Monday, May 22, 2006

My horse, the comedian

My rides on my horse have been really good lately. He's been really responsive, energetic, eager to work. He feels very sound, has even strides, and is getting stronger every day. But yesterday during the left lead canter he stumbled. It wasn't like he just tripped over his feet, but felt more like he went to put weight on his right hind leg and it either didn't support him or it hurt so much that it gave way. If it happened only once I'd not think too much of it, but it happened twice. I'm concerned that this has something to do with his hock injections. I might be a little hyper sensitive about it, since before I had him injected I'm not sure this would have raised a red flag.

This is the frustrating part about riding horses. I wish I could just say "Hey, what happened there?" and he could tell me "Oh, I just had a cramp." or "That really hurt my right hock for a second." or "Haha! Scared ya didn't I?".

I wouldn't be surprised if my horse said that last one. He really has a sense of humor, which non-horse people won't understand at all. I think my horse thinks he's really funny. Prime example - every time - and I do mean EVERY time - I go to put his halter on he grabs it in his mouth. Not in a mean way, or in a way that makes me think he doesn't want the halter on, but he does it as a game. After the first two times I say 'KASWYN!" sternly in hopes that he'll knock it off. He just gives me a look out of his left eye as if to say "Okay, I won't do it again. I'm done" and then he does it AGAIN. Kind of like Lucy and Charlie Brown and that damn football she pulls away every time he tries to kick it. Sometimes it takes 6 or 7 tries to get the halter past his mouth and onto his head.

Now I know I could smack him and punish him for this and he'd stop, but I don't want to squash his spirit like that. Really great show horses need to have some kind of attitude, and I think Kaswyn's attitude is perfect. When I'm on the ground he plays these harmless little games with me, and for the most part I let him get away with them because I truly think he finds it amusing. When I'm riding him, however, it's all business. He's focused and ready to please, so I feel like if he wants to joke around with me when I'm not on his back, it's okay.

I have a bad feeling that the stumble yesterday wasn't a joke.

1 comment:

Lil Kate said...

That's pretty funny. I have to tell you, I got about half way through reading "Seabiscuit" over the weekend and I found it really interesting when the author was talking about how some horses get all sad, dejected and frustrated if they lose a race. Taking that into consideration, I'm not surprised that they'd have a sense of humor, too.

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