Monday, July 6, 2009

Trail Ride #2 and tantrums

Ooh, I've been such a blogging slacker lately. Summer and extra work at work and all that business keeps me busy enough that the blog sometimes has to take a back seat.

But, I do have a bit to update.

Took Gabe out on his second trail ride over the weekend. We were out for about half an hour, maybe 45 mins., and he was fabulous! The scariest encounter on the trail was the trees branches smacking against my hard hat. Scary stuff! Scoot and snort and look around for the scary thing. I started grabbing every branch I could reach and smacking it against my helmet, against him when I could and shaking the trees as much as I could. He was pretty darn desensitized to them within 10 minutes. Good boy! I'm sure I looked bizarre smacking myself in the head with tree branches, but hey, it worked and I achieved my goal.

You know how each horse has it's quirk? Calypso likes to get in one really fast head-in-the-air trot around the ring and acts a little ADD before she'll settle down and work. Chief drags butt for the first five or 10 minutes of a ride before he resigns himself to work and picks it up.

Gabe...well, Gabe acts like a spoiled brat. For about 10 minutes, sometimes 15, at the beginning of our ride he acts like he doesn't know a thing and he throws a little toddler tantrum. It's almost like he's saying "Make me!" He crow hops, refusing to go forward, tossing his head around and squealing (yes, he squeals, just like a girl!), forgetting how to turn, refusing to go to the woodsy end of the ring, etc. He can be a complete shit, with his ears forward the entire time like he's really enjoying himself. It's like he's testing his limits and feels the need to test me just to make sure I really AM going to make him work. Then it all stops, like a switch turns off, and he's golden.

What a nut. I don't let him get away with much, but so far I'm not really fighting his need to be a moron, let off some steam, behave like a baby, I work him through it, wedging my way in there and asking for more and more and keeping him too busy to act too silly for too long until his brain clicks. Some horses need to be longed to take the edge off before a ride, Gabe needs to test his limits and push my buttons. He's not trying to get me off and he's definitely not hurting, he's just being a big goof. I've come to expect no less from him! *grin*

He is definitely a fun horse and really enjoys playing. He's popped several balls (he kneels on them or bites 'em until they deflate, then he plays with the flat ball.) So, I found these balls designed for horse play and I think I'm going to save my pennies and get him one. If you click the link, make sure to watch some of the videos...those horses are having FUN! And I really think Gabe will too.


  1. I had a Jolly Ball for mine but they wanted nothing to do with it. Maybe if they were stalled or kept in a relatively small turn-out area, they might play with it out of boredom. Turned out 24/7 the way they are, they don't look for things to do.

    And oh, how I know about their need to push the limits. Every time with Poco. As you said, you just have to stick with it so their brain clicks into gear that you really are going to make them work.

    WV = carmela
    Mrs. Tony Soprano

  2. I took Bombay for his second trail ride this weekend too, and having branches hit me in the helmet was about the only thing that didn't spook him, because I did just what you described with a tree branch that was overhanging my neighbor's round pen a few weeks ago. I was glad that he remembered that sound out on the trail.

  3. What a goof that horse is! Ace had some time off, so right now he is really happy to be getting riding attention again and isn't pushing his limits. I'll enjoy it while it lasts!

    I have to admit, the goofy and sometimes annoying things our horses do are what make them so much fun. I'm all about a horse with personality, who likes to express himself. That's what caught my eye in Ace. Gabe definitely seems like one of those horses full of personality.

  4. My gelding, Blue, has those temper tantrums. On the trail, he is a rock star (most of the time) but if I try to ride him away from home, he has his little hissy fits because he doesn't want to leave his girls. He is so funny because he is not sneaky about them. I can be riding along and feel him start to bunch up and know that he is going to throw in his half hearted buck- twist-jump-sidepass-all-at-once! Then after it is out of his system, he will settle down. Boys!

  5. There is an award for you on my blog :)

  6. I just love your Gabe!! He does sound like quite the character. I'm glad he doesn't get to you too much with his antics, he probably just needs to test the waters and see what you're made of. hee hee - gotta love em!! He will probably go through all kinds of stages in his life. Ladde did for sure, and he kind of reminds me of your Gabe. But, he's 13 this year and he's turning into a very good boy. He's still highly energetic and can still be the "Andalusian fire-breathing dragon horse" at times, but he's definitely matured into a good, solid horse. Love your boy and enjoy his wonderful personality!! Nothing lasts forever.

  7. Great to see all those horses having a fun time. I'm afraid Major was a bit of a scaredy cat when he first saw a ball!

  8. I usually don’t know what to do when my niece throws tantrums, especially when we are in the farm… Until I’ve learned from Tantrum Toddlers Researcher. Since then, I survived in every situation.