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.