This past weekend was supposed to be our second Prelim, but some rain late in the week made the already saturated ground at the show venue pretty unrideable. They opted to cancel the show, which I was 100% ok with. I don’t want to tear up the footing at Pine Hill, nor do I want to try to run Prelim in the mud. But the cancellation left us with an unexpectedly open weekend, which translated to a lot of barn time.
While it was sunny, the weather was far from pleasant. There was a steady 20-30mph wind with gusts up to 40mph, not COLD but cold enough to make you question all your life choices as soon as you stepped outside and almost got bodyslammed into your house by the wind. Welcome to Texas winter. I knew there was no point in even trying to have a serious ride with Henry, so I opted to pony Presto and we went for a long walk in the fields instead.
Presto has kind of mastered the art of his sass at this point, and with all the wind on Saturday he was a little wild on top of it. He kept bouncing into Henry and trying to lick/bite him, earning himself a boot in the ribs and a couple whacks with the lead rope. Henry still wasn’t having it and took matters into his own hands (teeth?), putting the kibosh on the squirmy colt. Luckily for all of us it doesn’t take much to kill Presto’s hopes and dreams. He gives up pretty quickly once Henry decides he’s had enough.
Little colt is starting to look chunky again (for him anyway) so I’m relatively certain that he’s gearing up for another hideous growth spurt. Slow your roll, kid.
After a lap around the big hilly field, we went over to the other field where all the jumps are set up. Or rather… were set up. The wind had already knocked half of them down by that point, and now 2 of our 3 barrels are nestled up to a fenceline across the muddy bog of a corn field. But hey, where there were half-demolished jumps, there was also opportunity. I decided to test our ponying skills and see if I could get Presto over the little gate.
First time over, trotting:
And then cantering:
And then I decided to see what he thought of the tire tracks that were full of water. It was kinda like little ditches.
He already understands the “go over stuff” game pretty well, it’s kind of cute. I think he likes it. He’s starting to get more clever about where he puts his feet, too, and how to get across things.
Which… I was lunging him on Wednesday, working on his voice commands/transitions, and I stopped paying attention to him for like 2 seconds to talk to the barn worker. Damn horse veered out on his circle and jumped the mounting block! What the??? PRESTO! I’m infinitely sad that I didn’t get that on video though. The expression on the barn worker’s face was priceless, and soon we were both doubled over laughing. I guess he likes to jump?
After we came in from the field we decided to try turning Presto out with Dobby to see how they got along. Once Inca goes home and Presto is gelded, I’d like for these two dorks to be pasturemates. I think they’d get along well and have some fun, since they’re both young and silly. Presto is still VERY submissive to adult horses, and kind of a huge freaking wimp, honestly. He definitely wants to play, but as soon as they so much as look at him funny Presto crouches down, lowering his front end and making the chompy submissive baby face. He’s gotta get a little braver.
Dobby is usually turned out with Inca, who is the undisputed queen of their little hierarchy. As soon as we put him out with Presto he sensed that this one was an easy mark, and Dobby asserted himself as leader right off the bat, with just the simple pinning of his ears. That’s all it took for Presto to skitter away.
Presto never really got brave enough to play with him, he mostly just followed him around like a nerdy little kid trails their cool older brother. He wanted to do everything Dobby was doing, even though he wasn’t actually brave enough to get up there and interact with him. Hillary was playing with Dobby a bit, jogging around the arena with Dobby trotting behind her. Presto was always the caboose, trailing a bit behind. He wanted desperately to be a part of whatever Dobby was doing.
By the end of their “play date” he was brave enough to at least stand near Dobby without immediately offering a submissive pose, so that’s a step. I think once he gets used to him and turned out with him every day, he’ll get a little braver and start to play. Presto needs more horse interaction, after spending the last 10 months living with donkeys and otherwise really only experiencing Dictator Henry (Henry is not nice). Soon, kiddo, soon.
Presto’s snip-snip appointment is scheduled for Thursday. The weather isn’t quite what I was hoping to get, with rain predicted on Saturday and highs in the low 60’s, but at this point I think it’s the best we can do and I don’t want to delay it any longer. Hopefully the rain/mud stays away and the bugs aren’t too bad. I’m nervous about the whole thing, honestly. I have a lot of emotional baggage with this horse and medical-related things, given his history. Hopefully everything goes well, and in a few weeks he can start going out with his new BFF Dobby!