I have always taken pride in the fact that Sharlie and Casper are some of the best mannered and friendly horses at the stables. They always are waiting for me at the gate, nickering at me with ears pricked and eyes fixed on my every movement.
I loved this welcome every time I went down to the stables and I had become used to it. Taken it for granted.
So imagine my shock when I went to go and say hello to them and they are acting like completely different horses! Sharlie was going back and forth from nudging me with her nose rather violently to spinning around in circles. Casper had taken to trotting around me and and almost prancing in place.
On top of that they were biting and kicking at each other like they were suddenly worst enemies!
Needless to say I was shocked and dumbfounded. My sweet, gentle, polite, well-mannered, friendly darlings were being aggressive and just....completely different. I was about to walk out of the field and decide not to play with them when I saw Sharlie paw at the gate just before Casper came up and began nibbling at one of the bars.
Suddenly it clicked! They wanted out, they wanted to get out and explore and play! I hadn't been down to play since the weekend!
I ran back and got Casper's halter and ran back to him. He practically dove his nose into the halter!
I got the sense that both horses wanted to play hard today. It was a vibe. So that is what we did.
With Casper we did something I have avoided for a while: circling game at the trot!
He was tense at first but I didn't stop this time. Soon afterwards he relaxed and had slack in the lead rope.
We did traveling circles, squeeze through barrels, watch where you are going...a whole bunch of stuff. Casper was sweaty by the end of it (something very hard to do if you have ever met Casper!) but he had a very happy expression on his face!
Also, I think I found out one of the other reasons why he was acting so offish before. While spending some undemanding time with him afterwards I noticed he had clumps of what looked like mud on his belly. However when I looked closer I saw that they were in fact large scabs on a very ugly infected wound.
Its rather odd looking I must admit. However its in a rather odd place where a savvy string, brush or hand could easily brush over it unknowning but cause him pain. I washed it several times, disinfectated it. The point is...it looks wierd.
I will have to keep an eye on it.
For Sharlie, our "intense" play session was much more mental than physical. The trailer was up by the barn so I took advantage of it to play around it a little bit. Sideways, squeeze, all of it helped. We have definitly made progress. She willingly sniffed it today! That is a lot of progress considering she was afraid to go near it 3 weeks ago.
That is all for now. I won't be posting till after fall break probably.