Last night, nature graced the Atlanta area with a short reprieve from the rain. I took full advantage of this, braving the menacing thunder to go see Smokey for the first time in what feels like forever.
He was happy to see me and I headed him off on his way up to harass Ice and Bandit at the hay manger. I saved those boys some trouble while they ate. Smokey was clearly on a mission to move them out before I got to him. He seems to chase Bandit more than Ice in general which is good. He lets Ice eat plenty of hay while they’re side by side, but Bandit just isn’t allowed up there. Feisty gray pony.
He was kind of a mess when I got there with mud all over his legs and hair all done up in a ‘fro. I led him over to the washrack and hosed off his feet to get some of the mud off. It reminded me that I need to get some kind of MTG or something to put on his legs in hopes of keeping them dryer and not getting any fungus or bacteria living in there. I’ll drop by Dover one night this week and pick some up.
Got them clean feet!
He wasn’t happy about me hosing his feet off and danced around a little, but was all in all pretty good. He’s had about a week off, so I can’t really complain that he’s not a perfect little guy for me all the time. I can tell he missed me with his week off since I couldn’t get him to stand still to take pictures of him. Every time I got my phone out, he would walk up to me and try to sniff it. Not a good way to get any pictures of his whole body.
He stood outside the feed barn while I groomed him and was generally a pretty well behaved guy while I was there. He really enjoyed getting his ears groomed. Like, REALLY enjoyed it. His whole face goes slack and his bottom lip twitches when you stick a grooming block in there and really go at it. I even checked in there pretty good this time to make sure there’s no sign of mites or anything and they just look a little dry to me. What a goober.
I took him down to the arena saddleless since my western saddle is in the shop and I was just too lazy to tack up English (so probably just too lazy to tack up at all). I spent some time in the arena moving him around on the ground, which he was actually pretty good about. I was shocked at how well he moved off my ask after a week of not doing it. Smart little pony!
I longed him a little in both directions with some mixed results. We can already agree that this guy is not a fan of moving forward, right? Right. Well, I asked for a bigger trot out of him as I’ve noticed that he has gotten lazier and lazier as time goes on about his big floaty trot. He likes to let me know that he does not like the training flag pushing him on by doing a slow twist with his back en into the middle and a big old kick out. I can generally see it coming about 3 strides ahead of time – about when he starts throwing his head – so I’m generally prepared for it and just sidestep away from the flying feet. They’re never very close to me in the first place and I think they’re just more of a warning than anything. Kind of like when I ask him to canter and he lets me know he’s not into that.
Hopefully this all just means that he’ll stop on a dime once I’m really riding him. That’s what we’re going for, so cross your fingers.
I made like I was going to get on him a few times, but didn’t due to the thunder that kept coming and going. I didn’t want to risk it since I was there alone. We strolled back up to the feed barn to “untack,” put stuff away and do a quick halter change. Then we did a mini photo shoot while he munched some grass (That boy can cut down some grass. I need him to come to my house for a while!).
I put him back out with his friends and he went to gobble up the remaining hay before anyone else could get to it. Starving pony.
Ice is behind Smokey in this picture and Bandit is slightly out of frame to the left, cowering by the gate in hopes that I would save him. You are twice his size, Bandit. Stand up to him!