Today was not a great horse training day. Right from the start, I had messed up my schedule and needed to change one rider, as I had double booked myself. But I got Corey turned out in the round pen and handled his feet a little. The plan was to pony him off my big horse Spritz. Oh, the Best laid plans of mice and men.
After teaching 3 lessons, I already had Spritz saddled up, since I used him to take a couple kids on Trail rides. Spritz is a special guy. He is 26 yrs old now. 17 H. Appaloosa. But no one knows what he is – as he is tall, solid bay and has a lovely mane and tail. I have owned him since he was 2 yrs old. Actually, I sold him when he was 9, but had the good luck to get him back 11 years ago, when he developed some soundness issues. He is an old and dear friend, and good to pony horses off of. But he is also sensitive.
So, I put a lead rope on Corey, and mounted up on Spritz. Jack got video of it all, and I will add that here, Because it tells the whole story. There are no photos since Jack was shooting video. But let’s just say, it didn’t quite go as planned. It is easy to forget that Corey is a Stallion. For the most part he is quiet and calm. I have often told him that he is TOO Easy. Not today. He stood quietly while I mounted Spritz. Often horses get spooked when I am sitting above them – which is one reason I LOVE ponying my young horses. Corey didn’t care one bit that I was sitting above him. But he started to sniff Spritz, and quick as can be, he whirled and Kicked my horse! HARD! We regrouped and tried again and he kicked Spritz Again! Now I told Spritz he could Kick Back and he made a few moves in that direction.
Anyway, it was a LONG 12 minutes, but in the end, I picked the lead rope back up, and pulled Corey along after me. Spritz was dancing along, doing piaffe and side pass. But Corey was not wasting any energy. And I LIKE that about him. Sure he kicked my old man, but that is just stallion stuff. You meet a new horse and either You are the boss, or he is. Corey was trying to score some points. I am VERY happy that he doesn’t push with me like that. I SEE how tough he could be. And we are not having that battle. So somehow I have already won the big war.
So, we won this one too, Old Spritz and I. In the end, Corey followed the old man and me around the pen. Then I dismounted, and calmly lead Corey back to his stall. And I should have been happy to quit with that.
Again, he saw that person (who gives me the creeps a little too, this man is just a little offish) and Corey LEFT. This time I could NOT hold on. I can’t say I tried really hard. I was tired. I didn’t have gloves on. I just let him go. I was lucky. This could have turned out VERY badly. But instead, Corey ran back by the corrals, and let me catch him. We regathered our good senses and carefully walked back to the stall. He was not tense or blowing. He was totally calm. He was easy to catch even after ‘getting free’. So, it could have been a LOT worse. We didn’t lose any ground. He DID possibly learn that he can get away from me, but I don’t think he WANTS to be away from me. He was easier to catch than a Lot of rude domestic horses that I have had to rehabilitate. So, I don’t think any damage was done. But it WAS a strong reminder. This is a 3 yr old Stallion. He was wild just 4 days ago. And this whole world is new to him. He has really GOOD instincts about ‘creepy people’. And I am going to have to convince him to let ME take the lead in making decisions about when to run and when to hold our ground. And I also get to decide who we kick and who are our friends.
All in all, nobody died, so it is all good.