Being on my summer schedule, riding before work, means that my barn time is a little more limited. I have a meeting every day at 8, so I have to be in my chair and ready to work (ie hopefully not still wearing sweaty barn clothes) by then. Yet, it isn’t actually light enough to ride until about 6:15. Plus I have Presto to account for now, too, not just Henry. This has led to some experimentation with how to fit everything in and still get to work on time/manage to get adequate sleep.
For the most part I don’t do a whole lot with Presto on a day to day basis. Most of the time I just bring him into the crossties, groom him, and put him back out. I try to pony him once a week, though, and I’m trying to give him a least a couple of longer tying sessions per week, plus a couple of short groundwork sessions per week. He went a wee bit feral while I was gone to Tennessee and on Tuesday, his first “session” in 8 days, he swore he’d never seen crossties or fly spray in his life. While it only took about 15 minutes to remind him, clearly benign neglect is not the best method for this horse. So, at least 5-6 days a week, he comes out and does something.
All I’ve really had time for this week was a quick grooming, but this morning I decided to set up some pole exercises for Henry in the little arena (because the ground out in the field is already getting too hard for my liking) and figured it was a good opportunity to “school” both boys at once.
So I brought Henry into the crossties, then went and got Presto and tied him in the aisle while I groomed Henry and tacked up. It’s good for Presto to have to come in the barn and then be ignored. It ain’t always about him. Then I took both of them out to the arena. I tied Presto over to the side and left Henry with him while I set up my poles, then went and retrieved Henry, got on, and left Presto tied to his spot while we rode around him.
Presto was not really thrilled about this.
There was some pacing, and there was some pawing, but for the most part I think his time on the Tree of Knowledge a couple weeks ago kind of took a lot of the wind out of his protest sails. He wasn’t happy about it, but he seemed to know that he was stuck there no matter what. Henry and I rode around, blissfully ignoring him, and steadily working our way closer and closer to him. Eventually we were cantering right past him. We jumped the little vertical a few times, the first time of which caused Presto to prop a leg on each corner and stare at Henry like he’d sprouted another head. After that it was old hat.
I only rode for about 30 minutes, then hopped off and left Henry standing in the middle while I went to retrieve Presto from the rail and do a little bit of in-hand work with moving his body and feet. I wanted to make sure his attention was back on me.
Then we went back into the barn and I again tied Presto in the aisle and ignored him while I untacked Henry and took him over for a bath. Once Henry was squared away in front of the fan, I went over and groomed Presto. He gets attention when I decide he gets attention, and for now he’s #2 on this hierarchy. Poor kid, having to learn that the world doesn’t revolve around him. Life is hard.
I liked how today went, and I felt like I was able to “work” both of them at the same time, really optimizing the little bit of time that I have in the mornings. I wasn’t rushing through either one of them to make sure I could get to the other, and I got everything done with each of them that I wanted to get done. This little arrangement might happen more often.
It sure is fun to start the day with my boys.