Sunday was a big day around here. As of Sunday I own Smokey - final payment made on Cibolo and that went straight to pay off Smokey!
I cajoled Stephanie to a trail ride - but it was pretty gusty so we called Sharon to see if we could ride at her place.
But first we had to get them in the trailer. Smokey was reluctant to load. Really reluctant. Basically if someone stands behind him he'll load right up. So I've got some homework to do this Thanksgiving.
Cibolo had never loaded in the back section of the trailer before, so it took a few tries and a few taps on the rear.
When we got to Sharon's, Smokey started calling to the other horses. Stephanie headed to the arena and we took over the round pen.
Right about then I was pretty glad we were going to do arena work, because my horse was spazzing out. It got worse and worse. I realized I was too soft - unusual with Smokey, usually getting too big is a disaster.
I finally had to bring the rope into the round pen because I couldn't keep his attention. Remembering the run it out rule from the clinic and book, so I sent him around in canters, turning him when he called out. Slowly he hooked up.
Interestingly every time I asked him to stop, even when he was riled up, he stopped. If I called him to me, he'd come right up to me. Not sure what to make of that.
Anyway we began our work session in the arena. Cibolo did really well, and Smokey came around. Soon we were cantering well on the left lead, but he resisted the right. More home work. But I got what I wanted from him in our session - head down, responsive, better steering.
We loaded up for the trip back to the barn, Smokey wouldn't load, then loaded fine with pressure from behind, Cibolo hopped right in.
Then something happened. I don't know when. It's a 30 minute drive to the barn. I took my time, taking turns slowly and going extra slow on the road. I think I just didn't want the day to end.
We parked and got out to undo the horses' trailer ties. I stroked Smokey and reached down, and saw it. Smokey's front left was hung up in his hay bag. He was standing on three legs. I struggled to unhook the hay bag, his pressure was making it difficult to lift it free of the clip. I cursed that I didn't have a knife on me. After getting him to lean forward slightly I was able to free him.
He didn't limp out, never panicked, he just looked for help, standing still. I don't know how long his leg was caught. I don't know if he stood on three legs for the entire drive, or if he just pawed at a stop sign.
All I know is I'd just paid him off and now he almost broke his leg on a hay bag.
For my next trick I washed him off and watched as he rolled in manure. So now he's green, muddy, suspicious of hay bags and...