Before I talk about how silly my horse is, it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for… the winner of the Happy Hound personalized equestrian stationary! Congratulations to Grey Horse Matters for winning the stationary giveaway!
As for Simon’s 1st day at the barn – his official word is that this is the weirdest horse show he has ever been to.
When I was driving down the long farm driveway with speed bumps (aka I was driving slowly) I looked across the paddocks and noticed some horses running in the very back of the farm. Huh, I thought, one of those looks like my skinny little red thoroughbred.
Turns out it was!
After I changed and went to go find him, I noticed the farm hand bringing him to the empty paddock by the barn. “That’s mine!” I told him and went to grab Simon, who was soaked in sweat, panting, and looking overall frantic. The farm hand apologized and said “he wasn’t being bad” and that they were running and he went to get him when the trainer/barn owner told him to, but I wasn’t upset. I just grabbed the lead rope and took him to the cross ties to stand under the fans and cool off (they have fans!!!).
I took my time getting ready, where Simon seemed just a little overwhelmed by the entire situation. Every time a new horse would walk by, usually a fabulously muscled up gigantic warmblood, he would try to make them his new best friend. Hey! Hey! I’m Simon! I’m OTTB. Are you OTTB? Do you want to be my new best friend? Wow how did you get so big! You must have a fantastic diet.
They were not very impressed.
Even though Simon had already lunged himself for me, I decided to stick to my original plan of lunging first and getting on if he was good. Plus I wanted to see if he was sound from all the galloping in the pasture. We headed to the big grass ring, and did a lot of walk/slow trot circles in different areas so he could get a feel of things.
The biggest problem with the grass ring is that it is full of tasty grass. Simon has never really been asked to work on grass, and he couldn’t understand why we would want to ride on precious, tasty grass.
When I did get on, there was a lot of looking around. The barn and rings are surrounded by paddocks with horses turned out, and people riding around. There is a lot of activity for a little red ottb to handle.
When I did get on we did a lot of walking. Simon is a good boy, but he wasn’t listening at all. So we just did some circles and some walk spirals and really anything I could do that wasn’t pushing him too hard but still trying to get him to listen. When we eventually did a small amount of trotting, I realized that while he’s still a bit uncoordinated and out of shape the grass ring is difficult for him. It’s a really nice ring, but there are still some divots and uneven areas. For the most part it is fine, but we did have one of these moments…
That resulted in him throwing a shoe. Hopefully the farrier will be able to put a new one on today – extra points for having a farrier live on the property 🙂
After our short ride, I walked him around the dirt jumping ring a bit and talked to the trainer some. Hosed him down in one of the two concrete indoor wash racks, which he could have cared less about and coated him in fly spray for the night. When I was grooming him after our ride there was a horse lunging in the round pen behind the barn. It was funny, because you could only see the horse through a window behind Simon and when the horse would canter around Simon would get a gray blur out of the corner of his eye.
It took a few minutes for him to figure out what was going on, but he was so tired and brain dead by this point I think he just gave up.
I turned him out in the “good” paddock by the barn, and watched him for a few minutes. He called to his friends that don’t exist yet, stared at the water trough for a while before finally deciding to drink some, and generally just looked at everything.
Today they are going to try and find him a different paddock that he likes to be his permanent home, and a buddy to go out with. The general consensus is that he seems pretty overwhelmed/concerned for him, but since he is my best baby he is expressing those feelings without causing any harm to me or anyone else. I’m sure he’ll settle down more this weekend. He better, because I am tickled pink with this place and he’s going to stay there 🙂