Wednesday, March 7, 2012

small updates

Running errands on the way home from the barn yesterday I spotted these guys.  Hoped for a better pic but they were on top of a 2 story building.  I don't know what the fake scary owl was supposed to frighten away, but obviously these pigeons thought he needed company.
While I was taking this I remembered when I lived near a bridge where pigeons nested.  I would frequently see them sitting on the phone lines..... along side the local sparrow hawks.  They towered over the sparrow hawks and obviously both considered the idea of a hawk eating a pigeon to be a big joke.

We had two days of warm temps, sunshine and very little wind.  We managed to get Fawkes outside for a lesson, he was a little distracted by the commotion in the ring and just being outside but he did very well.  He is another English speaking TB.  After several times of jumping a small vertical with three feet and forgetting about the fourth one..... I told him that two nice straight clear jumps would earn him the right to go eat dinner.  The next two jumps were perfect.

Nina is having a cold spring but seems just fine.  After she was a dangerous nut over having her blanket taken off two days ago I decided that I just did not have the time or energy to play 'dance with the horse' and she could just go without.    OK, really I decided that if it got really cold I would tie her to a building and put a blanket on her but not until then.  After two warm days today we are back to spitting snow but it is not really cold, just hovering around freezing.  When I went to the barn today I expected her to be cold and figured I would have to take the time to tie her up and put a blanket on her.  To my surprise she seemed to be comfortable.  Good.
She is still a little spooky around me, getting better, she wants her pats and treats again but I still find some strange behavior.  The other day I was cleaning her feet, something startled her and she spooked a little.  I yelled a bit, not loud, more like 'watch out' because I had my feet too close to hers and I was hoping she didn't land on mine.  She reacted by jumping as far away from me as she could get, stopped by her halter lead.  Just a touch of over reaction.  She has always been spooky and I have always spoken up to get her attention when she spooks toward me.  Today I put her beet pulp in her shed, out of the wind.  Normally she eats outside and if I put food in her shed she stands at my shoulder counting each morsel until she is told that it is OK to eat.  Today she circled outside the shed, occasionally peering in but not coming into the shed until I called her to come to me, which she did immediately.  Then she did not eat until I left the shed.  This is all spooking, distrustful behavior.  Apparently our train wreck really frightened her (despite the fact that half the barn thinks she attacked me!).  I was talking to another trainer and said that I thought we (Nina and I) should sit down and compare injuries and bruises and see who should be afraid of whom.  The trainer said that wouldn't work, Nina had made up her mind that I was scary.  Hopefully it will all eventually fall away.  This does show how quickly a horse that has been taught to fear people will go back to that behavior when a more normal horse would not. 

The last two warm days have really improved my mood.  Nina gets new shoes next week and hopefully a dentist visit.  Then we can get back to work.


  1. The pigeons cracked me up!
    Glad Nina is fine without the scary blanket--LOL!
    I hope she calms down again for you when you can work with her regularly again.

  2. Aww, poor Nina. Grind the gears a bit and all the flaws (& old scars) start to resurface, eh? Glad to hear you've both been doing better though.
    Got any recent Fawkes pics/vids? It'd be lovely to see how he's progressing!

  3. That picture cracks me up. I hope that Nina settles down soon.


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