Monday, June 8, 2009


This is Sam bald!
He looks awesome! It actually hard to tell that he is even clipped when you stand back. Sorry he isn't standing square with his head up but it is hard to get him to pose when it is just me! He handled the whole situation like a pro! Ricky (the gentleman who I got to clip him) was great, so patient, so quick, so professional. I am so glad he was recommended to me. Sam stood still most of the time. I had plans to give him a blanket clip but Ricky had never done one and because his coat wasn't really really long he thought it would look funny so we decided to take the whole lot off! He coped really well having his legs and belly done. We did have to twitch him to do his head. I really didn't want to do this but Ricky assured me it would all be fine and he was done in about 5 min. Sam forgave us afterwards by letting us rub his nose. I kept patting it and touching for the rest of the day to make sure he would let me touch it again!

He feels really cool! I have never dealt with a clipped horse before so it is all new to me. I tried to give him a brush this afternoon because he had rolled in some mud and the brush must have been too hard for him. I will stop in the saddlery tomorrow at lunch time to pick up a softer brush. I will also have a look at sheepskin saddle cloths. I think mine might be a little rough.

I wasn't motivated to ride today so we went for a stroll down the road. I made Sam stride out in front of me so I was in line where the saddle would sit. If I was walking on the near side he was happy to stride out but when I walked on the off side he was a little more hesitant. There is a vacant lot down the road a bit I like to work him in. There are things still going on but it is grassy and big enough for us to work in. I took him down there and tried to back him up and then send him around. He reared up and pulled me with him - this was not going to happen so I asked him to walk forward and we practiced turning, away from me, with me, and backing up if I walked backwards. This seemed to help get him concentrating on me and not what was going on everywhere else. We did this on both sides and then I tried sending him back and around again. This time he was happy to go both ways without getting worked up. I left it at that. I still made him walk home in front of me and what impressed me most was that he didn't try to stop and eat. Generally he stops all the time but today nothing. I could tell that he really wanted to but he restrained himself!

I have been trying to be more observant with Sam lately and I have noticed a few things. On Sunday the pony went to a gymkhana. The pony is Sam's best friend he lives in the paddock next to him. Sam was very upset and would whinny in between mouthfuls of hay. He calmed down once I arrived. He was fine being clipped and when i let him out to have a pick in the riding area he followed me around I noticed. It was subtle - he would just graze after me if that makes sense. I sat down and he came and nuzzled me and then grazed only 5m away. He made sure I was always in his sight. I left him there and went to clean up after the clipping. He followed me through the gate and went back to grazing when he saw me go into the stables. I took him with me so I could clean his paddock - there is no point leaving him out to have a pick around the stables because I can only go for about 2min now before he starts calling out. I cleaned his paddock and he didn't call out for the pony. I went to empty the wheel barrow (this takes me out of sight) and he cried out. I yelled out to him that I was coming back and this seemed to be enough. I sat out of sight for a while just to make sure he was alright with being by himself. Alley was only in a paddock near him and he could see the others but this doesn't seem to be enough. He was coping well with no crying out just munching on his hay so I decided to leave. He saw me go to my car and trotted over to the corner and whinnied. This was a different whinny - normally when I am out of sight and he is worried it is loud and forceful - this was softer, questioning. Does this make sense. I told him that I would be back later and he watched me drive down the driveway and then he trotted down with me.

I worry now. Sam obviously sees me as part of the herd which is great but I don't want to create problems - do horses get separation anxiety with humans? Am I over thinking this - probably.


Kate said...

Love the work you did with him and your close observations! Sam sounds like a very sociable horse and it's good that he's bonded with you - I wouldn't worry too much when you leave him - he was probably just asking if you had to go. It is interesting how many different vocalizations they can do, with different tones and modulations - our horse Dawn must have 20 different calls/whinnies/nickers/grunts/etc. that she can do depending on the circumstances.

Nina said...

Thanks! Yes it is interesting with all their different noises! I am really enjoying taking the time to observe!