After FEH Championships, my plan for Presto was to give him some time “off”. Since he came to live here in April, he’s had something done with him almost every day. Tying lessons, ground work, ponying, grooming, the basics of roundpenning, in-hand practice, trailering, and so on and so on. He’s always seemed interested and engaged in his lessons, but still, he’s been pretty busy for a baby, so I wanted to give him a few weeks to just go be a horse (except for hoof picking and fly spray, those are daily objectives).
He hated that idea.
For the first couple days he didn’t seem to think anything of the fact that he was being ignored, but as more days passed, he quickly caught on. One afternoon when I went out to his pasture to fly spray him, he wouldn’t let me leave. Every time I went to step away, he tried to block my path and climb in my lap. Rude AF. Also pathetic. The next day he was in the barn eating his dinner when I arrived, and as soon as he saw me he left his food to come bang on the door with his foot, while staring right at me. If horses are capable of staring at someone accusingly, he certainly was. And he was definitely pouting when I went to Henry instead of him.
He’s been playing with (and chasing) his donkeys plenty, and he still gets to come inside twice a day to eat. It’s not like he’s been abandoned in the wild to fend for himself. Far from it. He seems to think that’s exactly what’s happened, though.
It turns out that I don’t think Presto wants a break from school. He’s become more and more of a pest every day (those poor donkeys), and finally on Monday I broke down and took him out for a pony with Henry. Yes, that’s correct… it barely lasted a week. He seemed happier immediately, though.
On one hand, I’m glad that he likes his “work” this much. I’ve tried to keep his lessons light and easy and varied, so that he never feels too much pressure or finds reason to become sour or resentful. I mean, he’s only a yearling, there’s not a lot we can do anyway. I guess he must like them, if he objected so much to having them temporarily stopped. On the other hand, his brain is so busy, and so eager, I’m not sure how the heck I’m supposed to keep him occupied for the next year and half. I’m already running out of ideas for stuff I can do with him.
For now he’s on semi-vacay… I’ll get him out to groom him and he can come pony with us a couple times a week. Maybe that will placate him for a little while. Such a demanding little turd. Any ideas for what else Presto can be learning over the winter? We’ll start revisiting ground driving again soon, but after that I’m running short on creativity when it comes to this little monster.