Friday, September 10, 2010

Windy And Cool


The heat wave returned briefly this week, and so Spider got a few days off. Fall is closing in and I'm just tired of battling the heat, a few days off won't kill him, right?

Today feels like fall, windy and crisp. It's warm in the sun with just a touch of a chill in the shade. Quite nice. The horses were playing all day. Well, Spider was playing. The other two were mostly giving him dirty looks and then going back to eating grass.

When I went out to catch Spider he decided he was having too much fun to come in. He decided to run off, instead of coming in like a good boy. He's done this a couple times before. I know exactly what the trigger is: not enough work.

Thoroughbreds are fun to work with because they have boundless energy. Thoroughbreds are a complete pain to work with because they have boundless energy. As they get more fit, their energy levels just keep going up and up. Spider is no exception to this rule. And, as Spider's energy level goes up, he needs to have outlets for that energy. If you don't give him enough to do, he starts getting obnoxious.

So, since he wanted to run around and not be caught, I went and got the lunge whip. If he wants to run, run he will. Now, I wouldn't chase just any horse around the pasture if he didn't want to be caught. If the horse didn't know me, it would be counterproductive. Chasing him would just reinforce that I am scary and he should run from me. But Spider knows me, and Spider knows he doesn't need to run from me. So he got chased. It took about two laps around before he realized that this game was not very fun and stopped running. At which point I stopped chasing and haltered him.

I then decided we needed to work on basic commands. Like "Whoa" and "Come here you dirty little so and so!"

So I got out the lunge line and we went to the arena. We walked, stopped, trotted, stopped, cantered and stopped ad nauseum for about thirty minutes. He never missed a cue. Dirty little so and so.

With all the transitions we did, he got pretty sweaty. It was a good workout for him.

We'll see how he feels about coming in tomorrow.

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4 comments:

  1. Love it! Typical. Sounds like my Boys. Unfortunately, I can't run myself enough any more to use the "Chase" tactic when they refuse to come.

    I remember once doing that with my PJ. Took about 35 minutes, and he ended up hot and sweaty, but he finally stopped running and simply stood there for me to catch him. It was the last time he gave me a hard time about getting caught. Typical TB.

    Along with the "never put a foot wrong," after you've finally captured them. *lol*

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  2. Glad he's getting so fit. The energy sounds great! My horse seems to be getting less energetic :( Hope I don't end up regretting I said that. His energy comes and goes. Good work on catching Spider.

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  3. Lol... just when you think they need a break. My girl almost never gets a day off. As Jimmy Wofford says, once they're fit, it makes them fizzy.

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  4. Cheeky Spider! I have nver worked with TB, but they really sound like horse in a class apart ;-)

    I have to disagree with you about not chasing a horse you do not know. In fact it is how "join-up" (that I REALLY dislike) or basic approach with wild mustangs is done. You make them move their feet faster than they want, and when they start to run out of air, you back off. If you are good, they will start to follow you like a dog after a while.

    My big warmblood mare did not want to be caught in a HUGE field. So I followed her, I never let eat grass, Every time she stopped, I asked her to move her feet (without chasing her) I was patient just like an annoying fly keeping at her. After 30 minutes she galopped to the gate to be caught. The day after, it took 10 minutes of the game, that was it. I would stand at the gate, called her and shaking the halter into her direction, she would canter to me. When the horse has understood, it is a neat trick for impressing people. Not the first time, when you have to walk and walk for half hour ;-)

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