Sunday, January 8, 2017

cold sunday morning; horse training musings

This is me after having not showered yesterday or yet this morning and the Princess Violet sharing some quality time on the bed.  Why have I not showered? Well, it's b/c the water is frozen a second day in a row.  Yesterday morning I woke up to frozen pipes and was really happy I had already soaked the horse's feed since there was no water.  I got up and got dressed and by the time the water was thawed I didn't feel like showering. I figured I would shower this morning since it wasn't going to be so cold last night.  Mike got up and showered and we thought it was going to be fine. However, it turns out that he was only using water in the tank and that the pump was frozen, so when it was my turn to water.  Mike has gone ahead to church to make sure the pipes are thawed there and I'm here at home waiting to see if I get water in the next hour. Yesterday he suggested I put a heater in the pump house. I didn't realize it was a: Please put a heater in the pump house request. I thought it was a: If you need to put a heater in the pump house.  Ooops.  I should know that those requests are typically more of a please do that for me situation since I'm the same way. We are both learning to communicate more directly with one another.

So I'm here at home, with wild hair and a crazy broken legged dog. If I get water and get a shower before 10 he will come get me. More likely I'm stuck here with messed up hair waiting for him to come home.  I figure it that's the case, I'm going to find my instant pot and make a pot roast out of the hunk of elk in my freezer that I was given from a friend's hunt.

He told me last night that Thursday night I upset him and he hadn't told me. By the time we talked about it neither one of us could remember what I had done. I was grateful he told me but next time he promised to tell me at the moment that I did the thing so I can stand corrected and not do it again.  I don't ever want to spend years not communicating and having anger build up to where there is no way to fix it.  Michael is the first time in years I have felt like I can just be me. I'm starting to relax under his love and take deep breaths. I'm learning to worry less and live more.

I have been thinking about what we should do about Duke, Mike's four year old Colt.  He is a stunningly beautiful creature who is not the least bit friendly.  He is not mean, but he has no use for people.  I keep trying to make friends with him and nothing seems to help.  I feed him every day, sometimes twice a day and can barely touch his face...I can rarely touch the rest of him. Most of the time he just swings his butt towards me which has the desired effect of me backing off.  No one likes to be staring at the butt end of a stallion.  In his defense, he has never tried to kick me, but I have never given him the opportunity to do so either.  When I work him in the round pen, even with a whip, I can not get him to move out. He will move ahead a few steps and then just go back to working. I have yet to get an inside circle. Whenever I put enough pressure on him to turn him, it's always to the outside.  If I look away or walk away he will follow me, but if I turn toward him he leaves.  I'm hoping some of this will change after we geld him, but I don't know how much of him is stallion and how much is just his basic personality.

On the positive side, I think he is reasonably smart. Yesterday I started doing some of the "seeking" activities I learned from Harry last year and have used on Stormy, the now almost year old filly (hard to believe she will be 1 in April. I think she takes after Duke's mom who is part haflinger. She is sturdy but not large). I have been slapping my leg until he looks at me. Then I stop. He licks and chews and we stand there in peace until he looks away. I have been getting him to look at me pretty easily, but if I move close to him that butt is still there to swing around.  I hope to do some more round pen work with him later today (if it's not freezing). He really seems more lazy than not, so maybe this butt turning thing is more an indicator of that. I do see it as a sign of disrespect.  Mike can get a halter on him if he's cornered. He has never attempted to fight his way out of being haltered or tied, but I can't figure him out.  He is stunning with his coppery red and flaxen mane and tail. I want him to become a solid citizen, but I want no one to get hurt in his training.

So, now it is 9:11. I still have no water. I'm starting to think I won't make it to church this am.  I was snuggling on the bed with Violet who started whining. Evidently it meant she needed to pee, which she proceeded to start doing. I shut it down pretty quick, but I scared here which made her pee more. So now I have pee stained blankets and no water to wash them.  Oops.  She is so good about telling us she needs to go out, but not so good about understand that she is supposed to hold it until she goes out. As a result I have moved myself to the couch where I am surrounded by pets. I have thought about turning on the TV, but I'm enjoying the quiet so I won't. The cats are in the windows hunting birds through the glass.  Yesterday someone got a bird b/c I saw it in the yard. They are so funny scratching the glass and fussing at the birds.  Hermoso and Dixie are walking back and forth on the fence by the back window. This is where I fed them yesterday so I think they are looking for a hand out.  I wish I has soaked their beet pulp last night as I could be feeding them now, but I didn't thinking the worst was over.

Hermoso has not been ridden since the day I sprained my ankle two weeks ago. I'm hoping that I can get him in the round pen today and work with him. After it's been 19, 45 is pretty darn warm in the sun.  I also want to see what Mike's Dixie knows (we have been calling her Fire Dixie).  Now the horses are all pacing back and forth at the fence.  silly ponies. They have amazingly not seemed cold. They eat on their bales of how with the young cows and then they go out in the 15 acre pasture to forage. When I'm ready to feed all I have to do is yell for Joe Bob and out of no one he comes running.  He is hilarious.  Vandy is my beautiful Ken doll of a horse. So sweet and quiet and willing.  Liberty and Sherman are steady Eddies as they have always been. I feel like Liberty is feeling a little neglected and I plan to change that soon. He will be sorry he moped for riding days, lol.  

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