Roaming Rodney

Training Journal

 

Taking Our Time

Last Thursday, we went to Stepping Stone Farm for the evening. We wanted to take a long, leisurely time to give Rodney a chance to adjust to barn activity. Staring raptly at other horses has been a big deal for him on our trips to Full Circle Horse Park [1,2].

At SSF, we hung out. Waited for the ring to be clear. Turned him out to graze and stroll. He spent a few minutes staring at the horses in the pasture. When they were not interested in being his new best friends, he gave up and grazed. Vacated the ring for a lesson. Wait. Long-lined. Tacked up. Here comes the Road Pony.

We hid in the covered ring until it was clear Rodney thought of a horse pulling a cart. He was fascinated but not at all perturbed. Hey, look, that pony has wheels.’ He was more interested in the full-size horses who were being hand-grazed after their rides.

Getting Down To Business

We took the opposite approach on FCHP two days later. Was he ready to come off the trailer, warm-up and get to work? Could we dispense with the long, get-acquainted walk? Yes, we could.

We walked and trotted in warm-up and even did a practice dressage test in the arena. He knew he was in the sandbox, but he kept his sh*t together and kept his head in the game.

We didn’t hurry him, but neither did we dawdle, so no media. In any event, it looks all lot like the previous times.

Conclusion
Rodney likes to horse-watch. Perhaps a result of not being off the farm for so many years. There is a manic edge to his looking at FCHP. Perhaps, while the behavior is standard, the exaggeration of the behavior is a result of anxiety. Much the same way that tearing at grass can be both a stress activity and because they have not seen decent fodder in ages, I tell you, ages!

Heading Home
On the way home, we took the slightly longer route with straighter, quicker roads.

 
Milton has picked up BBQ [Getting Lunch]. Now, Rodney has stopped for ice cream.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Categories: Horses

7 replies »

  1. “There is a manic edge to his looking at FCHP. Perhaps, while the behavior is standard, the exaggeration of the behavior is a result of anxiety.”

    The difference between an Arab just ‘looking around’ and a QH just ‘looking around’ never ceases to amaze me. No wonder Arabs tend to get such a bad rap.

    • My last horse was an Arabian, gelded at age 14. He was wonderful, and curious about everything, and the only thing he ever freaked out at during all the years I owned him was a deer leaping out of a ditch by the trail.

    • I have always adored Arabs and am so happy I had the chance to own one, especially one like Chief. The Thoroughbred breed was developed from Arabians. Most people see only the peacocks of the Arabian world in the show ring, who can be spooky, and don’t know how versatile they can be. Chief was used as a field hunter with his previous owner. Before he was gelded. Arabians excel at endurance. Chief’s gaits would have made him a good dressage horse.
      Sorry, blabbing on again.

  2. I had always thought that if I didn’t jump, I’d like to work with Arabs. The endurance kind, not the show horses. And so I ended up with ASBs as a non-jumping discipline. Life is weird.

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