Wednesday, May 27, 2015
By the way, about my horse. He's...well, he's great but he's a challenge.
He's definitely stubborn, he's used to getting his own way and he frequently does not see any need to listen to me. I haven't fully established myself as dominant to him, he knows that I think I'm dominant, and he knows that sometimes its in his (tummys) best interest to let me think I'm dominant, but then he'll kick up his heels and go tearing off to a far corner of the pasture and I'm left standing there going "what the heck was that!?!?"
I had the vet out and he estimated that Shasta is 7-8 years old. The vet also said that Shasta is really hungry and not getting enough nutrition from grazing the pasture. He's also picking up foxtails which could ultimately stick in his gums and get infected. So we started feeding him hay/alfalfa blend and I'm still giving him a scoop of grain whenever I'm out there. You can visibly see him filling out now, and he's belly isn't quite so full, so he's clearly getting better nutrition from the hay/alfalfa.
The vet said his hooves are in pretty bad shape. I didn't think they were that bad, but I knew I was going to need to have a farrier out eventually, but the vet said the sooner the better because parts of his outer hoof are separating from the inner. I also noticed that when he runs (which he does a LOT) he runs on his "toes," which is somewhat odd and could be because his feet hurt. So I'm getting on that today.
Finally, because we don't have a lot of experience with horses, and my grandparents who do are too old to really be hands on, the vet suggested that we hire a trainer to do some initial work with him, work on his ground manners, and see if he's broke to ride. I think he is because we saddled him the other week and he was completely fine with being saddled, having the cinch messed with, etc...but I still haven't tried to bridle him. All of our bridles have bits, and he's really mouth shy. He'll let me do anything to the outside of his mouth, but he will not open his mouth to show me his teeth and he jerks away/back, etc...
Tonight or tomorrow I'm going to work on some dominance games with him to show that I am the boss, we'll see how that goes. I know they work, but I have to keep doing and re-doing them, he'll be better for a week or two, and then not so good again.