but… it also might just give me time to Netflix.
    (Would love to see your exercise written out too… If I set any jumps or poles up, I have to take down so anything i can do involving the least amount of moving stuff is A+)


    1. It’s just three bounce poles (so I could canter through them on their own without the jump) and then the jump set one stride off to the left. So you end up hanging a stride to the left at the end to catch the jump. It’s not really a specific exercise, just… how things worked out today LOL.


  4. Can we talk about what a good older brother Henry is? You need me to canter past this kid? Sure. You need me to stand in the middle of the ring while you torture him? Absolutely. πŸ˜‰


    1. I know right? For as opinionated as he can sometimes be under saddle (ok, mostly in dressage), he’s a really easy horse to deal with. I’m trying really hard to turn Presto into that.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Presto’s hard life! πŸ˜‰ He looks like he’s enjoying all his meals. πŸ™‚
    I remind mine that there are mules carrying loads across the mountains of Afghanistan who would be glad to trade places. (In winter. Uphill both ways.) πŸ˜‰


  6. Poor baby Presto, so tortured! That really sounds like a great plan. I wish I was better at being a morning person, it is nice to get the ponies done before work especially when it’s hot.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s