Monday, February 2, 2009

A horsey weekend: Saturday's visit with my horse

I got out to the barn both days this weekend — the first time I've been able to do that in ages, it seems.

On Saturday I met my mom out at the barn. It was the first time she had seen my horse in months. When I arrived Panama was lying down, so I messed with him a little and took his picture while I was waiting for her.

Originally I was planning on riding, but as it turned out he was too fired up — probably because it was windy (which always makes him jittery and excitable) and had recently turned warm (same with sudden changes in the weather). So instead I groomed him while my mom spoiled him with attention, and then turned him out to run.

I've noticed before that when I chase Panama around when someone else is in the pasture, he has a tendency to almost run the other person over. He was cutting it awfully close with my mom, so I showed her how to spread her arms and wave them to remind him not to run her over.

Ten minutes later, I was really glad I showed her, because he ran right at her. I yelled, "Arms out!" Thank heavens my mom is a quick study! She threw her arms out; Panama threw his head up in surprise, slammed on the brakes, put his head down, postured like he was going to buck, then turned on a dime and ran around her instead. It was hilarious because it looked like a really bizarre body wave, but it confirmed what I already suspected: That he is focusing on me so much that he forgets to pay attention to where other people are standing.

After that little near-collision, I decided to lunge Panama a little — on a line for a bit better control. It took him almost ten minutes to settle into controlled walks and trots (and only then did he get to canter), but I decided at that point that he was not in a good mood for being ridden. Besides, by then I was running out of time.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to ride him Sunday either. Hopefully this week I'll get a chance to get back in the saddle again!

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