Day 1 of Charm School

24 hours. That’s all the time Presto got to settle in before his first big boy day of what I will call “Charm School”. It could also be called “Real Life” or “Fun’s Over, Kid” or “Boot Camp” or “Your Mom is a Real Drag”. So ya know, Charm School just sounds better.

Hates Me (and yes, I know it’s tied wrong, I didn’t do it)

As soon as I got to the barn I went out to his pasture to check on him, with a few alfalfa pellets in hand. I don’t want him to think that he’s in for torture (his words, not mine) every time he sees me coming, so I intend to make a point to walk out there sometimes and just love on him or give him a little something tasty. He doesn’t run from people, or avoid being caught, but he’s definitely wary of what fresh hell you intend to unleash on him. Can’t say that I blame him for the wariness, considering all the poking and prodding and medications he’s gotten in his one year on earth.

So I walked up, gave him a couple alfalfa pellets, rubbed his face, and then left his pasture. He followed me for a few steps before he resumed grazing next to his bestest BFF Quarter Horse across the fence (he’s still not that interested in his donkeys).

After I rode Henry, Presto was still in his stall finishing his dinner hay, so I pulled him out and led him into the barn for grooming. He wasn’t totally keen on my idea, and neighed a couple times, but he came willingly enough. I curried him and brushed him and picked out all 4 feet with very little protest. The barn worker was turning the horses out, so every time he led one out of it’s stall Presto got a little concerned about where that one was going and would dance for a few steps or neigh/poop. But overall the grooming part was pretty civil, so I grabbed a dressage whip and headed out to the arena for a few minutes of in-hand work.

We walked, trotted, practiced standing up correctly for in-hand classes, and backing. He’s actually quite obedient for the in-hand work (we worked on it a few times before his inspection), although very very ADD. He gave me as little of his attention as possible, and was much more interested in all the horses that were coming and going to and from the barn. He did everything I asked though, so we can work on the Eyes and Ears On Me part.

Then I started introducing the most very basic idea of lunging – just basically sending him around me in a small circle on the lead rope and working on cluck = forward, whoa = slow down. The left he understood almost immediately. The right he was a little less cooperative about, but after a few corrections he gave me several proper circles. The good thing is that he’s quite civil about not pushing into my space, and takes the corrections well. He’s smart. Maybe a little too smart, just like his mother. It could be a challenge to keep his brain engaged for good instead of evil.

HENNY IS NOT OK WITH THIS

We ended by walking over some poles in hand, which he plodded right over no problem. We were out there for a total of 11 minutes… that’s how fast he got all of those concepts. Then I took him back to the crosstie area to give him his soaked alfalfa pellets + oil. I’m trying to get more condition on him, he’s so growthy and scrawny looking right now. Plus I want him to associate that area with good things, and look forward to coming inside for his lessons. While he ate I draped the lead rope across him, around his legs, picked up his feet again, and tossed a saddle pad all over him. He kind of just gives me the same “You are LITERALLY the most annoying person in the entire world but FINE” look that Henry gives me all the time. He did think I was trying to murder him when I got to the fly spray part though.

I went home and ordered him an arab size rope halter, hoping the nose is a little smaller, because that current one (which is supposed to be horse size but looks like it would fit an elephant) is just ridiculous. I got hunter green on a whim. I dunno, I think he might be a navy and green kind of guy. We’ll see, I guess. His summer coat is just barely starting to poke through, a nice super dark chocolate brown, but he still looks really mousey from being clipped.

Image result for hunter green rope halter
green for the brown horse?

We’ll keep doing these short little lessons and then hopefully maybe next week I can start trying to pony him a little!

21 thoughts on “Day 1 of Charm School

  1. that halter…LOL…poor baby horse. I love Henry look of wtf. Glad Presto seems to be settling in pretty well. That is a pretty big farm so it has to be eye opening for him…..too funny how he doesnt like the donkeys yet…or at least hasnt bonded with them….

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  2. Presto is a good boy! It *is* a bit frightening how fast he learns…good thing you know what to expect!
    Did Sadie´s first colt get more from her, characterwise, than his sire, too?
    Btw-I am really enjoying the amount of pics on here and ig. I had serious “Presto withdrawal”…
    So: thaks and please Keep ´em coming!

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    1. From what I heard, Merlin learned incredibly fast, too. I think he was a little more chill (or less challenging) about things than Sadie was. She was strong-willed when she wanted to be, at least until she got under saddle. For riding she was super super easy. We’ll see how Presto ends up!

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  3. I approve of the green halter 🙂 Hunter and dark bay look smashing together. I’m not biased I swear.
    He sounds like the smartest baby ever. You’re right, better watch him. Those smart ones are crafty! My work must have strengthened our blocks because I can’t see any of your (I assume) adorable photos which is super depressing. I’ll have to come back later from home.

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  4. Henny is all, WTF? So suddenly I’m not good enough for you? You have to get another horse? (If you could call that moth eaten teenage moose a horse?) Is this the reward I get for being your bestie for the last few years? Just you ‘n’ me, flying around the cross country courses? So much for loyalty – sheesh! And what’s this about ponying him? Off of me? Eww, I’ll probably get, like, kooties from the little brat. And I’m tellin’ you – if he tries to take a nip of me when we’re doing that, he’s going to find himself kicked into the middle of the next county!

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