While we were off showing in Houston on Saturday, everyone here in Austin was getting slammed with rain. Like… to the point where it took me 3 tries to get home, because the farm roads I usually take were completely flooded and the police had them closed.
I finally was able to find a way through, after 45 minutes of backtracking and trying again, and then basically had to Tokyo Drift my truck (which does not have 4WD) and trailer up the very flooded, muddy driveway. But hey… we made it. The ground in the fields was getting quite hard last week so I was happy to have the rain, except for the fact that it meant that Henry had to sit in his stall after a hard day of showing rather than go out like he usually does. Poultice and Magic Cushion are my bestest friends but he was definitely tighter in his body than usual. On Sunday morning it poured AGAIN for a solid 4 hours, turning everything into WaterWorld and relegating the horses to their stalls for another day.
Luckily our barn has good soil and is on mostly high ground, so the barn itself stays dry, and the arena/turnouts dry out pretty quickly. By Sunday afternoon it was dry enough for a walk/trot in the arena and a hack around the barn, so I took Henry out to stretch his legs a bit. The barn was super quiet and no one else was around, so afterward I decided to put Henry and Presto out in the arena to chill for a while and give Henry a break from his stall. And also because I can seriously sit there and watch them for hours, they are so entertaining.
Being out with Dobby and Cannavaro for the past few weeks has definitely made Presto a little braver, socially. I mean, he still kinda curls up like a roly poly when Henry puffs up at him, but any smart horse would. He doesn’t immediately retreat like he used to, and he even thought about instigating a mutual grooming session before he wimped out at the idea of putting his teeth on Henry. Presto is naturally very low on the totem pole and probably always will be, but I’m glad that he’s at least learning how to Horse a little bit better.
By Monday everything was pretty dry again, so they got to go back to turnout and I was able to do a stretchy w/t ride on Henry in the field (which has softened up perfectly in the way that only horse people could possibly be this excited about). After I was done with Henry I brought Presto in and decided to put a saddle on him again. When my schedule with Henry gets really packed, Presto tends to get less attention, so it’s been a while since I’ve really done much besides groom him. He stood there in the crossties looking bored AF and didn’t even blink when I just tossed the saddle on him and girthed it up like he was a grownup.
I took him out to the arena and lunged him for a few minutes, then put the stirrups down and let them bang around as he trotted. After that we briefly went over some remedial stuff like giving to poll pressure, flexing his head, and doing some “leg yield” in hand. Those things all stick with him pretty well by now. What really pissed him off was the bath he got afterward… guess it’s been a while since I hosed his whole body down. You’d think that for a horse that loves water so much, he’d be less of a turd about getting sprayed with the hose. Jokes on him, we stood there under the water until he finally just stood still and glared at me. He just bought himself a lot of hose time.
For those who have been asking, Cannavaro has settled in really well.
The resident barn worker/colt starter spent the first week doing a lot of desensitization groundwork, which Cannavaro flew right on through. He’s smart, and he’s naturally pretty chill. Yesterday was his first ride on him, in the western saddle, and again Cannavaro was really good.
He worked on standing still at the mounting block, bending and flexing his head/neck, backing, whoaing from voice, turning, and w/t/c. Bobby has been riding him at the walk and trot very lightly since he came off the track, but this was his first canter work and first time being asked to do much. The first couple laps were slightly dolphiny (god, he and Henry really have so much in common) but he smoothed out quickly. You can tell that he’s going to have a REALLY good canter once he figures out his balance.
I totally claim dibs on Cannavaro if something happens to Bobby. Just putting that out there in writing.
I entered Henry in a show this weekend, just a couple dressage tests to
crush his spirit practice, and opening date for Presto’s first FEH show of the year was yesterday so I gotta get on that. I love this time of year, there’s never a shortage of things to do with ponies!
I’ve also been considering doing a Q&A type of post, opening it up to whatever questions you guys have. I get emails and messages with questions all the time, but I never thought about publishing them until someone mentioned it. So if you have questions you want to ask, feel free to drop a comment or send me a message or email… I’m an open book and happy to answer anything!