Thursday, January 26, 2012

Report of Haflinger Abuse

No! I didn't abuse my Haffies, 
rather, 
I am the victim of abuse! 

It started yesterday morning. I fed the horses, went out the back stall door to open the gate to the pasture and returned. I told Pippin, "Easy, fellow" as I walked into his stall. Evidently he was so involved with crunching and munching his hay he didn't hear me. I touched his left hip. Pippin was so into his own little world I'm sure he thought a cougar was about to dig into his more than ample rear end. He hauled off with a double-barreled kick. He connected just below my left knee and hit a glancing blow on my right shin. Luckily I was far enough away, or close enough... I'm not all that sure, but all I suffered are bruises and one leg aches a bit.

Fast forward to the afternoon. It was Pippin's turn to go to the arena across the street. The one that Doc is sure is an alien space ship. I performed all of the usual functions; grooming, or at least knocking off some of the mud, saddling, attaching a longe line behind the saddle and putting on the bridle. After Pippin thoroughly inspected the milk crate I was going to use as a mounting block, I got on and we started down the driveway. You. Would. Think. The. Driveway. Was. Sheer. Ice!  Pippin walked very, very carefully, as if he was sure he was going to slip. He took tiny, slow, deliberate steps. Then, we finally got to the road and took our sweet time crossing the street. In fact, he was so slow a car had to slow down for him. Then, we got to the wide shoulder, and then - OMG - what's that?!!! Pippin, it's just a rolled up newspaper. Oh. It's OK. You can walk on. Oh, Holy Cow! What's THAT?! That's just the sign for the stables. Snort! What was that?! That was just the wind. Pippin snorted, tucked his rear end in and scooted, turned spun, raised his head, snorted some more. I asked him to walk in circles and in serpentines until he calmed, a bit, and we'd go on until the next indiscretion. We finally made it to the arena. I dismounted, opened the gate and started leading Pippin through it. Then, by golly, he saw the roping calf head stuck on the hay bale. Pippin decided he was leaving. The only problem was that I was in his way. Too bad... I'm smaller than he is and he basically pushed me out of the way, stomping on my foot! Argghh!

Pippin redeemed himself when we got into the arena. Does this look like a wild horse to you? (Sorry about the lousy quality of the pictures - my phone doesn't always do a great job.)


We did a lot of circling up and down the arena on the lunge line. I call it 'spirographing' because we make fun designs in the sand! We did this under saddle, too.  Pippin wasn't too sure about the jumps and some of the toys, but for the most part, he was quite calm, and a pleasure to ride. He only startled and scooted one time; more abuse - he caused me to break a finger nail!


Who? Me? Act crazy?
Only once in a while!
We had a great ride!

And...
He's so cute!
It's hard to stay mad at him!

OK, Pippin. You are off the hook as far as owner abuse goes...
just don't do it again!

P.S. This morning I came into Pippin's stall, talking a bit more than usual. He stopped eating and turned his head to look at me as if to say, "It's OK. You can come in now." Just maybe there was a bit of an apology in that look!

Thanks for all of the suggestions I received after my experience with Doc in the arena. Any tips you all have are more than appreciated! I haven't worked with my horses much in the past year and I'm really interested in turning them into great riding and driving horses this spring and summer. 

11 comments:

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  11. Ouch! I'm glad nothing got broken in the Haffie abuse episode. Poor you!
    But you still managed a ride. Yay you!
    And I love the image in my head of your 'spirographing' hoof prints. hehe!

    ~Lisa

    ps what happened to all the comments?

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