Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Refresher course

Since Kat has had the last two weeks off and then a twist in a string of events kept me from riding my mare on Sunday, I pulled him out and decided to drive. We would just tootle around the pasture, nothing big, just an easy workout. I went with the snaffle and figured we would work on walking, bending and just keeping things relaxed for the most part.

Kat was his normal, calm and quiet self while I brushed him off and he did try slipping under the rail once or twice before I harnessed up. I almost forgot to put his boots on, but grabbed them and slipped them on, put him to and we were ready to go. I climbed into the cart; we went out back and started walking. We did some big circles, smaller circles, serpentines, stopped and walked off a few times and everything was good so we headed out into the big pasture with the cows. Yes we drive in the pasture with the neighbor’s cows and Betsy. We give them room and everyone is good.

Best laid plans, good intentions and all those happy thoughts went right out the window as soon as I asked for a trot. Kat was walking nice enough, but now that we were trotting he wanted to speed up and even canter. Um, NO! I had to bring him back down to a walk and then ask for a trot again and he was still fussing in the bridle and being a little twit. I couldn't just let him run and blow off steam, but I also couldn't get after him too much either for having that extra steam.

We trotted circles, we made a somewhat cloverleaf pattern in the pasture and we trotted down the centerline. There were a lot of change of direction and asking for bend, then change again and go back to bending the other way. Before long, Kat kept offering to stop. He was quitting on me, but if I tried letting up on the reins he tried taking off again and would speed up.

From here it will be back to ground driving and long line work in the snaffle again. Let him work out his own issues without the interference of the cart shafts, me and anything else anyone can think of to blame it on. Another part of the issue is that he is a stallion, it is spring and the mares are all in heat or will be. Expecting him to focus - he should be able to, but there are still times that nature takes over and he has his mind on other things. I'm not excusing his behavior for this, but rather pointing it out to keep it in mind that this is why he may not be responding like he should. If it gets in the way too much, too often- I don't have a problem calling the vet out to take care of that. Good stallions often make awesome geldings.


fernvalley01 said...

A little spring fever , I think you have way too good a handle on your boy to worry about him getting too unfocused. But "clipping the wings" is always an option

SheMovedtoTexas said...

Hmm, maybe he just has a bug up his butt! Sounds like ground driving will be your friend to get him back on track.

phaedra96 said...

I agree with the gelding thing. Maybe that is the best option for both of you. In these times and this economy; having a male anything to use for breeding is a think twice proposition. Putting enough time and effort on a stallion to keep him focused on the current task is hard work. I do know stallions that work with mares, sometimes mares in heat(not exactly the scenario the teamster wanted but....) but that stallion was used for breeding. He was quite aware that the breeding bridle and work bridle were two different things, but that took years of working with him...and I think we can guess the "training" that was used. I guess you need to list the pros and cons in black and white and decide from there.