Sunday, February 16, 2014

Settling In

Not much exciting going on at the moment.  I am giving Fawkes time to learn his new surroundings and taking things slowly in hopes of giving him a positive impression of his home.

Looking kind of chub while watching the neighbor move his tractor.
People often ask me if he is a QH, I can sort of see it here. 
Unfortunately, Fawkes tends to be fine in new places to start and then slowly get worse over time.  Something traumatic happens (you know, a bird flies by, a kid forgets to yell door, etc) and then he is nervous at that part of the ring forever.  I haven't quite figured out how to make something ok again after it scares him.

However, so far so good. Saturday night I got the barn and it was basically empty so I took the opportunity to turn him out in the indoor to let him explore on his own.  He checked the whole place out and even went over the poles on the ground all by himself.  I tacked him up and hopped on for a few minutes.

That poor neighbor will never
do anything in peace ever again.
He was VERY nervous in the grooming stalls.  I am not sure what about them bugs him but he danced the entire time he was in there.  He doesn't like being groomed to begin with so that doesn't help him relax.  I just tried to keep his time there short but positive and got on.  We walked and trotted both directions, did some circles and went over the trot poles and then I got off. He was relatively relaxed so I wanted to reinforce that mentality.
Want this sign. And it is a decent beer too

Today was much more crowded, although nothing overwhelming.  He was still unhappy in the grooming stall, even with a horse next to him and several in sight.  My sad little hope that his nerves were based on being alone last night were quickly dashed.  Sigh orange horse.  I am going to start grinding xanax into your feed.

Got to meet the other hunter trainer at the barn.  This place has two and in my oblivious mind, I would like to ride with both.  I have received mixed messages on whether this will be ok or not.  So for now I am going to take a few lessons with both and see whom I like better.  Anyways, it was good to be able to observe him teaching.  Fawkes was a little more tense today but held it together much better than he used to.  He spooked at a ray of light coming under a door, but it was a half hearted spooking effort, which I appreciated.

To keep his mind busy I did lots of transitions and kept going over poles.  My least favorite rule at the new barn is that you cannot jump outside of lessons.  This will probably be ok long term, but I hate being told I can't take my horse over a stupid cross rail by myself.  On the plus side, there are many many things to work on over poles.  We messed around with getting the stride in a 5 stride line while trotting in.  This horse has an amazing step for a little guy.  He had no problem whatsoever with getting a beautiful 5 the first few times and then I actually had to hold him to prevent the 4/launch.  The lesson horse was cantering in and getting the same 5.  I was happy with the under saddle stuff.

A nice meta picture of a photo of Fawkes racing that was given to me.
Blinders AND a shadow roll.  I did this to myself.
Untacked and walked him around the property to let him explore his new home.  There was an awful lot of snorting and some prancing and jumping sideways.  It was all a little exaggerated and ridiculous and quickly got on my nerves.  I mean, there is no reason to jump almost on top of me because a car starts backing up 40 feet away.  Just keep repeating: I love this horse and accept his flaws.  As he (sometimes) accepts mine.

Hopefully will get at least one lesson in this week and jump.  Really want to get back into a program.

Did end up skiing yesterday, so with that and two rides I am pretty sore.  Think it is time for this:


  1. Day Time Ale by Lagunitas is awesome. Also My old horse carlos (love of my life) raced in blinkers and a shadow roll so I think Fawkes is fine :)

  2. Day Time Ale is one of my new favorites! And I am glad Fawkes isn't the only one out there who raced with that combo. Have to hide the monsters somehow I guess