Linus Had a Busy Day

March 28, 2013

Today the ferrier was out to replace a shoe Simon had lost. When he was done with Simon I grabbed Linus and brought him up to get a trim. As soon as Alex walked towards him, Linus melted. He leaped away, then tucked himself up and started shaking. Alex is a experienced horseman, who breaks and trains as part of his daily work, so he patiently spent some time petting and walking around with Linus, who continued to shake. Alex was eventually able to give him a quick trim, but Linus continued to be terrified. As soon as Alex left, Linus relaxed. We assume, that since Alex hot shoes, and had just burned a shoe onto Simon’s hoof, leaving himself and the area smelling of burning hoof that this is what set Linus off.  

After Alex left, I put Linus in the cross ties, and spent a few minutes brushing him and picking up his hooves, with no incident or hesitation from him. Maybe next time Linus can go first.

After brushing both ponies up, I took Simon out and had a nice games practice. My barrel turns, which tend to be a little sticky with Simon, were spot on as I spent some time picking and placing bottles. My straight run flag placements, where there is no turn involved, were not consistently up to par, and I’ll need to put some work into that skill. A few flying runs through mug shuffle were simply perfection. My litter though, was nothing but a disaster. And it was all me. Simon was spot on for all of practice, and left me frustrated that he can be so wonderful and is such a joy to ride, but totally carousels out on me at competitions.

Next I grabbed Linus, and then hopped back on Simon. We worked on ponying Linus around the ring. It took a little work, primarily because Simon bullys Linus around, and Linus has a respectful fear of Simon. But under saddle, Simon was a gentleman, and Linus eventually ponied reasonably well.  He still needs some work at keeping his head by my knee and he also had no interest in moving into the trot, but we will work on it.

I also spent some time knocking games equipment around, and going through race motions while ponying Linus. I have noticed he is very aware of whips while lunging him, and I figured this may also be the case with Flags, considering they are rather whip like. So I pulled the placed a flag a few times and waved it all around and rubbed it all over him, all while riding Simon. As expected he was initially fearful of the flag, but being with Simon who did not even seem to notice me whipping the flag around, seemed to settle Linus quickly.


Next I switched ponies, untacking Simon and letting him free, and tacking up Linus. I started with some lunging because this is something he needs a little work on, and that I feel all horses should be fully capable of. I was happy to notice significant improvement since our lunge session yesterday. So we quickly moved to an easy ride. I spent most of it working on steering and bringing his head down some, with lots of stops, starts and turning.

I have also noticed that Linus has become affectionate towards me. He has been nuzzling me, and putting his head on my chest and his nose to my face. He comes when he sees me, and really seems to enjoy his new home and life.



Linus being ponied off of Simon.



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