09 March 2015

With Spring comes....horse hair

     It's spring. Far earlier than expected, but, that's climate change's influence. The orcas are calving, the daffodils are blooming, my allergies are kicking my butt, and Raven is shedding. 

   If only he would shed in one fell swoop. How nice it would be to merely give a good tug and the entire winter coat comes off, woosh, like a sheared sheep's. Several years ago, I read an article where some smart guy gave a sheep a hormone that encouraged just such a feat. The base of the wool was severed through some magic and off the wool came in one piece, leaving a naked and rather perplexed looking sheep without so much as shear mark. Not that sheep don't look perplexed to begin with. 

   It went nowhere, it seems. When one tinkers with hormones, unintended consequences happen.

   Ah, well. So Raven is shedding. He wants very badly to be out of the coat. He is itchy. Any sort of work makes him sweat. No matter which way the breeze is blowing, when I groom him, the hair hits my face. I swear, I could stand with a cyclone at my back and would still get horsehair in my face. And on my lips, and in my mouth...

   With the warmth of spring also comes high spirits. Or perhaps it's his feet feeling great. But Raven is full of yahoogiddyupGO. He's ready to rumble and tells Sue that in no uncertain terms. When she canters him in the arena, she must be ready for him to burst into a gallop on the long side of the arena. This wouldn't be such a bad thing save for the fact that there are sturdy walls on three sides of the arena, none that would be fun to be flung into, and the fourth is open. How tempting it would be for him to merely jump through the open, fourth side, and into the sunshine. Two days ago I approached his paddock after an absence of almost a week. He came flying, a flat out gallop, that was lovely to watch except that he was coming full bore for ME. Happy happy horse, but at 1200 or more pounds, not something you want to be collided with! 

    He's so full of P&V that Sue has had quite a time handling him. It's not meanness or trying to get out of work that he's acting up out of. It's just him feeling froggy. With me, though, he's still calm and gentle. I sort of give him a counterpoint. Sue makes him toe the line, I get aboard and drop the rein and use my leg aids to get him to stop, turn, go. The last two we do well. The stop, not so much. He doesn't want to Stop. He wants to GO. Sue says "you don't push his buttons". And I don't. I'm just happy being aboard a good horse, feeling him breathe, listening to his mind. 

   Ah, spring. It's lovely, even if it's covered in horse hair. 

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