Sunday, September 6, 2009

Trailriding and a worried horse

Today I didn't have a lot of time. I got a late start and had to finish early to go to a labor day get-together. I started by cleaning and rewrapping Z's leg wound. I'm still upset by that - how did she do it?

Then, I decided to take Rain and Gemini out on the trail. I wanted to trim a few hooves, too. I trimmed Rain's fronts, then warmed her up a bit on the ground. I haltered Gemini and we set off.

Gemini hit a specific spot on the trail, his threshold spot, and he started to call. I'm trying to pay more attention to how he behaves before he gets noticeably scared. I'm sure there are signals that I miss. He called for other horses about 1 mile into the ride. He was calm, he would stop and eat grass and chew slowly and thoughtfully, but he would fairly regularly call out in a frantic way. If he heard any horse call back, he'd call again. I believe he's trying to locate his herd and I believe it's because he's very worried that he can't protect them if he's not with them. It's such a left-brained looking thing with him that I don't think he's scared for himself. He's scared for his herd.

We didn't go far, I wanted to study him just a little longer once we hit his threshold. Honestly, I'm not exactly sure of the best way to handle his behavior and how to help him feel more comfortable that the herd is ok. I suppose it's simply a lot of approach and retreat. He never got panicked, he always stayed pretty much in his pony-horse spot, once in a while he'd want to rub his face violently on my leg or Rain. His stool didn't get loose. It just feels like a bodyguard would feel when he's been taken away from the person he's supposed to be protecting.

Anyway, the weather was gorgeous. We found a place to stop where the grass was green and 2 feet tall. He chewed slowly, but still called. I would say he was calling less, though. Once we got about 1/2 mile from home, he didn't call again.

I think I might post this question to the parelli group or the Parelli's themselves.

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