These “what Presto is up to” posts (ie not show posts, just the day to day drudgery) seem to happen about once a week, even though I hadn’t planned it that way. I really thought there would be very little to say about Presto for quite a while, seeing as how he spends 99.99% of his time just eating and existing. And growing. Always growing.
Turns out that his life is kind of interesting, at least to me. I dunno if any of you actually care or are just totally bored to tears by it, but I like to write about it so here we are and you are my captive. Presto and I are always working on something, and everything with him is fresh and new and different. Seeing how he reacts to things and how he progresses and learns and builds on each experience is downright fascinating and, honestly, really rewarding. I friggin love babies. Even though they’re dumb as hell.
I’ve started doing a little bit of round pen work with him once or twice a week. I don’t believe in running growing babies in circles, thus we keep everything at a walk and quiet trot and limit it to under 10 minutes. Just enough to get us communicating, get his ear on me, and remind him to look to me for leadership. By now he’s getting pretty good at yielding to pressure, going where I point, lowering his head when you press his poll, etc. Really the biggest challenge is keeping his attention, since he’s so easily distracted.
The thing that continues to be a real ongoing work in progress is patience. I mean… he’s a yearling colt. His quarter runs out real quick. But I don’t approve of pawing or dancing around in the crossties whenever he’s not getting attention, or getting super preoccupied with what other horses are doing and forgetting his manners. He’s been spending time out on his patience pole again, and I often leave him in the crossties and completely ignore him while I groom and tack up Henry. Some days he just stands there and sulks quietly, other days he is Very Offended and does his patented, very pathetic method of pawing that is really just 2-3 BIG DRAMATIC smacks on the ground followed by a lot of pouting.
For the most part he’s pretty darn good for a yearling, and he’s certainly much less dramatic than his mother was. I’ve been trying to go out of my way to expose him to things that he might have to deal with later in life, too. Like going and standing in the back of the field to watch the construction workers build houses just across the fence. Or walking past blowing, billowing tarps or the pasture of galloping mares. Or keeping his cool while other horses ride up his butt or zoom past him.
Or wearing boots and bell boots. It sounds like such a small thing, and he’s been wearing boots on and off for months now. They were never a big deal, so I didn’t think much about it when I put his new bell boots on while he was in the crossties the other day. He had ever so slightly overreached one day while we were ponying, so I picked up a pair of cheap bell boots for him to wear for our powerwalking hacks. I put his boots on as usual, put the bell boots on, and then went back to tacking up Henry. I turned back around to see this:
He was like WOOOOW WHAT ARE DEES TINGS ON MY LEGS DID YOU SEE DEES MOM WHAT IN THE WORLD HOW DID DEES GET HERE WOOOOW. He wasn’t scared of them, he was completely and utterly fascinated. He kept throwing a leg out and staring intently at his feet. I was dying. Couldn’t even breathe I was laughing so hard. Go figure that he handles all this other stuff like it’s the most boring thing in the world and I’m wasting his time, but I totally blew his mind with bell boots. Weirdo.
I also sent in Presto’s entry for FEH Champs the other day. I know a lot of the people that are bringing horses so it should be a fun time in the barns, albeit probably loud with a big collection of screaming babies all in one place. There’s also an in-hand/freejumping clinic the day before that I signed up for as well. An in-hand lesson from Willy Arts? Um, yah. Can’t pass that one up. It’s nice to go into Champs just for fun of it, with no expectations and no pressure. Hopefully we can get some good pics, because that’s what it’s really about right?