He has been home with me for three weeks now and between the riding and nursing his feet, I’ve logged quite a bit of time with the big guy. There is still a lot to figure out with him, but there are some things about him I’ve come to know.
- He isn’t a dumb horse. His gears don’t turn as fast as Gem’s do, but he isn’t dumb either. In fact, he picks up on things quite quickly yet he can still handle repetition without losing his marbles. When he first got home he was an idiot in the cross ties and would try to weave, eat the ties, back up and so on. After a few days of being tied and left while I picked stalls and generally ignored him he now stands like a statue. This was repeated with mounting. The first ride he would not stand still. The second he fidgeted but let me get on. By the fourth ride he stood next to the mounting block politely and didn’t move until I asked.
- He is a pain with his head. Bridling him is a chore. He lowers it and takes the bit just fine but actually doing all the buckles and straps is a fight as he moves his head, tries to scratch on everything, mouths you and is generally very annoying. It’s the same with his fly mask too. I’m not sure how to make this stop.
- He cribs only when a person is around. He will stand quietly in his stall as long as he doesn’t realize you are anywhere near him. I’ve hidden in the tack room and watched as he props a hoof and goes to sleep in his stall. Once he realzies a person is around and not paying attention to him he begins cribbing or chewing or flinging stuff around. Anything for attention and to Eeyore negative attention is better than no attention.
- He poops. A lot. In nearly 9 years of riding, Gem never once pooped in the arena. Eeyore does it every single ride. It is a little pet peeve of mine.
- He also sweats a lot. He comes in from the pasture soaked in the evening and in the morning has a layer of salty crust. When I ride he almost immediately breaks out full body. I’m still figuring out how to know when he needs to be done. His saddle pad is always soaked through even after a 15 minute walking warm up and I think I’m going to have to buy extras to ensure a dry pad. Gem rarely sweats. Actually there was a time I worried she had anhydrosis but nope. She’s a hearty little desert Arab with astounding metabolics. This is new territory for me.
After three weeks with the big guy I’ve also decided that he needs a new name. He is way too happy and has way too much energy to be an Eeyore. I’m not sure what to change it to and I’m not in a hurry to do so, but I’m not really liking the Eeyore for him. His registered name is “Made For Fame” which is gag inducing, so no help there. I’d like to represent his true personality which is laid back yet inquisitive and friendly. He has yet to spook at anything: dogs, kiddo, toys left in the arena, tractor, birds. So I think he is brave as well though his bravery stems mostly from his generally curious nature and love of all the things. He does have a bit of a stubborn streak and prefers to put forth the least amount of effort possible but won’t put up a fight for too long as fighting is more work than behaving. Anyway…I’d like to capture that in his name as Eeyore makes him sound gloomy.