Saturday, February 5, 2011

You can keep your peppermints! Pass the....

Yup!  Jackson's favorite treat.  He is notoriously picky.  Picky about his bucket of vitamins, picky about taking meds, picky about treats, picky, picky, picky.  Brett had picked up a box of Good & Plenty and I found them stashed in the truck yesterday before our lesson.  Jackson had actually eaten, (and liked!), some sample treats I got with a mail  order a number of months back that had anise in them.  I had been sure he would hate them since he only likes Mrs. Pasture's cookies.  Period.  But he liked the anise ones.  So, I took a Good & Plenty with me down to the pasture when I took his blanket off.  He sniffed it and rolled it around in my hand for quite a while before very daintily and carefully taking it between his lips.  He bit down.... bobbed his head... bit down again... bobbed less and then closed his eyes and chewed.  As I was leaving, I looked back and he was working very hard to get to the pieces stuck to his teeth.  So, before loading him in the trailer for our lesson I gave him two more.  He ate those lickity split.

Usually when we take a lesson, I turn Jackson out in the round pen with a hay bag while we wait for Brett and Flash to take theirs.  Yesterday, there was a horse already turned out there so I tied Jackson to the trailer instead.  He was NOT pleased.  He called and called to Flash (who never answered).  He swung his butt so he was standing sideways against the trailer and let loose with a very loose poop.  Right in front of the tack room door.  Thank you so much.  I think he called and worried the first 30 minutes of his time at the trailer before settling down enough to eat.
"Why am I here?  Where is Flash?  I want to go home!"

"OK, fine, be that way.  I'll eat just to make you happy."
And then he got worked really hard in our lesson.  We BOTH got worked really hard.  Now that we have accomplished tempo, forward from my leg, and bend we worked on straight at trot.  It seems like such an easy concept.  Go down the long side straight.  Keep him straight (not leaning) in the corners.  Do it all with just your leg.  If he does the camel thing, push him forward.  If he's already forward, wait.  Around and around and around.  Across the diagonal.  Around and around and around.  That was 90% of my lesson.  It was very cool to feel him straight, carrying himself, and everything coming from my legs.  Just a breath of pressure from the outside leg was all it took in the corners to keep the turn smooth.  Then we did a little canter work.  His left lead canter was pretty good.  He's starting to use his body, slow down, and push from behind instead of rushing around with his nose in the air.  We even got a smooth transition.  Then we switched to the right lead.  He kept cross firing, leaping or bucking into the transition and when he did have the correct lead, it felt discomboobalated.  Gayle said that's because he is naturally very crooked in his body so a crooked canter feels smoother because it's easier for him.  As he gets stronger and straighter, a correct lead canter will feel better for both of us. 

I'm giving him today off.  He earned it and I don't want to overdo it with Brett's saddle.  It's a warm, blue sky day so maybe this afternoon I'll give him a bubble bath and trim his mane.


  1. Always good to discover a new favorite treat!

    We worked on straightness in our last ride too :) Sounds like a great lesson. I'm envious of weather that would let a grey horse become clean again. Val is pretty dingy at the moment...

  2. I wondered where my "Good and Plenty" went. Between you and Jackson there were only a few left. Flash didn't get any. No wonder he didn't answer Jackson when he called. He could tell Jackson's teeth were gumed together with licorice and he was ticked. Next time I'll buy three boxes.

  3. Can't say I've ever met a horse that ate those before.

  4. I buy the boys licorice flavored treats - made by "Start to Finish". They have anise too. Jackson might not like them if he is picky, but we keep them in this cool "old general store" container and when I open the lid, they smell wonderful!


Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.