Enter Eyes on the Prize. He’s an 8-9 year old, 14.2 ish, half Arab, half Quarter horse gelding. He’s been under saddle since he was 2, mainly used in 4-H, so his ground manners are really good. However, since he’s been a kid’s 4-H horse, he doesn’t know much other than go, stop, trot, lead, pick up feet, etc. Lateral work will start tonight after work. He’s been on trails, all over Silver Falls St. Park and other areas near his previous home. He’s pretty laid back, but has a mischievous streak – apparently he picks up tarps and drags them around, or swings them over his head. He also doesn’t like blankets, and will remove his and anyone else’s he can reach. I like this! Michelle accused me of falling for the flashy paint - Not!!
He needs dental work (wolf teeth that make a bit very painful) and his feet done (hadn’t been done since October… what were they thinking???). I can ride him with a hackamore (no bit) once I get his feet done. Hopefully he inherited the Arab feet, which are tough as nails. If not, I’ll get some boots – they’re cheaper than repeated shoeing.
The funny thing is that Annie chases him, and he lets her (sort of half-heartedly). She has never been anything but the bottom of the heap in any herd she’s been in. Now, there is a sparkle in her eye, and an arch in her neck, and there’s a bounce in her step that I haven’t seen before. She thinks she’s hot stuff… There’s a new-found confidence in this little mare that will be interesting to watch play out. When Kiri goes over to Correy’s for maternity care/leave, that will leave Annie and Prize at home. I’m sure that she will think she’s alpha mare, and that we will have to have words, much like Kiri and I did a couple of months ago. However, I think that once she sees her boundaries take shape, she’ll actually like knowing her place. I also think it will help her in her training – she won’t be so tentative.
Anyway, I now have a riding horse – and I’m really glad.