Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bull Session!

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Hey, baby, what's your number?

Have we talked freeze brands before? Each mustang, once they're gathered, has a freezebrand placed on the left side of their neck to help identify them. The first symbol is that of the breed registry, which in this case is the US government. The next two symbols are stacked on top of each other and give the horse's age. In Steve Holt!'s case, this number is incorrect; he should be listed as born in '06, but his two year teeth weren't coming in and due to his size, he got labeled a year older. We now know that he's roughly 2 1/2 to 3, or an 'o6 model. The next two symbols identify which state he's from, and the last four correlate with the neck tag he wore while at the corrals. Those last six, the state and his neck tag, are his own personal numbers that won't be duplicated.

Earlier this week Steve Holt! made a trip to the vet for his health certificate and his brand needed to be recorded, so the vet hauled out the clippers and shaved his neck. He stood so nice! His numbers are nice and bright and pretty, don't you think?

While we were there, Steve Holt! also had a chiropractic session. I've never had one done on a horse and wasn't sure if this would help him or not, but since he's struggling so much with the cross overs and lateral movement to the left, I felt I needed to give it a try. Dr. Johnson got some movement in his atlas as well as down near his withers and again in the rib cage on the right side. Steve Holt! was quite sensitive to the pressure being applied in the loin area on his left side and we never did get far as he refused to stay put. Whether there's something there that's the root of our problem we do not know.

Our visit was Tuesday, Steve Holt!'s typical day off, and she instructed me not to ride that day and to be aware of any issues with soreness in the coming days. I hauled down to Curt's Weds afternoon, knowing it would be an easy ride with all the others there working the bull. I figured a few laps around, working at keeping our speed a bit slower and more consistent would be the extent of it. Curt was pleased with the progress, saying we were looking much better than we had on our last visit.

Steve Holt! and I hung out in a corner while Curt worked a couple of the customers on the bull. He moves the bull up and down his 'track', a smoothed out area in the center of the arena, while one horse is on one side and the other horse on the other side of him. He's sort of alike a hydra bull sandwich! The horses get a short workout, a breather while he works another horse (or two), and then they go back for a few more minutes. As the first two horses walked away, Curt turned off the bull but sat there and talked to a couple other folks. I saw my opportunity and walked quietly over and pointed Steve Holt!'s nose towards the bull. Curt looked up and smiled.

"Wanna work it?"

Hello...what do you think? Of course I want to work it! Am I not always pleading and begging? You don't need to ask me twice!


He turned back to one of his customers and resumed his conversation. We stood waiting.

"Well? You wanna work it?"

Okay, so evidently Curt felt the need to ask twice.


Curt looked to the others in the arena, saying, "This could be one helluva wreck, so you'd better move back," and he started up the bull.

Wreck??? I hardly think so! We had a blast! Steve Holt! had no clue what we were supposed to be doing, and I let him get a bit long (ahead of the bull) a couple of times, but he did a good job and got a lot of smiles from the onlookers as we trotted back and forth. Steve Holt! is so easy to bend around my leg that it wasn't at all difficult to keep his nose tipped towards the bull. I don't know if he had as much fun as everyone else did, but we're going to go back and do it again!


wilsonc said...

I use a chiropractor for my two boys and I swear I can tell a difference afterwards. Working that bull sounds like fun! Maybe for your mustang it's like playtime. A reward for all the other stuff he does.

froglander said...

Working the hydra bull sounds fun! I'm glad to hear SH! didn't mind it. I hope he finds lateral work easier after his chiropractic session.

His brand is very nice and crisp!

That reminds me, I need to get Cody gelded (the vet visit part).

Have a great day!

Andrea said...

Wow, you finally got to do it! I bet it was a blast! Take your photographer with you next time. ;)

At first I thought you photoshopped his brand. That is nice and bright!

CTG Ponies said...

Yeah, Tracy and Steve Holt! It sounds like a blast and he handled it like a champ.

Katee said...

That's a nice, clear freezebrand Mr. Holt! has. I hope the chiro helps him move easier. Carl had his first chiro a couple months ago and he is moving much, much better now.

Competition day is getting close!

Anonymous said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.