I was thisclose to calling this post “State of the Ballsack” instead but it includes more than just the current status of Presto’s nut-removal situation, so I had to be more inclusive. Oh, and btw, the state of the ballsack is: empty.
By last Tuesday/Wednesday the last of the swelling was pretty much gone from his sheath, and everything has looked normal since. No more cold hosing or forced exercise, and I don’t feel sorry for him anymore.
Which means… back to “work”! Which, for Presto, really just meant another long-lining and ground driving session.
This time, though, we ditched the halter, and I clipped the lines directly to his bit. This was his first time having anything actually interacting with his mouth directly, so before we started the session I did some very basic “pressure on this side means move your head this way” lessons at the halt. The idea of yielding to pressure is nothing new, so he had that figured out pretty quickly. Then we started on a small walk circle and practiced whoa. He knows the voice command well, so I started with the voice command and a teeny bit of pressure on the reins. He wasn’t a big fan the first time.
But we did it a few more times, and each time was better. By the 5th or 6th time, I asked with just the lines, no voice, and he stopped. I mean… he gave me the stink eye about it, but he stopped. So then we went on to ground driving at the walk, and turning using the lines like long reins. That went a little easier, and he was actually quite responsive to the basic idea of following his nose. Much better than when we’ve done it in a halter. Things are getting serious, y’all. Boy genius right here.
Oh, and that cob size bridle is definitely too small for him in the crownpiece now. It was barely workable last fall, but now the ear notches are not lining up with his actual ears, and everything up there is a bit… snug. The rest of the bridle is still okay though. For FEH classes this year (since 2yo’s have to show in a bridle) I will probably end up having to use Henry’s bridle’s crownpiece and then put the rest of the cob parts onto it. Awkward baby horse also has an awkward baby head.
We did hit a bit of a snag when I put him back in crossties. I used to crosstie him almost daily, but for the past few months I’ve mostly just been straight-tying him wherever there’s space. It was as if he’d forgotten the countless hours we spent learning how to stand still and straight in crossties, without wiggling. He was all over the place with his butt. Little Sir will now be crosstying again quite regularly, because I can’t stand wiggling.
It’s funny – for as relatively unpleasant as all of his extra attention was during his castration and recovery, he still seemed to enjoy it. I left him totally alone for a couple days last week but as soon as he saw commotion in the barn, he just stood there at the gate, staring in like he wanted desperately to be a part of whatever we were doing. That’s his signature move these days. He really craves the attention and I think he likes having something to engage his mind. Presto is so much like his mother in that way, always looking for something to do. If he inherited her work ethic I will be absolutely thrilled.
On Sunday the weather was too gross for regular turnout so I stuck him out with Henry in the arena.
I’ve noticed that Presto has stopped doing the submissive chompy “baby face” thing to most horses anymore, but he still does it to Henry all the time. They’re almost the same size at this point so it’s a little amusing, but I think Presto has a healthy fear/respect when it comes to Henry. Which is fair. Henry is ruthless.
They did play a bit though, which was entertaining, mostly because Henry was more wild than Presto. There were airs above the ground from both of them though.
This week I’m going to make an effort to get an actual conformation picture of Presto, so we can start his little throughout-the-year comparison. I think I’ll stick him on those days too, and track his height in centimeters since that’ll be a little easier/more accurate to see the smaller height changes. Anything else y’all would be interested in seeing me track on a month-by-month basis with Presto? Since, ya know… this is hopefully the last post with specific details about his ballsack…