5 hours ago
Saturday, January 16, 2010
In Case He's Ever a Category on Jeopardy...
Fun Salem Trivia:
1. He hiccups quite a bit (something I never even knew horses did until I met him).
2. His moobs (man-boobs) are very, very hard -- so hard, in fact, that it feels like he has some kind of extra moob bone in there (?).
3. Favorite scritchy spots --face, ears, withers, underneath mane
4. Loves -- peppermints, neck massages, butt scratches, carrot stretches, shoulder stretches, clipping, grooming, and pretty much any and all attention that is given to him
5. Hates -- Having any of his sensitive spots (like his "swirlies") touched, not getting his grain until after his ride, the neighbor's dogs (he's convinced they're cougars, even though he sees them every day), and some of the exercises from Activate Your Horse's Core
6. Current love interest -- Ella, the little chestnut Quarter Horse mare that came to our barn recently. Salem apparently thinks she's hot stuff, as he did his best Lipizzaner stallion impression for her while I was riding him last week. He was all, "Heeeeeeey there, you sexy thing!" *snort, head toss, side-step, side-step, buck* " Check this out!" *capriole, capriole, leap, buck, capriole* "That's called dressage! Wait, why is my rider quietly cursing my name?"
7. He refuses to eat the special timothy that I was buying for him (from one source in Canada, scientifically tested, and $17.75 a bale) because God forbid he should eat what's best for him. Typical child! For a while, I was having to clean up the previous night's hay from his paddock and give it to his neighbors, Cockpit and Lafitte. Now I have to buy him either timothy or orchard/alfalfa from a different feed store. It's $1.75 cheaper, not scientifically tested, and not from one consistent source. But, since it isn't what I want him to eat, of course he loves it!
8. He is constantly trying to eat cat food and dog food, something I find particularly odd. It's like he's a baby that is in the "oral stage" (where they have to put everything in their mouth). I've seen him pick up soda cans, plastic bins, brushes, boots, keys, and about a million other things with his mouth...but, I still think it's strange that he tries to eat the cat/dog food -- maybe he's an omnivorous horse??
As for training, our last few rides have been great. He no longer fights the halt and is getting softer and more responsive. We're now at the point where, after I've been working him for awhile, I can actually drop the reins completely and get him to halt with seat and voice alone (from the walk only, of course!). Now, I know some people like "whoa" to mean both "stop" and "slow down," but I prefer for it to mean "stop" only. Eventually, I'd like to be able to just say "whoa" and sit deeply and have him halt immediately, even from the canter. We'll get there!
(And, hopefully, I'll have some more pics soon!)