Bob time, Boob time, and a surprising development

I got some quality Bob time in today, with most of it spent just hanging out. Me: reading about horses and occasionally giving Bob scratches. Bob: watching me and occasionally eating. It was nice comfort after yesterday’s frustration over Emma.

Speaking of horse shopping, I decided to take a second look at those two Percherons from week before last, so I sent the seller an email (it is good to not burn your bridges!). We’re trying to set up a time to come ride them when I can have Kelsey or Mary along. In a surprising development, the seller (she is a breeder) just had a client give back (today) a flaxen chestnut Percheron mare because they are out of work and can’t keep her. She is one pretty girl, and the price is right, so we’re going to take a look at her, too!

I think I finally learned how to tie a nice quick-release lead-rope knot—and well enough to remember it. I’m just going to have to practice tying it every day, as remembering knots has always been tough for me.

I contacted Double H, and they do have one horse trailer that they rent out for $75 per day ($100 for the weekend, more or less). It’s 7′-2″ tall inside, and is a bumper-pull three-horse slant. Unfortunately, it is not set up for a weight-distributing hitch, which means that the payload limit with this trailer on my truck is 1800 lbs. In other words, one draft horse—barely. So, it will work in a pinch, but not a good medium-term solution to the trailer problem.

As well as everything else went with Bob, our work session was not so great. It wasn’t as bad as the last time I tried to longe him, though. I just did basic groundwork with him. He was a bit antsy at first but then settled down nicely. And then about halfway into the session, he got goosey again.

I wanted to work on haunch turns, but barely got started when the nonsense began. He spooked in place twice (in the middle of the arena), gave me a warning nip once (and got smacked on the shoulder for that), and was just generally a pain in the ass. He was doing lots of head tossing, so I checked his halter for fit, rubbing, etc. Nope, he was just unhappy. So, I ended up dumping my lesson plan and working on some very simple stuff to try to end on a semi-good note.

As I took him back to the barn, I noticed that all the horses were turned out. And Jenn happened to walk by and say that she had turned them all out because it was so much cooler than had been forecast.

Ah-ha! The light bulb went on: herd bound! Bob was freaking out because he thought he was going to get left behind. Because of how the barns are oriented, I couldn’t/didn’t see that his buddies were being turned out, but he sure knew. I knew that he tended to be herd-bound when not ridden regularly, so we have some work to do there: me to be more aware, and him to not freak out quite so much. And most importantly, we need our blasted saddle parts to get here so Kim can actually ride him.

The really ironic thing? After I turned him out with his buddies, he came right back over to the fence to visit with me and ignored them completely.

About Mike

Michael Heggen is a horseman, maker, and thinker who lives in Salem, Oregon with his wife, Kim, and "three to eight cats". He stays quite busy riding, driving, and caring for their three horses, Boulder, Shasta, and Bob. Among other things, Mike has been a fencing coach, police chaplain, computer consultant, aspirant to the diaconate, computer salesman, box boy, carpenter, computer technician, typesetter, church youth leader, copy machine operator, and network administrator. His other interests include juggling, reading voraciously, and (pretty occasionally these days) cycling.
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