Thursday, July 7, 2011

Old Bones the Wonderhorse

I wish I had taken better pictures of the night Blue arrived at his new home. It would make his progress a lot more impressive. His body condition was perhaps a 3 out of 10. You could see his spine from the withers to the tail. Muscle tone was basically nonexistent. He wasn't fully shed out, which made the rain rot easy to spot but help cover his gaunt ribcage.

The sun was already down when the shipper arrived, but you can see how scraggly Blue's coat was when he got here.

I don't really feel at liberty to say much about Blue's life between his capture in the Warm Springs HMA back in 2001 and the day this spring when I met him at the trainer's place. What I heard was mostly a combination of speculation and hearsay. I was told his owner had several animals of all kinds and had gotten "overwhelmed" this winter as hay prices kept climbing. I never saw where Blue was living, but I think we can all picture it.

Be that as it may, this horse was clearly loved and cared for for most of his life. He is exquisitely well-trained. In fact, he is better trained than I am. I feel like most of our misunderstandings under saddle have to do with me asking wrong, not with him being naughty. Example: The other day, I decided to try to open a gate while mounted. I sidepassed him over the latch, undid it, and then basically sat still and held on the the top of the gate as he pulled it open, turned on the forehand around it and backed it closed. I was totally amazed. The second time we attempted this maneuver, I tried "helping"  and somehow ended up with my leg mashed up between the top rail of the gate and a noticeably irritated horse.

On horses, as in life, no one likes to be micromanaged.

No comments:

Post a Comment