I have written many blogs over the past year about my ongoing education of Finn, aka the Finnster. He turned 7 this year, and he is part Arabian, part QH/Thoroughbred. I maintain all the goofiness comes from the Thoroughbred side. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! He most definitely has a young brain.
In my blog about our experiences in August in the Colorado Rockies, I described Finn’s tantrums when I ask him to do something he deems too difficult. Although it didn’t used to be true, he will now follow Kadeen almost anywhere. But ask Finn to lead, and a hissy fit will likely ensue. Even if he has crossed a certain bridge or successfully navigated a challenge repeatedly, he will balk at going first. He can’t be the follower indefinitely, so I have been pushing harder for him to grow some courage. I am trying to walk the line between being sensitive to his fears, while not being held hostage to his manipulations.
Recently, I rode with a friend at a place called Kill Creek Park. When Alan and I rode there last summer, we had significant problems getting Finn to cross the creek. Because we have crossed a lot of water in the past year, I was quite hopeful there wouldn’t be a fight about it. We headed to the creek, and again, Finn refused to go first but he did follow Kadeen. However, the water was quite deep and surprised us! We managed to turn both horses around and go out the way we came. Finn’s responsiveness pleased me and clearly we have made progress in the past year.
I have managed to get a few round pen training sessions accomplished during the past few weeks. Finn is doing much, much better. He walks, trots and canters on command. I am able to “sack” him with rattling hula-hoops and other noisy things, all while he is at liberty. He follows me around the round pen and speeds up, slows down, and stops when I do. He has loaded into the trailer without argument the past month.
We continue to battle scratches no matter where we ride. Actually, there is one location we enjoy which is a rails-to-trails adventure, and we manage to come home from there without that nasty condition. It is extremely frustrating. I guess I should automatically sponge down legs after every ride starting in August. We never left the trail at Kill Creek Park, and yet both horses have scratches.
Not only am I treating legs, but I am also treating Kadeen’s eye. He has a propensity to get corneal ulcers. I think he has some allergy issues, and I suspect he rubs his face and pushes his fly mask into his eye. I find it much easier to medicate a dog’s eye than my horse’s eye! He squints that thing closed so tightly it takes the Jaws of Death to pry his lids apart! I learned about an awesome fly mask from my equine vet friend. It has a stiff wire in the front that protects his eyes from damage if he rubs the mask. They are on clearance now so check it out!
On a final note, at some point in the next couple of weeks, the website is moving to another server and a different hosting company. Please be aware that temporarily things might not work properly. Hopefully, the transition will be short-lived. I am heading into a period of significant travel, including a few days spent at RFD The Ranch in early October. Happy Trails to you!