Monday, October 26, 2009

Tail flagging and first buck at the new barn!

Arab horse running

I told you I had a lot of catching up to do! I've been meaning to post (with some pictures) about how much Panama is enjoying his playtime in the arena — I turn him out in there every day that I visit. Unfortunately I forgot my camera several days in a row, so the first chance I had to take some pictures was Saturday.

I was pretty disappointed at first because he didn't seem interested in playing. Instead he just stood there and looked at me.

My horse in the outdoor arena

As cute as that picture is, it wasn't what I was hoping to get. But he seemed more interested in checking out the horse in the round pen across the way, and especially concerned about the horse that was being loaded into a trailer. See how he has his nose through the fence to get a better look?

My horse wants a playmate!

Finally he decided to roll. He has this cute little habit of pawing the sand first, sometimes quite vigorously, as if he's digging a hole for himself.

My horse getting ready to roll

Who, me?

My horse getting ready to roll

Having found the perfect spot:

My horse rolling

My horse rolling

My horse rolling

Finally the horse that was getting trailered was hauled away. The show over, to my relief Panama decided to play after all. With a little encouragement, he graced me with two magnificent bucks, one right after another (and his first bucks at the new barn). He started out each one by jumping up in the air a little...

My horse bucking

...and then using that momentum to throw his back end way up in the air, without decreasing his speed at all.

My horse bucking

Talk about acrobatics!

He got himself pretty fired up!

My horse playing in the arena

On Friday when my trainer and I turned him out for a little while, he did pretty much the same thing — without the bucks, that is. After one particularly spectacular display of energy, my trainer laughed and commented, "He's so Arab." I was pleased to hear it, since someone recently told me they didn't think he was part Arab after all. (I don't agree at all, but more on that in a future post.)

One thing Panama has been doing a lot of lately is flagging his tail. I've seen him do it before, so I knew he did from time to time, but until I moved him to this barn I've never seen him do it regularly. Now he does it every time I turn him out.

In fact, the other day I was walking him by the outdoor arena while another horse was being turned out in there. The other horse pranced along the rail, trying to get Panama's attention. Panama first tried responding by trotting at my side (the kind of slow, collected, fluid trot where they don't actually move forward any faster than a walk), but I scolded him gently because I didn't want him getting any hare-brained ideas. The other horse persisted in showing off, and I looked back just in time to see Panama very slowly lift his tail and flag it as we walked away from the arena. He was clearly saying, "I see you, and I want to play, I just can't right now. Sorry!"

Panama has a rather cute way of flagging his tail. Rather than sticking it straight up, as I've seen a lot of Arabs do, he curves it to the side and up, so that if you're standing behind him it looks like the letter C.

My horse flagging his tail

This is the first time I've ever seen Panama act like this every time I turn him out. I guess that means he is happy in his new home!



At October 26, 2009 at 11:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice photos - thanks for sharing!

At October 26, 2009 at 6:13 PM, Anonymous Veronica said...

He certainly looks happy!

At October 26, 2009 at 7:39 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Thanks, Kate! It was nice to post pictures -- I need to do this more often!

Veronica, thanks, I really do think he is!


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