Monday, December 15, 2008

Thank you, Lord, for global warming

Because if it weren't for global warming, I'd surely have died of hypothermia out there today! Ten minutes in the cold air and my fingers were aching. I believe a new pair of gloves may be in order. I had to ask around to other horsemen today, to find out what they're wearing. Something warm, but it needs to be thin enough for my fingers to be able to grip ropes and reins.

Katee told me she uses wool gloves, then puts leather gloves over the top. Sounds like a plan. The leather can come off when I need to have a bit more feel, but go back on once I'm finished with the fine motor skills and am back to packing hay or chipping ice from water tubs.

Have you got a preference when it comes to keeping the fingers feeling fine?

Steve Holt! and I managed a couple of firsts today.

The other three horses were happily munching on excess hay when I walked out for the morning training session, so it was easy to lock them into stalls. Three horses, two stalls...but it worked. They eat three to a stall half the time, and with bellies full there was no arguing or bickering. Once they were secure and out of the way, I clipped the long rope onto Steve Holt!'s short drag line, took a deep breath, opened up the panels and led him outside of the paddock for the first time.He was great. More than great. He was completely awesome! I've not had a single horse to date that walked straight out of the gate with me and didn't try to jump off to the right just a little in an attempt at freedom. Steve Holt! barely glanced towards the opening (which in reality isn't an opening, as there's a fence over there, but it looks like freedom after being trapped in a paddock for a week.) Instead he stepped right out alongside me, then looked at the blue barrel off to my left and wanted to go visit it.

And do you recall the trouble I had getting Sandy through the round pen gate? None what so ever with Steve Holt!! He walked through the opening like he'd been walking through narrow gates his entire life. Not the least bit of hesitation.

Steve Holt! walked easily in circles around me. I wasn't asking him to lunge, but he walked at the end of the rope as though that were his routine. He didn't pull, he didn't get excited and try to play in the larger space. He just walked with no tension, curiously looking at the old saddle which was sitting on the rail, or the saddle blanket sitting on the opposite side.

While most horses would be using the rail as a safety net, Steve Holt! didn't mind walking a foot or two away from it. In fact, he easily came in 5' from the rail and continued his circles in a nice, steady pace.

We did this twice today, and I think it's really made a change in his attitude. He felt good, and he enjoyed me taking him out there. Our second trip out began with a much easier catch, and later when I went out to feed dinner, he stood in his stall and let me walk up and pat him without trying to dash away like he always did.

During our second venture out, I decided to pick up the saddle. With it in my arms, Steve Holt! became a bit more concerned and his pace picked up as he circled me. But when I reached my arm out to him to pet his neck, he stopped and I was able to rub the saddle up against him without him bolting away. I also picked up the long PVC pipe that was laying out there and let him trot around with it on his back. That was something he wasn't thrilled about at first, and he gave a couple tiny kicks up with his heels before settling into a trot, then a stop. He decided it really wasn't worth the effort, I guess. Hope he feels that way when I climb on!

Too bad the snow is supposed to stick around. I'd like to get him out into a few arenas, but I guess this is God's way of slowing me down. No rush, right?


froglander said...

Sounds like it was a good day all around (barring the cold that is)!

SH! sure sounds like he is taking things in stride. I can't wait to see how he moves!

Terri Farley said...

I'm so glad I have a Google alert on MUSTANGs or I never would have found your blog.
Love to eavesdrop on your progress!
Terri Farley

Katee said...

He looks so grown up and domestic in his pajamas!

I hope my two layer glove recipe works well for you. The trick is finding 2 pairs that fit really well. The leather has to be big enough to fit over the thin wool, but not so big that they are difficult to use.

Tracey said...

Frog, yes, it was a very good day. A little more global warming and it would be great!

Terri, glad you found me! Just spotted your avatar in my followers and popped right over to your place :)

Katee, I hope so, too! But what I really hope is that it warms up. Doesn't appear to be in the forecast, though... =(

gtyyup said...

Hey great day Tracey!!! Yea, this cold doesn't seem to be going anywhere in the near future...dang.

Jeanette said...

SH! seems like he is making that exclamation point work for him!!!

Stephanie said...

He's such a handsome boy, what a great looking kid!! How old is he?