Friday, April 17, 2009

Top Is Just A Little Different

Top is turning 13 this year, that's what his papers say. Top is maybe 2-4 years old, in his little bitty brain. (Okay that was unfair, cheap shot). Top is very very steady in some aspects. Very well rounded. In other ways he's very young.

This evening I was lunging him. Another horse was being lunged. The owner of the other horse stopped, and let her horse roll. Top was trotting along, saw this horse flop down and roll. He put the skids on, and looked as hard as he could at this horse rolling. He wasn't scared or worried. More fascinated, and confused. You know, horses don't do that in the arena ever, at least not in Top's world apparently. He looked at me, looked back at the rolling horse, as if he was saying, 'Look can you believe this, he's rolling.' I told him, "You're good, walk on." And off he went, not a problem. These kinds of things come up every now and again for Top. Like he's seeing something for the first time and a bit baffled by them. Not worried, not falling apart. Just taking it in, trying to figure it out.

A week or so ago, I did see the Top that got dropped off at my place at Christmas. I felt really bad for him. I had him tied outside his stall. I was grooming him, getting him tacked up to go to work. One of the girls that had had him came by. She was standing there talking. The longer she was there, the more antsy and upright Top became. He started to fidget. He was on hyper alert, head up, eyes huge. He would flinch when you touched him, or moved. I thought, what the hell is going on with you.

One of my students that helps out with Top was there. She says, "Wow, I haven't seen Top like this since you first got him. He's a mess." Of course rocket surgeon that I am I didn't make the connection for another five minutes. I put my hand on his haunch to move him over. Apparently he wasn't moving quickly enough for the previous owner. She steps forward and smacks him. He hops to the side with both hinds together, and blows a little through his nose. I think, 'great pour salt on the wound you moron'. Do I say that, oh hell no wuss that I am. I say, "He's fine, just give him a second. I'd rather have him think about what he's doing than rush and do the wrong thing."

Needless to say, no good work out of Top that evening. Big, blowing and rushing. Held through the back to the point the canter was pronky. Poor guy, really doesn't regroup well after he's spun. He is getting better.

This evening he relaxed enough that the canter lost the lateral quality while still on the lunge. I usually only get that quality of canter under saddle where I can 'help' him.

So, not this weekend but next I have another Carrie lesson. Actually I'm going to do two. One Saturday and one Sunday. We'll see if he can work at that level two days in a row. He really does much better up at Carrie's. Not once has he been the spin cadet he is at the barn in town. Even the first day we arrived there, and I tied him to the side of the trailer. He relaxed, kind of let down and let the air out slow and long. Interesting. The stables in town are really tough for him.

He's pretty good in town if there isn't a bunch of weirdness going on. It's not that activity bothers him. I've taken him to the roping arena. No problem. Ropes swinging, steers flying past him with horses right on their big. Barrel racers flying around the pattern, and sliding to stops near him, not a problem. So, what is the variable that cooks his brain in town?


GoLightly said...


It's those darned ammies, HP.

They scare the heck out of me, too.

Cool pic of him, when was it taken?

fernvalley01 said...

Yeesh is that girl just a slow learner? She couldn't handle him before ,just leave him alone . Glad he is still able to settle with you. Great shot ,he is huge!

wilsonc said...

That looks like one BIG guy you've got there! Sounds like you might be the best thing that's ever happened to him. I thought what you said to the previous owner was very diplomatic yet still establishing that it was what you wanted from him that mattered now.

horspoor said...

Thank you. I guess it was probably much better than saying..."Get the hell away from my horse."

That pic is after I'd had him a month or two, just starting to put on weight. I'll try and get some new pics of him. I'll put my camera in my car today.

I need to call the owner that is in the video with him. The one before the girls I got him from. She seems like a pretty nice girl. Circumstances were such that she couldn't keep him. She'd like to be around horses still. She's in college here.

nccatnip said...

Gosh, HP< i am glad Top found you but my heart breaks for him all the same. What did they ever do to him?

blueheron said...

Great to see new pics of Top.

From what you've said, he seems to be big on things making sense to him. Maybe the nonsensical nature of public stables is more than he can process all at once, so he's at a high level of "What was that?"? When it comes at him and you are there to help him process it, he adapts (Ok, that's allowed. Check.). I don't know.

He's a special one, though. Bucking at stock cars... :)

Nicely dun said...

MY GOSH HE IS GIGANTIC(looks like it next to the teeny tiny person...) at least he makes the person LOOK teeny tiny.

Stockcar-bucker. Has a ring to it.

horspoor said...

NDun. She is kind of tiny. I Think she's right at 5' now. I'm 5'7", so he looks more normal next to me. He's an honest 16.1 to 16.2h. Which is really a big horse to me. I think he taped out at 16.1 and a half.

nccatnip said...

Gosh, I am just so loving this guy.

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