While they are eating in separate pens, I go to the hay pile and get at least 1 flake of alfalfa, and a lot of grass hay. I scatter the hay in about 8 or 9 piles around the pasture. That is supposed to encourage them to eat more naturally, moving a lot more during the process. It does encourage more movement, for sure, but not as much as I was hoping. The horse will stand there and eat one whole pile, and then move a little bit to the next pile, and eat all of that before moving on. Oh well!
Anyway, the photo is of them eating. Because there is always hay around, both horses have a pretty blase attitude about it. Most of the time when I look out the window they are eating, but slowly and in a bored way. However, as soon as I go over to feed, both horses are suddenly starving to death! ;-D
Anyway, to update you guys on the nickname, I "tried out" all the different possibilities, and the names that have stuck are Andolu/Andoly, and Dude!
So, the last time I told you guys about riding The Dude, he was reluctant to leave Mira behind and go up the road. I was planning to use my "Carrot stick" whip to encourage him to move, as he wouldn't respect my leg aids. Well, I actually ended up using the string that came with the "Carrot stick," as it has a little popper on the end, which would be more effective, and it is a lot less clumsy to carry around. That has worked perfectly!
When he starts trying to turn around and head home, I only have to shake it at him and he immediately straightens out and moves out again. He is also getting used to the snaffle bit and actually starting to obey it quite nicely. The first couple times I was frustrated because he wouldn't pay attention to small cues and I had to practically yank on the reins, but he is now obeying light, gentle cues. Such a good boy!
Our riding time has been limited, though, because I haven't gotten any Simple Boots for him yet, and he has very soft hooves which wear noticeably in one ride on hard dirt/gravel, not to mention asphalt. He also has flat feet. He has been barefoot for about a year already, but did not have ANY trimming done during that time (Yikes!) which means the next 6 months or so will be a transition time for him to grow out good, tough feet. So I have to be careful until I can get some boots.
Until next time, look at something in nature for just a minute and think about what a marvel it is!