Saturday, November 24, 2007

First Rides!

I have now been on Anatolian twice, and he has a very comfortable back, not too bony! I also measured him, and he is 15.3 HH, or 61 inches. So that was a good guess, this time :-)

He's actually a little bit sluggish so far, in that he is unwilling to leave Mira and the pasture - certainly not leave them at a trot! I have been taking him and her out, sometimes together, sometimes separately, ever since I got him, but he still is doing his best to be herd bound! I will start up the hill and he'll meander slowly up, but around the time that he would lose sight of Mira, (who always calls a lot) he would stop. 'Till now, I have just had my sis pull on his halter to get him started again when he wouldn't respond to being turned to one side or to increasing amounts of leg. I didn't want to get in a fight with him, especially at such an early stage!

I think tomorrow on our ride, though, I might take along my purple "carrot stick" whip, just to see if waving it might convince him I'm serious. If he doesn't respond to that, I will tap his hindquarters with it. I think that will be less likely to make him "blow up" than progressively using harder and harder leg aids would. I have rubbed the stick all over him and he was not as reactive as Mira still is with it, so that is good. (She is a lot better now, but still tends to get wide-eyed and jumpy)

One funny thing is, remember how I said Mira was squealing a lot when he first came, as if to say that SHE would be the boss here? And how he never got aggressive back? Well, despite that, he is most definitely the boss! If he moves toward her pile of hay, she will leave it immediately. Sometimes she gets ticked off, and squeals, but she always gets out of his way. I've only seen him show teeth a couple times - he is still pretty calm most of the time - but he most definitely is the top horse! I have to feed him a little of Mira's Senior Soup every time I feed her, so that I can get a chance to put her into the round pen to eat in peace - he thinks her soaked feed is divino!!! One part about having him around cracks me up, and that is that I'm realizing just how much of a drama queen Mira really is. In a totally nice way, though!

He is also making me remember the early days with Mira, when I did a lot of ground work with her to build respect. He is somewhat more pushy than she was, so I am working on teaching him the same thing I taught her - if he's within 20 feet of the fence, he has to be facing me when I come over to feed or whatever. That was a major help with her, for some reason! So far he still tests me at every opportunity, just to see how much I am going to notice. Like, yesterday he purposely moved his foot to where it was almost stepping on mine, trying to put his head over mine at the same time. I was like, "Sorry dude, not allowed. Scoot." I am spoiled now with Mira - If you tap her gently anywhere on her body, she will move for you immediately, and she is not only respectful, but she's happy about it, too. I know I'll get there with him soon, and it'll be fascinating to see the differences in their personalities in the process!

Hopefully I'll have enough time to update tomorrow evening after my ride and let you know how the third one goes!

Thanks again to everyone for your nickname suggestions! I have been trying each one out on him, to see which one fits best. I will let you know soon!



Rising Rainbow said...

Sounds like you have your hands full. Remember there will be sqealing from Mira based on her heat cycles as well. It's always changing with those mares and now she has someone to tell about it.

L said...

That's true! Sheesh... :-)

photogchic said...

Sounds like he is adjusting and you are just busy taking in every thing you can about him. He sounds wonderful. Keep us posted on his nickname:-)