Fighting With A Five Year Old

Not a child mind, a horse.

Although the way he was behaving he might as well have been a child. Honestly. Everyone at home thinks Fox is moronic. They haven’t met Charlie. And of course, because he’s a baby and an absolute idiot, I love him! Typical.

I lunged him today. Charlie is not good at lungeing. We don’t think he’s done it much before, because he seems to get very confused and doesn’t understand what we’re asking him to do. He barely registers the whip, and spends a lot of his time spinning in to you and then reversing. Not exactly what you look for when you’re lungeing a horse.

So Charlie and I had a few minor disagreements this afternoon. During which he tried to go backwards, and I suggested he go forwards instead. And forwards on a circle rather than into/following me. Despite the fact that I won that fight twice, he still tried again when I changed the rein. So we argued another couple of times. And I won again.

In fact, he grasped the whole walking a circle thing fairly easily. It’s only when you ask for trot that he seems to freak out and turn. So I focused on getting him moving forward in the walk first, establishing a good circle. Which involved me having to walk a large circle inside of him, so that we were only about six feet apart. Because once I got further away, he panicked. That was going quite well, and he finally agreed to walk forward a little more, at a slightly more energetic pace.

Having fought a few times with me emerging the victor on each occasion, we seemed to have developed a better level of respect as Charlie then began to listen harder and respond quicker. I was able to get some short bits of trot with a downwards transition to walk in before he tried to spin during our last five minutes. I asked him to trot for around ten or so strides, and then brought him down to walk before he remembered he wanted to turn in and go backwards. At first he was a bit confused, like he’d remembered there was something else he should be doing but couldn’t quite recall what it was. Eventually he chilled out though and even started to stretch a little into the loose side reins I’d attached.

So in the end he was a good boy. I had to remind myself that he’s a baby and doesn’t understand what he’s doing, as well as being a bit of a moron. Otherwise I’d have got annoyed. I did get sharp with him at one point, but that was when we were discussing the forwards backwards thing, and he kept moving even though I’d told him to stand still. I put my foot down at that point.

I put him away and returned the tack to the tack room and as I was coming out of the door to head back out to do the next thing, he looked over at me from his stable and whickered at me. I said “Okay Charlie” as I walked past, and he then whinnied, and when I turned to look back at what all the fuss was about, he was staring right at me. So I obviously made an impression somewhere in his little brain. Bless him, he is a cutie. Even if he is a total douchebag and got his leg stuck in a fence while we were turning them out this evening because he couldn’t possibly just go with the others, he had to climb a goddamn bank and be ‘independent’. Freaking eejit.

I also pulled three manes to perfection today. And despite having a blister threatening my middle finger on my left hand, and looking at one point like I’d dipped my hands in tar thanks to the grease in Sparky’s mane, I really enjoyed doing it. Cleo was a total babe, and stood there all sleepy and happy for the duration of her session. In fact, when I had to stop halfway through to help Giorgia with something, she turned and nudged me like “hey, whatcha doing? Did I say stop?”

Sparky was okay although he chucked his head about a bit. The main problem with him was that his mane was so thick and long that I thought I would never get done. In the end, his was fairly easy as I didn’t have to worry about getting it the same length at first, I just had to get it about half the length altogether. So I pulled away, and neatened it up afterwards. And oh my gosh does he look smart and super cute. Everyone who saw him after was cooing at how gorgeous he looks. I’m so proud!

And Apollo was an angel, just standing in the sun letting me get on with it. I also trimmed all of their tails at the same time to make them look even posher. Giorgia also pulled a couple of manes, and a couple of others were done last week. So we have a yard of rather smart looking horses now. Apart from Bobby and Tonto, who would both look extremely stupid with pulled manes. I did tidy them up a little bit though, just trimming a few straggly bits. So super sexy ponies all round.

And, the best thing of all, is that the sun was out nearly all day. It was warm and golden and glorious. This evening I drank wine with Ginny and Adele, sitting out on the patio with some of the others, soaking up the evening sunshine. Wonderful stuff.

And the mountains. Oh the mountains.

I might have to stay forever.

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