Tuesday, March 3, 2015

My horse takes longer to dress than I do

Fawkes is so spoiled at the barn now that they always layer him up in blankets and even found a hood somewhere for him.  It officially takes forever to unblanket and reblanket this creature.

Unpitying horse owner that I am, my basic blanketing philosophy has always been to under blanket rather than over blanket and to only add a second layer in super serious weather, like Day After Tomorrow Style.  And for 3 years Fawkes has somehow survived this treatment without ill effect.  But damned if he isn't lapping all this fuss up like a cat in the cream.  He pokes his hooded little nose out at passersby begging for treats and stands like a statue for the application of his layers.  He doesn't even mind when the hood gets caught on his ears, probably because it makes him even cuter and earns him more carrots.

Deblanketing gets you the death stare and I have started using a quarter sheet (blue camo FTW) since it probably is cruel to take away all that warmth at once.

Additionally, the trainers sometimes throw him in a stall after a ride before taking him back out into the Arctic and they have found his unholy love of rolling in shavings.  So now after every ride he is taken to a stall to get a nice roll in.

And I wonder why he thinks he is royalty?  We really are lucky to be somewhere where he is so loved and cared for.

He does get ridden on occasion.  I rode him Sunday, on yet another wacky cold day where all the horses were nuts.  He was looky and had some minor spooks, but nothing crazy.  He got really upset when my trainer made a cross rail into poles and definitely believed we had planted land mines, but he did ultimately go over them.  It was a bit of a step backwards - he was sucking back quite a bit - but neither of us escalated so not too terrible.

My new goal is to stop falling for it.  When he wants to pull his head down and look at a jump/pole, I tend to feed him rein and drop my hands.  That just validates his reaction, so I need to keep my hands up and leg on.

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